Journals

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by alisoncharm, Sep 17, 2006.

  1. alisoncharm

    alisoncharm Rookie

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    Sep 17, 2006

    How do you introduce journals in kindergarten? I gave each student a wide ruled spiral notebook and let them just have at it on Friday. As I walked around I told some that they could write the date on the top, but many are so far from that point. Do you use wide ruled paper, topics, date at top, crayons, pencils??? I know this is can be an amazing part of kindergarten if I do it the right way!:confused:
     
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  3. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Sep 17, 2006

    I would be curious to know what others do as well! I teach Pre-K, so what I do is give them piece of folded construction paper(white) and tell them to WRITE! They looked at me in bewilderment at first, but now they just write away(beginning writing, of course...) and I told them they could add pictures. When they are finished, I ask them to tell me about their writing and I write what they tell me, usually near the bottom of the page. I tell them to put their name on the paper. I date it. They really love doing this!
     
  4. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Sep 17, 2006

    Each of my Pre-K'ers has a "mead composition book" with their name on it. I work with 5 of them daily. I hand out the books and say, "Write draw something about...boats, birds, bears, etc. (last week was "b"). I just let them go. Some of them draw about the topic and I write their narrations underneath and date the page. Others just draw things related to their interests (Spiderman, mommy, rainbows). I do the same with those pages. Some of them started out saying, "I can't". I suggested, "What shape is a boat?" and just let them go. I'll have them (depending on their writing level), write a "b" next to their picture, sound out the word, or write the name of a color they used (using a mini-office). By the end of the week, I saw a lot of pictures with lots of narrations. I keep the books in the class to watch their writing development. The children, their parents, and I enjoy it!
     
  5. diro.pams

    diro.pams Companion

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    Sep 17, 2006

    I give 4-5 demonstrations of what I want from them before handing out their journals. We draw a picture with pencil. Then we write a sentence to accompany the picture.I emphasize that something has to be happening in the picture. That way we get more substance in the sentence. Sentences with "I like ..." are not allowed and I never demonstrate those sentences. Throughout the year I continue mini lessons that are based on performance I've observed when the kids write. By January I start the 5 stamp system of feedback. After writing, I give the students stamps: 1.five details shown in the picture 2. Capitals used at the beginning of sentences 3. Periods used at the end of sentences
    4. spaces between words 5. two sentences. If a student only writes 1 sentence, he'll earn 4 stamps on the page. This feedback definitely gets the kids to be working toward all 5 stamps.
     
  6. TXTCHR29

    TXTCHR29 Cohort

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    Sep 18, 2006

    I use a folder with brads as their journal. Until January this journal is filled with blank white computer paper. After Christmas, I give the students a new journal with story board paper (the top is blank for a picture and the bottom has primary lines.)

    The first couple of weeks of school I tell my students to draw me a picture. The only writing they must include is their name at the top. I then go around and have the students dictate a story to me about their picture and write it at the bottom of their page. After a few weeks, I ask the students to try to write letters to match their pictures. If they drew a sun, flowers and a house, they might put a s, f, and h next to their pictures (my higher students can usually do this) I never push early in the year, but make suggestions so that my students who are cabable can advance.

    Right now (6 weeks into school) I have my students write their name at the top, the date if they are capable, and have them draw a line halfway down their paper. The top half is for their picture and the bottom half is for their writing. At this point they know that only words/letters are allowed below their line. This is preparing them for the lined paper that will come after Christmas and is giving them designated areas for their pictures and writing so they can begin to distinguish between the two.

    We are now working on labeling pictures, writing simple sentences (I see, I like, I can, etc.), using your sounds to spell words you don't know, writing/drawing about our themes, etc. I always do a model lesson with the students and have the students help me with the writing before I send them to their seats. Most days the students are writing in their journals, but there are times especially later in the year when I have them so specific writing assignments and these may be on different types of paper and may be lists, webs, stories, labeling, etc.

    I also don't spell words for my students. I will help them work through the word to spell it the best they can. I've found over the years the less I tell them, the more they do and the better writers they become. If I'm constantly telling them how to spell words they don't try on their own. I let them them know I don't expect their words to always be spelled right, I just want them to try their best, and write as many sounds as they can hear. With phonics practice, spelling practice and time, they will learn the correct spelling. The only words I require be spelled correctly are our word wall words!
     
  7. Deeena

    Deeena Cohort

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    Sep 19, 2006

    Do you teach students to write the long date or short-cut date, or both? Which type of date do you have them learn to write first?
     
  8. TXTCHR29

    TXTCHR29 Cohort

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    Sep 19, 2006

    I have them learn the long way because that is more meaningful to them. They don't understand the numbers for the dates.
     
  9. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Sep 19, 2006

    Interesting TXTEACH!!! That gives me some ideas with my Preschoolers. Yesterday I had them practice lines from left to right...and their names on their papers. Then they dictated their stories to me. They love it!
     
  10. SarahnVA

    SarahnVA Rookie

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    Sep 19, 2006

    We have journals given to us from our district. They are also Mead and have half lined paper and half for a picture. I am introducing journals last week and this week, its going VERY slowly. So far I have only had three entries and we are supposed to use it every day!

    I started by drawing my own 'journal' on chart paper before hand with the same blue/red colored lines. I then showed the class where to write and where to draw. I had kids use our pointers to come up and also show the class where to write/draw. We have a procedure that I first make my own journal entry with their help, then they each write a 'sentence' (or letters... or scribbles.... hey its the third week!), then they raise a hand (do not draw yet!!) After my assistant or I check their writings, they are then allowed to draw a picture.

    My problem is that it takes my WHOLE morning to write in journals! I want to move along with group work and my literature tubs, but I have lunch at 11, and we usually don't get finished with the morning meeting/shared reading until 9:45 ish. I know I need to move that a long so that I'll have time to do journals and then literature work. I'm also thinking of having the kids do journals after lunch, before recess. Any other ideas?
     
  11. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Sep 19, 2006

    Sarah...I am experiencing the same problem as you are...time is a factor in getting it all done by lunch at 11:00. Journals have been hit and miss. I really want to do them every day!!! Not sure what to do about it. I can't do it in the afternoon because some of the kids leave. I think I might have to move things along a bit faster, but it seems like every single thing we do takes forever because they are such a bunch of sillies.
     
  12. diro.pams

    diro.pams Companion

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    Sep 19, 2006

    The way I've described usually takes 10-15 mins. Granted, an adult is there, and helps the kids pace themselves.
     
  13. KdgtnCop

    KdgtnCop Rookie

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    Sep 21, 2006

    Try KidWriting...look it up on the web- there's examples of student work. It's for Kindergarteners. (Isabel, one of the authors, teaches K...)
    There's a book about it too.
     
  14. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Sep 21, 2006

    I LOVE JOURNAL WRITING! I make journals (actually my helper) out of construction paper and large lined paper that I order. I put in 20 sheets. I do journal writing pretty much everyday. Once a month I have my students write on a topic that I give them and they must write all by themselves. I put their paper up on my board and continue adding thoughout the year. It's amazing to see the growth!! Everyone at my new school loves this idea! Try it.
    For jounral, I make these cards that has to do with our reading program theme and the season. They pick a card and use the words that we've been praciting in class to make a sentence. Here is the cryaon. I see the crayon. etc. But for the first 4 weeks, we do the writing together. We do journal writing during center time, so I only have 5 kids in a group. I pick one kid to choose a card, we make up a sentance together, and write together. Then, starting this week, I had them choose their own card and write their own sentance. It's really exiting and I make it a big deal! As they year goes on and my students get better at sounding out, they rely less on the cards, and start writing their own stories.
     
  15. jcatblum

    jcatblum Rookie

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    Sep 23, 2006

    We use wide ruled notebooks that I get 10 for $1 when school begins. We do journals on Tuesday and Thursdays, I would like to do more, but the time is not available. Before we leave on Mon and Wed I have the children open their journal to the first blank page, and then I walk around and stamp them with the date. When they come in On Tue and Thur their journals are on their desk waiting for them. Each child is different and they all have different ability levels, so I allow them the choose what they would like to do. I have one child that scribbles with a black crayon each day. I have another child that draws flowers and bumble bees EVERY day. My other children just go with whatever is on their minds. If I have already talked about lunch choices, many of them draw a picture about lunchtime. Later in the year I prompt journal ideas. Also I introduce office walls for them to look at for help. The office walls show each child their letters, numbers, color words, shape words, and sight words.
     
  16. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Sep 23, 2006

    jcat, I like your idea. I have been fumbling around with how I want to do this...and I think I like your ideas best.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 24, 2006

    Writing in PreK and Kindergarten should include some drawing- Their drawing is their plan for writing. They draw and write letters/parts of words to represent thwat they want to say in their sentence. They can draw and label their picture, or write a sentence about their picture. Environmental print in your classroom can be referred to by students for spelling complete words but I wouldn't get hung up on spelling at this point. Let them use what they know about sounds/letters to make their best attempts at writing down their words. As you come around and confer with kids about their pictures and writing you can ask if they want you to write their words under theirs using your 'teacher spelling'.
     
  18. turtlegirl

    turtlegirl Companion

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    Sep 24, 2006

    diro.pam,

    I love the 5 stamp idea! I think I will try this.....

    czacza,
    I am the same way in the first few weeks of first grade... i teach them to sketch a story first and then write from their sketch... then i confer with them about their pictures and help them make more of their writing.. and I also find my "mini" lessons from the student's work...
    I have a date stamp that I do a whole mini lesson on how to use... my students practice writing the date everyday on my math board and don't want to waste precious writing time to put that on their paper...
    I have created my own landscape paper with a box on top and lines underneath... throughout the year i move to different kinds of paper and then eventually to portrait....
     
  19. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Sep 24, 2006

    Those are good ideas, too CZ
     
  20. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Sep 24, 2006

    Great idea!!!

    I have my students write their name at the top, the date if they are capable, and have them draw a line halfway down their paper. The top half is for their picture and the bottom half is for their writing. At this point they know that only words/letters are allowed below their line.


    I tried this this week with my Pre-K'ers. What a difference! The line on the paper made them understand the words below were describing their drawings. Both the drawings and the narrations were much more detailed. In addition, I had them sound out and write the beginning sounds of some of the objects in their drawings.
     
  21. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Sep 24, 2006

    Dzenna, I like your ideas. With Preschoolers, I wasn't sure. My kids seem so far behind others classes I have had in the past. I don't know why, but I guess it just happens. I have had them drawing and writing and then I interpret what they want me to write...but they seem slightly confused about connecting their writings and drawings. Sooooo...here is my plan. Tomorrow I will purchase notebooks, draw lines half way down and explain to draw on top and write on the bottom. Maybe that will help. They are really slow recognize letters this year. I can show them an A and talk about it extensively, but when I point to an A and ask them what letter it is, they just SIT there! I started a word wall for them with words like the, it is, cat...and they don't understand to use it when writing yet. One little boy is able to read c-a-t(after we did a week on cats!) I was encouraged by that, so I'll just keep plugging away. Several of the kids won't be 5 until spring, so maybe that's why. What do you think? Any suggestions?
     
  22. Miss_J

    Miss_J Habitué

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    Sep 24, 2006

    We have been using journals about twice a week since the second week of school. They each have a black and white marbled notebook. We talk about a topic and I write words that the class suggests on the board. They draw a picture and copy their word. The first topic was a friend I made in Kindergarten. They copied the names from the nametags. My goal at this point is just to get them writing. We start Kidwriting in October and at that time, they will use their inventive spelling.
    I date the pages for them right now. The second half of the year, they will date the page.
    They LOVE it!! The class asks to do it everyday. We can't because I am half day (2.5 hours.)
     
  23. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Sep 26, 2006

    Grammy- I have several just like yours. Yesterday, I gave them the topic, "What I buy at the store" and four of them scribbled both above and below the line with no story for me to narrate. That was their limit. Some draw about the topic. Some draw spiderman, flowers, or their family everytime. I always them to write the first letter of one or more words in their drawings and many are able. I date the pages. The good thing about journaling like this is no one gets bored, no one gets frustrated; and you, the children and parents can see the progress throughout the year. Good luck! Tell me how it goes.
     

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