Please allow notifications to be able to download files. Block Allow. Janet B. Pre school kindergarten. For early childhood classrooms - where curriculum is increasingly shaped by standards and teachers are pressed for time - Beyond Early Literacy offers a literacy method that goes beyond simply developing language arts skills. Known as Shared Journal, this process promotes young children's learning across content areas - including their communication and language abilities, writing skills, sense of community, grasp of diverse social and cultural worlds, and understanding of history, counting, numeracy, and time.
Pairing interactive talk with individual writing in the classroom community, this rich method develops the whole child. For younger children, the pages are inserted in the folder so that the journal opens from bottom to top in landscape format. This is helpful for younger children as they develop the concept of left to right.
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Their writing tends to be slightly larger and needs more room. Also, the landscape format provides more space for the children to illustrate their stories. Children may also indicate the month below their names on the journal covers. The process may begin on the first day of school or on the first day of the first full month. Preparing the Children Once the journals are prepared, the teacher needs to begin preparing the children for the Shared Journal process.
Stories are a vital part of an early childhood curriculum. In any classroom on any given day, there are children who cannot wait to tell something that has happened in their lives. The urge to talk about an event that has personal meaning is so strong that the children will persist in engaging in conversation with the teacher or will tell their stories over and over to their peers. According to Taylor and Cleveland, children tell stories of personal events that may include a special trip or vacation, going to Hardees, getting a permanent, or going to a school pep rally. Britton stated that, when children are given the opportunity to talk about events, they form these events in language and make them an avenue to their learning process.
This talk allows children to create meaning from the experiences. Throughout the day, the teacher should always listen and interact with the children about these stories. This is usually accomplished through impromptu conversations with individuals or a small group of children. While this should be a normal occurrence in a classroom, the teacher will need to begin paying particular attention to what the children share about their lives, because these stories will be potential entries for the journal.
Children appeared to be highly motivated and opted to tell their own stories because they wanted to be written about by their classmates. Also, during story time or shared reading, the teacher should call attention to the authors and illustrators of books that are read. This, too, is a common instructional teaching strategy but has specific relevance to the Shared Journal process. The children need to develop an understanding that they will be the authors and illustrators of their own books—My Journal. Poster boards, wipe-off boards, or interactive whiteboards are some possibilities for sharing boards.
As children share events from their daily lives with the teacher, they talk about the possibility of sharing their stories with the class.
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This communication is crucial in screening for topics and determining who will share. It is important for the teacher to help children determine if their stories are appropriate for the group or if their stories are ready to be told. Sometimes children may share about a fight that occurred at home or some other subject that may be of a sensitive nature. By discussing the topic with the teacher, inappropriate subjects for sharing with the class are determined. If a sensitive topic is shared with the class, it is the responsibility of the teacher to help guide the conversation and questioning in order to assist the storyteller and the audience in their understanding of the content.
Also, after talking with the teacher, children may decide that they are not ready to share a particular story. For certain reasons, they may want to wait before sharing with the group. It is generally best to have at least three children share their stories, but this is not required. With at least three children, there does not appear to be a winner and a loser. This is especially important with younger children. However, it is not always possible to have three children share stories.
Some days only one child may share or there may be four equally good stories. When young children tell personal stories, they think the listener has the same background information that they do. They think that their thoughts are common to others and that they understand one another Piaget, His oral story consists of only one sentence. When children participate in the Shared Journal process, they talk about personal experiences or events with their peers. In the beginning, these stories do not contain many details but include additional story elements as time progresses.
Dialogue abounds among the children, with questions and comments flowing freely. The children elaborated on their own definitions so that their peers could have a better understanding of the story. Also, the children used information that they gained during peer—peer interactions in their journal entries. It is through this dialogue during the questioning that children learn what elements are important to include in their stories. This questioning helps them to know what details to include the next time they share, thus increasing story length.
It is important for the teacher to keep the sharing and questioning focused and moving along in regard to the time allotted. Also, emphasis should be on the story and not on the child. This helps the children to focus on the subject and not the person as they determine the journal topic. It was concluded that children share the same meanings only when they have had some experience with the topic being shared. Additionally, the shared meaning seemed to serve an important function in that children began to listen to others during the sharing time and to initiate their own questions.
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Because of their similar experiences, the children had a personal interest in the story, and they asked questions or made comments based on this shared experience. Their personal experience with a similar topic gave them a way to connect with the storyteller. Also, results from this study generated a conclusion concerning the role of social interaction in early literacy development.
The sense of community in this classroom was very strong and may have encouraged children to help one another in their construction of writing. This cooperation was reflected in the language forms of their writing. It was concluded that the shared journal process facilitated the movement from egocentric thought to sociocentric thought. Recording a Way to Remember the Story Through Key Words or Titles After each story is shared and questions are asked, the children must select key words or a title to represent the main idea of the story on the sharing board Figure 2.
The key words or titles help the children remember the story when they are negotiating and voting on the journal entry. Negotiating which Story will be Written in the Journal After the main ideas of the stories shared are determined, the children discuss the stories. In addition, they give reasons why they think the story should be in the journal. The teacher may facilitate this discussion and probe for their justifications.
This kind of discussion is developed over time and is dependent on the thinking and reasoning abilities of the children involved. Over time, this part of the process is vital in helping children reflect on what makes a good topic for writing. Also, children have a chance to listen to others and will begin to develop an understanding of the feelings of other children. An important aspect of the interaction process is point of view.
Through conversational exchange, children are faced with the ideas of others, and these ideas may be in conflict with their own ideas. Kamii reported that children build their knowledge through attempts to better understand the events in their lives. When children encounter differing views, they may make comments to indicate their personal ideas or they may question one another. This feedback from peers promotes critical thinking Knipping, , but it is also important in the production of texts, in that feedback encourages children to reflect and meditate together Gordon, This process provides children with opportunities to know the perspective of others.
When children voiced differing opinions about the journal topic, they participated in a discussion and negotiation process. If they wanted to reach agreement concerning the topic, they had to take the perspective of another. Also, through the discussion and negotiation process, the children were exposed to the fact that events they thought were unique to them also happened to others.
In an unpublished study by Taylor and Cleveland , more support was given for the importance of discussion and negotiation in helping children develop differing points of view. This study generated a conclusion concerning the role of social interaction in early literacy development. Children spontaneously shared with each other in all aspects of the writing process, and this sharing was reflected in the language forms of their writing. The strong sense of community in this classroom encouraged the children to discuss and negotiate their writing.
It was concluded that the Shared Journal process might have facilitated the movement from egocentric thought to sociocentric thought. Examination of the discussions and negotiations that the children used to form their hypotheses about what makes a good story revealed their conceptions about story. Their hypotheses about stories that were worthy of topic selection involved both literary conceptions of story and moral conceptions of story selection.
The teacher initially stressed the importance of stories that were current, novel, and special. While the responses involving stories that were special occurred the least number of times, the children argued for current and novel stories on many occasions. Children wanted to hear stories that were happening in the present time and that were different from other stories.
They did not want to hear the same stories all the time e. These hypotheses were not led by the teacher but were constructed by the children. The children decided that there were certain qualities in a story that made it appealing to them. One of these hypotheses included the idea that stories about happy, fun, or exciting events were good choices for story selection.
When the children employed this hypothesis, they expressed their desire to write about stories in which they thought the storytellers were happy or liked what happened to them in the stories, such as getting a new pair of shoes. Also, the children labeled a story a happy story because it was about something fun or exciting, such as having a birthday party or a new baby brother or sister. In addition to their ideas about happy stories, the children also developed the idea that stories about something bad, sad, or tragic that happened to the story characters were worthy of consideration during topic selection.
For example, a story about a tree falling in a yard became a story in which the tree fell on the house and hurt the people inside or a story about a camping trip became a story where the campers were hurt by a fox. This was a strategy the children used to make the stories even more appealing to the audience and thus increase the chances of those stories being selected as the journal topics.
Hypotheses given by the children that revealed moral conceptions of topic selection involved fairness, empathy, and popularity. In the rationales given by the children that included fairness, the children were concerned that their classmates should have an opportunity to have their story selected as the journal topic. To them, it was important that consideration be given to the person during story selection. In the sharing of stories, the elements of comedy and tragedy attracted the children to want to write about these topics. The children wanted to hear stories that made them laugh and cry.
They found comedies and tragedies interesting and compelling. Stories that draw an emotional response from the listener are more appealing and create more interest for the audience. As humans, we are compelled to attend to these tragic events. In the same way, the children are attending to these bad occurrences or are including or extending bad events in stories so others will be compelled to select these stories as journal topics. They wanted to be fair in their story selection so their classmates would get an opportunity to have their story as the journal entry.
Voting At the end of the discussion and negotiation time, if consensus has not been reached, the children will vote on the journal entry for the day. Voting is part of the learning process, especially for young children. They have to learn that you may only vote once, and they also have to understand that what they voted for may not be the selected topic.
Because voting in society is by secret ballot, some teachers have the children close their eyes or allow older children to determine their own secret ballot process. There are times when the vote may be unanimous, and there are times when there may be a tie vote. These times pose interesting questions about how the children think this should be handled. There are times when the children will decide on the topic during the discussion and choose not to vote because they have reached a consensus.
However, voting is normally a part of the daily process. Throughout Shared Journal, the teacher serves as a facilitator. As the children become more independent and responsible, they assume more ownership over the process. Being active in the process provides an opportunity for the children to develop their thinking and level of reasoning. Recording the Selected Story in the Journals Once the journal entry is selected, children begin working in their journals. While the children are opening their journals to the daily page, the teacher may review specific details of the story so to help the children think about how they want to represent the story in their illustrations or what they may want to include in the written text.
With preschool and kindergarten children, it is important for the teacher to allow time for the children to begin representing the story through the picture. The drawing is critical to help the child recreate the story and prepare for the writing of the text. With young children, the pictures may be very simple with few details.
This develops as the children are encouraged to include more story elements. Also, conversations among the children during this time promote the inclusion of details in the picture and text. With older children, there may be less emphasis on the illustration and more focus on the written text. In the beginning, teachers can use different methods to help young children learn how to represent the story with written text.
One method is dictate, trace, and copy. Using this method, the children dictate their story as the teacher prints it on the page. Then the children are encouraged to trace or copy any part of the written text and to read it to the teacher and to other children in the classroom. As the children develop, writings with developmental spellings are encouraged. Progress and accomplishments are recognized and praised as the children move toward independent writing. Using Word Books Word books may be included in Shared Journal in order to assist the children with their writings.
These books are prepared by the teacher or students and are small in size so as to be handy for student use. Word books are organized like a dictionary and have upperand lower-case letters of the alphabet in the top right-hand corner of each page. They also allow for a more realistic and authentic strategy for assisting children with their writing. If a child has achieved a level of writing that includes the phoneme representation for The Process of Shared Journal 27 words, a word book may be utilized.
After receiving a word book, a younger child and teacher will determine if a word may be included in the book. This process involves having the child look for the page where the word may be written. For example, the word ball would go on page Bb. After finding the page, the teacher or child writes the word. The child may also draw a small picture beside the word. In order to keep children from depending on the word book for writing the stories or focusing on the correctness of the spelling, they do not get to put new words in their books every day, nor may they ask for every word for their journal text.
The purpose of word books is to help the children move toward conventional spelling, not stop them from writing because they do not know how to spell all of the words correctly. During Shared Journal, the word book can be a motivation for writing for some students. He wanted to have it in a safe and handy place. She said he would sit in the recliner and ponder over his book.
Also, on the beginning day of first grade, he took his word book to school. He felt it was important to have it with him, and the teacher needed to see what he knew. For this child, the word book facilitated his interest in writing and was a highly valued asset. While the children are working in their journals, the teacher moves from child to child to monitor progress. The teacher and children talk about their illustrations and read their written texts. If the child dictates the text, he and the teacher will reread this together. If the child is writing independently, he will read his text to the teacher.
They are to read their texts to classmates. This sharing of the journal entries with peers provides opportunities for the children to develop confidence in their abilities as illustrators and authors. Also, the rereading of the texts not only helps children develop their reading skills but also allows them to build relationships with their peers as they talk about their experiences in these stories. Celebrating Progress in Journal Entries After the journal entries are completed for the day, the teacher may select entries to be shared with the class.
For example, if the teacher wants to call attention to details, those entries with good details are selected. The child shares his entry with the class, and the teacher specifically points out how he included the details in the pictures or the text. If a child experiments for the first time with punctuation or capitalization, the teacher may choose to have the child share their entry with the class. There may be days when the teacher does not select any entries to share.
Also, the teacher may ask the child to share their journal with other teachers and administrators. This sharing of the journal entries is a very effective way to motivate the children to begin to include specific elements in their entries. In hopes that their entries will be chosen for sharing with the class, the children will often include specific elements that were shared with the class in their journal entries on the following day.
Sharing Journal Entries at Home At the end of the month, the children take the journals home to share with their parents, family, and friends. Teachers often include a letter to parents informing them of what to expect from the journal and how they may interact with their children regarding the journal entries see Figure 2. Parents continually comment on how much this sharing means to them.
When parents come to visit in the schools, they are eager to put faces with the children whose stories they have read. Using Journals as a Reference The children are asked to bring their journals back to school so these books may become part of the classroom library. The journals can then be used for reading, to check the comprehension of previous stories, to calculate time related to events, and to establish bonds and similar experiences among the children.
These stories are their personal experiences, and they love talking about them and sharing the many feelings they have about these stories. They reminisce about these memories and are building relationships along the way. All monthly journals are sent home at the end of the school year. Some teachers bind them together so the children will have a history of their school year when they take the bound copy home at the end of school.
Teachers often include a letter at the front of the bound journal explaining that the journal is a record of the stories from the lives of the students throughout their school year. Some teachers choose to have the students write this letter to the reader see Figure 2. Dear Reader, We wrote this book. This book is about what happened to us and other people when we were in kindergarten. This is something special. We all wanted to share.
Some of the stories our friends shared broke our hearts and some stories made us laugh and holler. We are glad we have these stories in this book because we can read them all over again when we grow up and laugh again. We hope you enjoy our stories, too. Again, they begin to go through the entries and talk about past experiences and stories they enjoyed. Also, some classes have made class books that contain the favorite journal entries for the year. Summary To implement Shared Journal, there are a number of steps to be followed as outlined in this chapter.
Following these steps will help the teacher make the experience more valuable for children as they advance in their learning. Teachers are encouraged to follow the steps as designed, but they may adjust the schedule or make changes to meet their individual curriculum needs. They are taught in the preschools, in the kindergartens, and throughout the elementary years as children learn to converse with their teachers and others, read good literature and the writings of others, write letters and stories, and draw, design, and create works of art.
These daily opportunities provide a time and a place to express personal experiences and feelings and to listen and respond to the experiences and feelings of others. Additionally, they provide opportunities for children to draw and write about one of those shared experiences through pictures and print and to view the pictures and reread the stories their classmates have written. The purpose of this chapter is to document and explain the different kinds of communicative abilities that children develop through participating in Shared Journal.
The Communicative Arts At an early age, children communicate with others about their needs and desires. Even before they talk, they cry to express hunger, pain, or loneliness. In early childhood classrooms, teachers help children improve their ability to communicate by helping them develop the ability to make and transfer meaning through culturally understood and accepted symbolic representations. Children communicate visually and linguistically. The visual arts help children learn to express their thoughts through portrayals and develop the ability to understand the thinking of others through viewing paintings, photos, and three-dimensional artifacts.
The linguistic arts help children develop not only the ability to express their thoughts through speaking and writing but also the ability to understand the thinking of others through listening and reading. The linguistic arts are first developed through speaking, listening, and attention to the visual arts and later through reading and writing. Advanced communicative and language abilities are not just the result of learning but rather of a continuous developmental process. Learning often refers to the acquisition of 33 34 Part One: The Child as Learner completely isolated bits of information that can be recalled, such as the names of the letters and the sounds heard in a word.
Development, on the other hand, is the continuous refinement, elaboration, and transformation of information through active involvement with objects and people over time. Additionally, they develop the ability to hold meaningful conversations with their classmates and to use a variety of different conversational styles. Grady tells his story. The picture helps you remember what Grady does. They have completed all of this without direct instruction, and they use this system to think about their experiences and to interact with other people.
However, they still have much to learn about the variety of ways to use drawing, speaking, and listening to express their ideas and to learn from others. Drawing Drawing is a vital part of Shared Journal. As was mentioned in Chapter 1, it is one of the earlier symbolic forms children acquire and use to make a record of events in their lives for themselves or to share with others Dyson, ; Gallas, The use of drawing as a symbol system that communicates with others helps children begin to understand writing as a symbol system with the same end.
According to Piaget and Inhelder , early on young children begin to understand that drawings correspond to real world events, object, and actions. This insight of a symbol—world relationship helps preschoolers begin to understand portrayals as communicative devices. When children enter school they are able to use some forms of drawing to depict their experiences, emotions, thinking, and some of their actions Malchiodi, Consequently, many children choose to begin their Shared Journal entries by drawing pictures that represent the people and actions of the selected story.
Their pictures usually depict the aspects of the story they deem most significant and represent their understandings of the meaning of the story.
Because students use drawings to represent the important Learning in the Communicative Arts 35 aspects of the story to be remembered, they are then free to concentrate on how to symbolize their stories in print. Their drawings usually begin in an early pictorial stage and advance to use pictures to depict the situation or the characters in the shared story. For example, children begin to devise ways to depict human figures, usually starting with a circle for the head and lines for the arms and legs. At this time, they are able to recognize and name each of the objects they have drawn.
By the end of first grade, baselines begin to appear in their drawings as they differentiate between the sky and the ground. In later grades, children realize that they can change their drawings to represent their feelings by distorting, shrinking, or enlarging certain items in relation to their importance. Over the year, the teacher will continue to see progress resulting from Shared Journal.
As children become more proficient in creating written texts, they begin to use their drawings more as illustrations to support the text rather than as props to help them remember the story. Gradually, children begin to experiment with different ways to illustrate their stories. They use techniques like a balloon to represent speech, frames to represent a sequence of events, and the use of sequenced illustrations throughout the text to focus on specific details of the story. Speaking Although young children have developed a significant ability to talk to others in many different social interactions in their immediate environments, their ability to remember, picture, and think about their experiences is far more developed than their ability to talk to their teachers and not-so-immediate peers about those thoughts and experiences.
As the children are encouraged to put their names on the sharing board and to tell their classmates about their experiences, they begin to learn how to speak to a group of individuals who are not of their immediate environment. By hearing and answering all of the who, what, when, where, why, and how questions, the speaker gradually develops the ability to move from a simple sentence to a more developed narrative account that includes a variety of information that sets the experience in time, place, and person.
For example, this is a transcript of a story told in 36 Part One: The Child as Learner the spring by a kindergarten child who had participated in the process since the beginning of the year.
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I broke my arm on them. I landed on my elbow. I turned my body degrees. The doctor said that I have to have two pins. I got to wear my cast 13 days. Then the doctor is going to take it off and allow me to move it a little bit. I had to have surgery. I took something to make me go to sleep. They had to put me to sleep with a gas mask, I fell asleep before they had me blow up the balloon. The bed in the hospital went up and down with buttons. My room was They had a big room for me so my mama and daddy could stay too! I stayed in the hospital 2 days. My mama and daddy took me there. I got a balloon and a teddy bear from the nurses.
Someone else gets to wear it. In Shared Journal, it is essential that the children are able to hear and understand the storyteller so that they can determine whether they want to choose that story as the one that will best help them remember the day. Therefore, the listeners inform the speaker if they are unable to hear or understand what is being said.
This kind of social interaction helps speakers learn to clearly enunciate what they are saying and to speak at a volume that all can hear.
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These are important speech lessons that are learned out of necessity to the situation rather than through direct instruction. As children begin to focus on the other children as an actual audience, they start to invent clever ways to initiate the story. I got out of bed and looked out the window, but nothing was there. They do not learn these new words because the teacher has taught them, but rather through the social interaction that exists as children participate in meaningful conversations with their classmates. Learning in the Communicative Arts 37 Listening The children who are listening to the story are encouraged to ask questions of the speaker so that they may acquire more information about the experience.
During Shared Journal, children have a reason to listen and ask questions in order to gather the information they need to decide on a story. The children also know they will need to create a version of one of the stories later on, so they are further influenced to learn as much as they can during the telling of the story. Thus, Shared Journal helps listeners learn to focus on the speaker and attend to what the speaker is saying.
It also helps them think of significant questions to ask that will clarify events, add detailed information, and gain a more precise understanding of the experience. Since there are many children listening to one speaker, the listeners become skilled at taking turns when responding to the speaker with a comment or a question.
Additionally, they begin to understand that they have to wait until the speaker asks for questions before they speak. They raise their hands if they have questions and wait until the speaker calls on them to speak. They learn to listen to the questions of others so that they do not repeat the same question. The speaker, rather than the teacher, controls the interactions during this time.
The teacher is always present during this time and may serve as a participant in the discussion. He or she models the same kind of behaviors expected of the children and may, at times, remind others of the rules governing the questioning portion of the process. Participating as listeners in Shared Journal helps children learn to differentiate between questions and comments. Children learn to make comments that are empathetic or that express an interest in the experience being shared.
As listeners, children have daily opportunities to ask questions about the meaningful experiences that others share. Through an informal study, she found that, as children entered the primary and intermediate grades, there was a sharp decrease in their use of curiosity and social-interactional questions and a sharp increase in procedural questions. During Shared Journal, children primarily use the curiosity and social-interactional questions. They use curiosity questions to search out the information they need to better understand a particular concept or to get more details of the story.
Curiosity provides the motivation for learning more about a given topic, and curiosity questions should be a vital part of the curriculum in all grades and content areas. Social-interactional questions are used to initiate, clarify, or maintain relationships with other people. Children use these kinds of questions to build and maintain friendships with others and to attempt to understand the behaviors of others.
Socialinteractional questions are significant in building personal relationships with others. The Secondary Arts The secondary arts are those that follow the development of the primary arts and are usually taught in the early childhood and elementary classrooms. They include reading, writing, imaging, and creating aesthetic artifacts. Young children enter school with some ability to use viewing but little ability to use writing and reading as systematic ways to deliver and receive meaningful messages.
Some have learned how to get meaning from the pictures in books, are able to print the letters of their names, and to reread simple books that have been read to them repeatedly. However, they have much to learn about the variety of ways to use viewing, reading, and writing to express their ideas and to receive ideas from others. Viewing When children sit and listen to one of their classmates recall a sad or an exciting experience, they have the opportunity to view that classmate and to see the kind of impact the experience has had on him or her.
When children talk about sad events, they sometimes sniffle and wipe their eyes, and when they talk about exciting events, they raise their voices and smile. The listening children notice the different emotions exhibited, and they often find it important enough to record in their entries. When children want to read what others have written about their stories, they often flip through the journals and use the pictures to help them locate the page on which their stories are written.
Thus, viewing the pictures helps them locate the stories they want to reread. Additionally, sometimes the children will dramatize selected stories and video- Learning in the Communicative Arts 39 tape the plays. These tapes are stored for viewing in the classroom library and are often used at other times for enjoyment and for gathering additional information. Children learn language through constant interaction with others in their social environments and develop language as they feel a need to use speech to accomplish a specific goal.
Recent research indicates that the same is true of learning to write. When they enter school they begin to learn about the alphabet and how to use letters to write their names. Often, children do not understand the reason why they need to know the letters. Shared Journal gives children a sense of an authentic purpose for writing.
Children should always sense a real purpose for writing, and having others read whatever the child writes is a good way to communicate a purpose. There are many classroom activities that provide significant purposes for writing. One purpose for writing is that it helps us remember. For example, rereading our journals and the journals of others helps us remember events in the lives of our classmates, and project lists and duty lists help us remember things that need to be done. Other authentic purposes for writing include sharing, amusing, informing, documenting, and communicating.
Authentic writing always has an intended reader, even if that reader is unknown or is not present. Sign-in sheets provide a good example of how to demonstrate authentic purposes for writing.
Teachers can use a sign-in sheet that requires all children to write their names, as best they can, when they enter the classroom. This is not the same sheet that adults use to sign them in, and whatever the children put on the sheet is used as their signatures. They then use the sign-in sheet as their attendance record. Shared Journal requires authentic writing that begins when a child decides that he has an experience that he is eager to share.
After sharing the experience with the teacher, he is invited to put his name on the sharing board. This requires writing a signature. Children learn that it is important that others can read their signatures. Many kindergarten children do not know how to write their names and use symbols to represent their interest in sharing. However, it does not take long before all of the children know how to write their names and delight in coming up with interesting signatures. Additionally, they learn how to read the names of all of their classmates. The next instance in Shared Journal that requires authentic writing is when the speaker has completed answering all of the questions related to the story and is ready to put something on the board that will help the children remember the story.
The purpose here is not to write the whole story but to find a short concise way to capture the essence of the story. Here the children are encouraged to use letters to write the main idea of the story. However, the method they use depends on where they are in the development of the symbolic function. Early on, most kindergarten and some first grade children start their entries by drawing pictures to symbolize the story. However, when these students share their entries with the teacher, the teacher should ask them to put some writing with their pictures.
At first, the children may be puzzled about what they are to do but, before long, they begin to put some print below the pictures. This creates an authentic purpose for learning to write. Once children differentiate writing from drawing, they begin to develop an awareness of the relationship between the sounds they make when they say a word and the letters they use to write the word on paper.
They begin to develop the ability to segment some sounds they hear when they say a word and eventually are able to segment all of the sounds in a word. They proceed through a variety of approximate stages in this development and need responses from readers to confirm or reject the hypotheses they hold about how written language works. Children use space to separate the picture and the writing squiggles that name the picture. Marks are becoming more alphabetic in appearance. The larger the thing being represented, the more letters it needs. Writing is related to the number of syllabic segments children hear in the words.
For some children, this is only quantitative, while others use some knowledge of the particular letters that are used to represent that sound. Initial and final consonants are often used as word boundaries. They use initial, medial and final consonants as word boundaries, and use vowels as placeholders. Learning in the Communicative Arts 41 6. Level 1 No knowledge of the nature of written English.
Drawing a picture to represent the word b. Using random strings of letters with no relationship between number of letters and length of word to be written. Writing the word using a minimum quantity of letters two where all words written have approximately the same number of letters.
Level 2 Same as 1c, but with the first letter conventionally correct. Level 3 Still writing the correct initial consonant, but are more advanced in that i they vary the number of letters, using more letters for longer words, and ii they use conventionally correct letters for more than the initial consonants. Additionally, many vowels begin to appear, like the a in hamster.
Level 6 Spelling of words is almost conventional in that no consonants are missing, and most phonemes are represented. Additionally, this research in two different languages supports the universality of the stages children move through as they learn how to use written language. This knowledge helps teachers know that, regardless of what languages the child knows, this method of moving them toward writing is appropriate.
Kindergarten and first-grade teachers help children develop the ability to use letters to write by conferencing with the child as he draws and begins to write. They help the children listen carefully to the sounds in each word they are attempting to put on the paper. They encourage the child to elongate the word, emphasizing each phoneme heard as they attempt to write it.
They ask the child how he might write that sound, or they ask the child how many sounds he hears in the word and write that number of blanks for him to use to write the sounds he heard. Soon, children accept the responsibility of listening to and differentiating the sounds for the words they are writing. These include different kinds of techniques they can use in their stories, such as the use of dialogue, quotes, figurative language, and paraphrasing. As children respond to the questions of their listeners in the development of their oral stories, so too do they develop their written stories by having the teacher and other children respond to the stories they have written.
Linguistically, Shared Journal promotes the use of the transactional voice rather than the expressive voice used in most other journal approaches. Through this voice the children learn to use a number of language constructions that usually do not appear in early expressive writing. These include the use of third person singular and plural, third person pronouns, first person plural forms, and demonstrative pronouns. Teachers conduct conferences with children about their journal entries and raise questions to help them learn more about the compositional aspects of writing.
Thus, the teacher is able to use what the student knows as the instructional starting point to advance her writing ability. The outline offers the teacher suggestions for conferencing with the children regarding the compositional qualities of their writing. Does the writer use cohesive strategies related to genre?
Is it focused, complete, and does it have structure? Learning in the Communicative Arts 43 Does the writer select effective vocabulary? Does the use of language clarify and simplify the content and not draw attention to itself? They learn how to compose interesting stories based on real experiences that others love to read and enjoy.
This is partially due to the fact that they know that the teacher and several of their classmates will read everything they write. Reading In Shared Journal, writing development precedes reading development in terms of the ability to perceive print as a meaningful symbolic representation. However, because the teacher and their classmates read what each child has written each day, children are also learning to enjoy reading what others have written. The children are always eager to see how others have written their stories and to read the many versions of the story they have told.
They are also eager to compare the pictures others have drawn for the story they shared. As children read these stories on a daily basis, they are able to observe the strategies others use in their writings, and they model those strategies in subsequent writings. When children engage with books, their level of interest is in the story rather than in isolated words Clay, Because they read stories in the journals and because they know about the story before they read it, they learn to read the journals in a very short period of time.
Beyond Early Literacy
The reading of the journals motivates the children to read other stories. When children learn to read in this way, they love to read and are highly motivated to learn to read. Teachers use specific strategies to help children read the entries of others during sharing time. They create an atmosphere where children listen to each other during sharing time and where children talk to each other after reading their stories. These strategies include providing a place where children can go to read the stories written by others together. They provide oral language activities that focus on the words, concepts, and sentence patterns children have used in their stories.
Summary Shared Journal provides daily opportunities for children to develop all areas of the communicative arts. The children view all aspects of the communicative arts as purposeful and relevant to their lives. It helps them make sense of and communicate their experiences and the experiences of others. Additionally, it allows them opportunities to view, read, and enjoy the way others recorded the same experiences. Shared Journal provides the ideal quality experience where children engage in and naturally develop their reading and writing. As children prepare for reading and writing, they participate in common behaviors.
Both readers and writers activate prior knowledge about subject matter related to text. Readers set a purpose for reading while writers set a purpose for composing. Readers and writers spark interest and utilize the process of constructing mental images regarding text. Writers give information, share ideas, and seek to convey meaning through text. Readers seek information and ideas and attempt to gain meaning from text. Active engagement in writing provides cognitive support for the skill of reading and enhances reading development.
When young children have the opportunity to write, they learn to read with greater ease. This chapter will document the ways that writing, in the context of Shared Journal, facilitates active participation and growth in each of these areas as well as other areas that are central to the process of becoming a skilled reader. In this chapter, reading coach Allyson Martin details how Shared Journal promotes literacy development in children. Researchers seem to agree on the importance of phonemic awareness for reading development. Most research has documented a positive relationship between phonemic awareness and progress in reading Goswami, This finding about reading difficulties has been significant in changing how we approach the teaching of reading.
Teachers who understand the importance of phonemic awareness to reading development seek to implement classroom practices that foster development in this area. Shared Journal provides an invaluable instructional strategy for meeting this need. The focus of writing in Shared Journal is to record the story so that it can be remembered and revisited. This creates an authentic purpose for writing and a natural avenue for the development of phonemic awareness.
During the writing phase of the Shared Journal process, children use their knowledge of our system of writing, as well as their knowledge of the relationship between spoken and written language, as they analyze their own speech in an effort to record the story in written form. As children analyze their own speech, they become better able to differentiate phonemes. When observing children in the act of writing, you can hear the process occurring as they repeat words they are attempting to write in an effort to stretch the sounds of the word and record them accurately.
As children read their stories to peers and the teacher, they receive feedback that may confirm or challenge their thinking about their representations of spoken language. Journal conferencing offers the teacher an opportunity to analyze speech sounds in order to facilitate the development of phonemic awareness.
The teacher may ask a student to say a word slowly, stretching the sounds in the word in an effort to have the child record sounds that are missing from their writing. The teacher may also use Shared Journal entries as a data source for planning individual or small group instruction to enhance phonemic awareness.
For example, as the teacher observes in the journal writing that several children are having difficulty with hearing and representing final consonant sounds in words, small group mini-lessons can be planned that focus on this particular skill. See Chapter Phonics Research has shown that knowledge of letters, spelling patterns, and words, as well as their phonological uses, are necessary for reading acquisition.
Therefore, good phonics instruction needs to include strategies that help children develop awareness of spellings and their relations to pronunciations Adams, It highlights letter forms, letter sequences, letter clusters, and their relationship to letter sounds. Teachers can utilize writing in Shared Journal to facilitate understanding of the alphabetic system. Children are encouraged to use environmental print, books, etc. Teachers may also have alphabet sheets in the journal that depict the letters of the alphabet with a picture that begins with each letter.
The use of developmental spelling during the writing process leads to better word recognition and better spelling ability. As children listen to the story shared orally, record the story in written form, and then read the story to the teacher and their peers, they have explicit evidence that the process of encoding speech can be reversed as they decode the words they have written.
Daily engagement in this process helps children to recognize the connection between speaking and listening and writing and reading. The writing again becomes a data source for planning individual or small group phonics instruction. As children read and reread their stories to peers and to the teacher, they practice skills in decoding what they have written.
Participating in Shared Journal allows for meaningful practice and application of phonics skills for real purposes and audiences. In Shared Journal, children are able to recognize phonetic word features that are similar, as they naturally occur in authentic text. When children consistently demonstrate the conventional spellings for some common, regularly occurring words such as the, and, etc.
The writing and utilization of these words in the journal story aids in the development of a sight vocabulary which is necessary for fluent reading. Oral Language and Vocabulary Oral language development is significant in the development of reading. Conversations are beneficial to children when they talk about familiar things, because this gives them meaningful opportunities to experiment with ways of expressing themselves Clay, Shared Journal provides children with daily opportunities to engage in oral communication of their ideas to others. As children share their stories with others and ask questions to clarify ideas, the system of language comes alive and develops as learners build meaning.
The interaction between storyteller and audience continues through the writing process and the social interactions that occur during the writing of the journal story.