Preschool Journals

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by KR828, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. KR828

    KR828 Rookie

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    Aug 31, 2008

    How do you implement journals in Preschool (i.e., when do you do them and how are they done)?
     
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  3. tgi1515

    tgi1515 Comrade

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    Aug 31, 2008

    Almost every teacher I've talked to does it a little differently. I basically used my journals to talk about initial sounds. I had the children pick a letter and then an object that started that letter. We drew a picture and then tried writing the word. By the end of the year, we were drawing pictures and writing sentences (usually I was writing dictation, although some were trying) AND we practiced our names.

    HOWEVER, this year I'm going to try bookmaking. I bought the book "Already Ready..." and have been reading it. V. Levin started a book review on this site if you want to read up on what has been discussed so far... You ought to check it out. I think bookmaking will do way more for my kiddo's than journals. I plan on starting in September.... sometime.
     
  4. TeachIL

    TeachIL Rookie

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    Sep 1, 2008

    I do journals as part of my morning routine. Come in, hang up your coat/backpack, wash hands, sign in, and finally journals. For the first day I have the students decorate the front of their journal, using a piece of construction paper. Then I bind the laminated drawing with lots of white paper. For the younger students we put a paper clip on the correct page to keep them from coloring on all of the pages in the first day. I don't give any prompts for my journals, the kids come in a draw whatever they want. (If they are having a hard time I"ll prompt them with questions to get their mind thinking) When they are done they let a teacher know and we will dictate for them.
     
  5. PennStateCutie

    PennStateCutie Companion

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    Sep 1, 2008

    I am starting journals this year with both my 3s and 4s. It will be a 1x/week morning work for both groups. Both groups will start out by drawing a picture and then I will write dictation of what they say. In following suit w/ the "Kid Writing" curriculum, you then re-read the sentence back to the child, pointing at each word & then ask them to do the same (teaching LtoR tracking and one-to-one correspondence). Hopefully by the end of the year, the 4s will be able to start adding some words of their own to the pages. I do use the "Kid Crowns" aspect of kid writing to intro my 4s to some common high frequency words, such as you, was, is, are and like. PM me if you have questions about kid-writing! :) We love it!
     
  6. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Maven

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    Sep 2, 2008

    I think coming in and starting on them first is important. It will set the stage for the higher grades. Some people think it's too much for little ones. I just remind myself that the can sit for hours in front of a TV or computer. They don't have to write a 3 paragraphs, just whatever they can. Then, they draw a picture, if the like. this covers a lot of areas, language, oral/written, staying on task, sharing with others, art-creative expression, naming colors, letter recognition..when they start spelling their names.

    you can buy spiral notebooks, or make a simple journal with lined newsprint and construction paper. But to save quality work, I would give them a page at a time, and then you can compile the work for the parents and the child later. I think if you leave the work in the journal...kids will start to doubt their work, and others can critize them and they will get upset and may snatch and tear out their work. But parents can appreciate the progression that children do with their writing and drawing...and that's why you should save it separate from the rest of the journal.
     
  7. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    my goodness; I never even thought of doing journals with my 4 yr. olds!
    I'd love to buy some inexpensive stenos and begin!

    Just a thought...since theyr'e not writing yet...should I give them a "thought for the day"??? Like, today, let's draw "MY FAMILY".

    HELP!
     
  8. PennStateCutie

    PennStateCutie Companion

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    Sep 2, 2008

    I think topics would be a great idea! Maybe something to go along with your themes...like next week, I could say, draw a picture of your favorite apple food (and give suggestions if needed).

    For my journals, I use 3-prong folders & just 3-hole punch plain unlined paper & I use them by opening up and down instead of like a regular book. By the end of the year, I will probably have 2 lines drawn on the page so that the kids (4s) can try their hand at writing!
     
  9. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Teachersandra, we do a journal page once a week, sometimes more if we feel like it. I give them a subject to write/draw about. When they sit down to begin, I tell them to "write" whatever they want to about a particular subject. They are only 4 and 5, so of course they say, "We don't know HOW to write!" I tell them that anyone can write and I show them how, and begin to show them the left to right progression of a wavy line across the paper. After a while, they begin to do a page of wavy lines and eventually add a word or some letters they know how to make. When they are finished, I ask them to draw a picture about what they wrote. Sometimes I reverse this process and have them draw first and then write their story. Then, I ask them to tell me what their drawing/writing says and I write it down on the same paper, below their squiggly lines. I save these papers and put them in a binder at the end of the year for their keepsake.
     
  10. rosew

    rosew Companion

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    Sep 2, 2008

    Another idea is to paperclip or cloth pin the pages so that they go right to a fresh page and cant look or want to rip out their previous work..I'm using the report covers that have a clear front cover and will hole punch paper to put in it..I havent started yet..I dont have everyone come on one day so I will have to do it two days a week..maybe one the second day the kids that already did can just draw a picture to take home..or something like that

    Rose
     
  11. teresaro

    teresaro Rookie

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    Sep 2, 2008

    Journals

    I have used journals- even with an advanced group of 3's one year after Christmas. I love it! I rarely use prompts, but do when a child tells me he doesn't know what to draw. This year, as a separate part of the day, we'll also do bookmaking. I feel that both have a place in a PreK classroom.:hugs:
     
  12. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    wow; I'm floored; I think this is fabulous! Imagine...journals for my 4 yr. olds! :love:
    Now; if I can just find some inexpensive steno pads or spiral notebooks. :blush:
     
  13. PennStateCutie

    PennStateCutie Companion

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    Sep 2, 2008

    you can probably still get spiral notebooks for $.05 at Wal-mart (staples had them for a while, too - in 6-packs for $.30). Otherwise, just get 3-prong folders & plain copy paper :)
     
  14. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Great ideas; thank you PennStateCutie!:)
    Maybe I'll head on out to Walmart tonight?! :)
     
  15. PennStateCutie

    PennStateCutie Companion

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    Sep 2, 2008

    hope you find some goodies! :)
     
  16. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    ugh; I found some goodies...to the tune of about $59 worth, including my Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream:p. But get this, WalMart was absolutely wiped out of plain folders and steno pads/spiral notebooks!:woot:
    I'll figure something out though; I really love the "Journal" idea! :love:
     
  17. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Maven

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    Sep 2, 2008

    Go to any print and copy shop, and beg for scrap paper! Use the back...you really don't have to don't spend money...unless you want to do so.

    The goal is to get the children to work on fine motor skills. In a workshop, I learned that scribbling is considering pre-writing. Child development tells us growth goes from inward out (shoulder to hands)...big (large strokes)to small (fine printing and detailed drawings). So when a three year old makes those large Spirograph :p lines, encourage this! It doesn't have to 'be' anything. All you want to focus on is having this child grip a writing tool, and make those large sweeping movements. In ages 3-5, you will have all ranges. You will have some kids who can write their first and last names! Some will make dots, some scribbles, some use every color in the rainbow. As times goes on, and with guided practice, you will see letters. The idea is not to put your hand on top of theirs, and force children to make letters. Or worse, go to a board and draw a tree and a stick figure dog, and say, "Draw this."

    And... you don't want to have other teachers, assistants, parents and volunteers to draw on the children's papers. Many people do this unknowlingly, when children coax them to do so. They will say, "I want you to do it... I can't make a cat." Who can resist that? Well, I learned I had to. The correct response is... "I want to see your cat...whatever you do will be great." When you draw on their paper, you set up a model that they must follow, and because they don't have the fine motor skills, this sets them up for frustration...so they give up and demand that you do it for them.

    So give them crayons, scratch paper, or a journal of some sorts, and just let them have fun. Save the work, and compare it in 2,4-6 months. The kindergarten teacher will focus more on the correct pincer grasp, and the formation of numbers and letters. :)
     
  18. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Sep 2, 2008

    Thank you Master PreK :hugs:
     
  19. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    This is one idea. Get some colorful pom poms and let each child choose one to glue to the middle of their paper. Tell them to write about it. I had so many interesting answers. 'My pom pom is round. It is fuzzy and blue." Others wrote stories about their colorful pom pom.
     
  20. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Sep 2, 2008

    I sooooo agree Master PreK!!!

    We loved our journals-and my group really really developed those grasp skills that Kinder loves. They did get quite good at getting people to take dictation and I will be moving over to book making with them this year so that they can abandon the dependence on dictation to a grown up and make approximations with zeal.

    I did love the journals-we often just used plain paper in stapled stacks. When comp books came back after the early fall rush we would move to those w/ a pix on cover of the child. It was wonderful and I think they learned a lot. I hope they will enjoy the book making as well. They started it in Aug (see that thread in the book club) and their pictures immediately jumped up a notch. Now they are working on letters again. It seemed to refresh the idea for my group.

    Congrats on journals or books-and please just let them draw/write-no assignments. There is time for conformity.
     
  21. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Sep 3, 2008

    I am NOT a preschool teacher... but, at my school all teachers do a journal time for a bit every day, or most days of the week. They are just spiral bound notebooks. They are able to do anything they want and later in the year the teacher will start to take dictation for the pictures. The children may start pretend writing or drawing letters if they know how.

    Over the summer I taught 4/5 year olds and during our quiet time I gave them the options of making a book, looking at a book or listening to a book. I made little books out of folded construction paper with white paper. They loved it!
     

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