Kinder Journaling This Week

Hiya there peepers
Shuna here
If you have been reading my blog for any length of time you know that I loathe teaching writing. 
It is a subject that absolutely bores me to pieces!!!
I have promised myself that I am going to spice up my writing instruction so that my students will
 learn to love writing even if I don’t. 
In for the past 4 years I have struggled to teach writing. It is hard for me to try to create interesting

writing lessons when I don’t particularly enjoy writing myself. Even though I loathe writing 3 out of

the 4 years I had really strong writers leaving kinder but last year my littles MAJORLY

STRUGGLED through writing.

I am determined for my students to love writing and be able to write for a extended period. One of 
the ways that I plan to do this along with my writing instruction is through my journal station.

You can read more of how I do my journal station HERE 
To begin the students pretty much worked on copying a sentence to match a picture. 
One of the first skills the littles need to master on their way to successful writing is being able to 
copy what they see. After the kiddos learned to copy they then began to write stem sentences. 
This week we are still working on stem sentences but the littles has a little more freedom in what 
they want their sentences to say. 
Here is a look at our Journaling in K Week 4 
The first thing when we get a new journal prompt is to model what I want them to do and how 
their journal should look.
I then hang the model in the kiddos station so that they can refer back to it. Usually when I model I
pick a different thing to write about than the students. I don’t want my students to just sit and copy 
my model so the picture that I use is not one of the students options when doing their journals but 
it still falls within the theme that they will write about. 
After I explain the journal it goes in their center for them to work on. 
The students complete their journals in one rotation 
{If they don’t finish they work on it in their free time}
Here is a look at one of the littles journal

Since the kiddos are growing the writing skills the journals have gotten a tad harder this week.

I placed a small pocket chart in the journal station and each student built their own stem sentence

using the word cards. This student chose to build his sentence using the word corn.

The kiddos then labeled their picture using the word card for support.

After they label the picture the next step is to glue down and fill in the sentence.

The final step is to have the little build the sentence then write it on their own.

So far I am loving how focused and on task the journal station is this year!

The littles are becoming such great writers

I would love to know your thoughts if you have use the Journaling in K during your centers! 
Do you have any suggestions for topics you would like to see?

{Other Journaling in K freebies can be found HERE}

You can get Journal in K Week 4 HERE as a FB fan FREEBIE!

*** Edited to add***

I have  received several nasty emails and comments about how I do my journals

* For clarity I use the journals during my centers. I do do Writer’s Workshop with my littles during

whole group. I created this FREEBIE as a way to give my journal station purpose! If it works for

you great if not then that is fine too. This works in my classroom and I shared for FREE here in

the hopes that it will help other teachers. Yes, journaling should have a degree of free writing but I

want my students to write with  purpose and improve their writing skills. In order to be successful

writers students need to go through a writing process which is what the journals are for.

At this point my students are not ready for free writing but they will have an opportunity to free

write in the future when they are better prepared! As the year progresses they will have more

opportunities and freedom to write more and more but at this point I am going to take baby steps

and make sure they have the foundation that they need to write successfully.

Happy Teaching

Peace Out Peeps

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10 Replies to “Kinder Journaling This Week”

  1. Shuna — Your post made me very sad as my Ks adore writing and I want your's to, too! As soon as we moved away from journals and into a formal writing curriculum with a proper Writer's Workshop, the change was amazing! All of my students — high and low — see themselves as writers of books! I've used the Lucy Calkins "Units of Study" curriculum ( http://www.unitsofstudy.com/writing-grade-by-grade/ ) now for many years. It was recently reissued for specific grade levels, as opposed to K-2, so it is even better. I also cannot recommend highly enough Matt Glover's Books, Already Ready and Engaging Young Authors ( http://www.heinemann.com/authors/3188.aspx ) . Matt has amazing ideas specifically about encouraging PreK and K writers. He's also collaborated with the awesome Katie Wood Ray, another favorite writing mentor for many of us — http://www.heinemann.com/authors/1636.aspx . I really do hope you'll explore these resources, and I promise you and your students will see things much differently, and will learn to love writing. Good luck!

    1. Ha, I don't think anything will ever get me to like writing. My kiddos by the end of the year are great writers, with the exception of last year, it is just a like pulling teeth to do it. BTW we do do writer's workshop but in centers they practice writing in their journals

  2. Using sentence stems is a fabulous idea for centers. This is a praised activity in my school because it teaches sentence syntax, a skill my ELLs and students in poverty need. I appreciate this option.

  3. I struggle with teaching writing too. And it's partly because my kids come in NOT knowing letter sounds which I spend a majority of the time focusing on. I'm saddened that you've received nasty emails regarding your journals. You are an amazing teacher!! I love your activities and the TONS of freebies you share! Dust it off your shoulder and keep doing your thang! 😉

  4. I love your journal idea!!!! My kids are struggling too and are afraid to write. I think that your idea gives them the opportunity to be successful and gain the courage to try free writing later. Thank you for the freebies I am starting them on Monday! 🙂
    Andrea

  5. Shuna, I love the scaffolding you have provided in teaching writing. I have long been an advocate of Kid Writing (Feldgus/Cardonick) and Writing in Kindergarten (Bergen). There is no be all end all method, but what seems to be consistent in getting littles off to a good start is providing an example of how writing may look when we use our first words and new words we sound out. At the beginning I like Bergen's method of names, illustrations, labeling, but soon switch to our own writing. Proving familiar word phrases lets kids see how writing looks. I think you have a fabulous journaling practice! Keep up the good work. 🙂

  6. Thank you for the idea. I know, my class is also in the "baby steps" face. I prefer to give them something like this than for them to have no direction. The mini lessons are great in a WW, however, for individual practice and in a center, this kind of guided practice is what I am looking for. Thanks for sharing

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