Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Journals In Kindergarten

When it comes to teaching writing in Kindergarten I find the journal process invaluable. I don't do a lot of fussing about it, just model the way I want them to write on a giant chart paper pad and then send them on their way. Of course I narrate my thought process, sounding things out in an exaggerated way, talking about capitals and lower case, periods and spaces. And of course most of them just hear "blah blah blah."

BUT when it comes to topics this class loves to come up with ideas. At the beginning of our journal journey they actually generated this map ON THEIR OWN. I think it pretty much covers most areas of interest for five year olds (and for me most days as well) BUT I still like to ask them each afternoon what they would like me to write about it. One of their favorite topics is "my best class", an imaginary class sometime in the distant past that was perfect in every way. I write about how wonderful that class was at listening and being quiet and all the incredible incentives they received for their amazing behavior. Inside I am dying but they take this topic very seriously. Other favorites include what I do in the morning before school and all about my horses and the farm. Then I throw a similar topic idea out to them and send them off to write.

Anyway if after ten minutes of guided instruction they STILL can't come up with a topic I am glad to have this map hanging up for the non-listeners to see.

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