journaling

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by errrika, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. errrika

    errrika Rookie

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    Jan 2, 2012

    I've come to realize that I do my best planning at the last minute. :D School starts again tomorrow and there's so many things I want to do!

    I've been wanting to start a journal with my students for awhile. I really want t give them an opportunity to express themselves and practice their "writing". I want to use it basically for them to draw about a topic we are discussing or to answer a given question.

    Anybody do this that can share some ideas?

    Would it be better to use a notebook or a binder with sheets put in?

    I like the open-endedness of a notebook but would also like to give them focus on a specific idea when needed.

    What has worked for you?
     
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  3. Miller59

    Miller59 Companion

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    Jan 2, 2012

    We do journals almost once a week. I use a binder with unlined paper in it. We do it as part of our small group work so there is a lot of brainstorming about possible topics, but they are always free to draw anything they want.

    I have some kids who only write their name and I write any other words. I have 1 who needs only minimal help to write almost anything she wants. I mostly have kids who are making sense of letters and sounds and can often make a good guess about what consonants they need for they words they want.

    My kids love working in their journals. I would like to have them be more spontaneous with them and use them all the time, but that hasn't happened yet this year.
     
  4. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Jan 2, 2012

    We do journal EVERY DAY it is this groups favorite thing. We use comp books. We are a very mixed age class. In the beginning we are using it for a free draw experience, then as the figures are becoming more exact, and more detailed I ask the child to come up with what sound they hear in whatever they wish to label the picture. Then sentences begin to form.

    We have morning sign in for the name progression, but the journals are more at their own speed. Like Miller59 many of my children can make a good grouping of letters to get what they need to down on paper. After they have made an attempt I will show them what the word would look like in "grown up" and we compare how many of the sounds they found. It is a very positive chat. They begin to learn that the grown ups don't use the letters in the manner they are intended. We treat this problem as one that the grown ups have not as a spelling error. They think it is very funny.

    We do occasionally use them to draw answer to a question or predict what will happen in science or something.

    My children choose journals at any break in the day...sometimes I have to actually ask them to do something else rather than just draw and write all day.....good problem to have huh?
     
  5. errrika

    errrika Rookie

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    Jan 2, 2012

    That sounds great! I am so excited to start this.

    I will definitely be doing it at least 2-3 times a week, have to balance it off with our Handwriting Without Tears program.

    But I love that this'll be a great exercise for all skill levels. And that it seems like a very non-threatening way for my students to experiment with their writing. Am still undecided about whether I want to use a notebook or binder. Really it might come down to whatever I can get 40 of for the cheapest price :)
     
  6. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Jan 2, 2012

    You could just staple large legal white paper from a scrap donation. We do that and call it "book writing". You could take your "journals" home more often that way.
     
  7. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Jan 3, 2012

    I also use journals but not as often as WaProvider. Sometimes they can write whatever they want, sometimes I use them as science journals or to talk about something relating to a project we are doing. I just use blank copy paper staped together into a book with card stock covers. I think next year I will have them all make a fancy, unique collage cover but we will see. Like the others, we have a spectrum - scribbers to sentence writers but my main goal is that they feel free to express their ideas, not feel pressured to write so they can dictate to an adult too.
     
  8. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Jan 3, 2012

    Wallpaper book pages make great covers. Write on them with a sharpie and use it for bookmaking.

    This group is on fire with their journals. Some groups like different things. Remember we are full day, full week, full year preschool....so we have time to roll around in our topics.
     
  9. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Jan 3, 2012

    That makes a big difference. 9 hours a week just isn't enough to get everything done.
     
  10. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Jan 3, 2012

    Yep, I agree. When I went to this model I was worried....I was worried first of all everyone would think I was "just a daycare". We are SOOOOOOOOO not! Our parents do happen to work, because they can...we are long. But we never get to be "just a daycare". I was so happy when the longer hours allowed me to stop, and let them be kids! We can have a full playbased program (I hope) with aspects that the school needs us to have for alignment.

    All without anyone having to give up one or the other set of values! Our parents are Soooooo very pleased, our children are happy and the model is working sooooooo very well.

    I, however, am growing tired. So, this will possibly be our last few years. It has been marvelous though...since the changes in my program.
     

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