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Old 08-31-2008, 08:29 PM
KR828 KR828 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 13
New York
Preschool Teacher
Preschool Journals

How do you implement journals in Preschool (i.e., when do you do them and how are they done)?
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:35 PM
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tgi1515 tgi1515 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 307
1st Grade Teacher
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.
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Old 09-01-2008, 07:16 AM
TeachIL TeachIL is offline
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 10
Early Childhood Teacher
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.
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Old 09-01-2008, 07:32 AM
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PennStateCutie PennStateCutie is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 236
Preschool Teacher
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!
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:47 PM
Master Pre-K Master Pre-K is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,092
Preschool Teacher
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.
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Old 09-02-2008, 04:50 PM
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TeacherSandra TeacherSandra is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,564
Somewhere in the good ole USA!
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".

Love this site!

"They may not remember what you taught them, but they'll remember how you made them feel".

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Old 09-02-2008, 05:48 PM
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PennStateCutie PennStateCutie is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 236
Preschool Teacher
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!
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Old 09-02-2008, 06:03 PM
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Grammy Teacher Grammy Teacher is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 5,382
Retired Preschool Teacher
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.
Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.
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Old 09-02-2008, 06:07 PM
rosew rosew is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 139
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

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Old 09-02-2008, 06:47 PM
teresaro teresaro is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 63
Preschool Teacher

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.
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journals, preschool

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