How to use journals:
Journals can be fun and
education to teacher/parents and preschoolers. They give a preschooler
a way to express their feeling and creativity even though they don't
know how to write yet. Drawing can be a powerful tool for your
What to do:
Print a journal
that either goes with your lesson or interests your preschool. Read
the caption to your preschooler. Supply your preschooler with
crayons, pencils, markers etc... The skies the limit. Let them draw
and interpret what to draw. It is important to not tell the child
what to draw, how to draw, what colors to use, etc... A journal
should be their own work. Be sure not only to offer pages with a
caption, but some blank pages too. When the child is done with a
picture; put the date on the back. Never deface the child's picture.
How to put a
are several ways you can put a journal together. I use cheap 3 ring
binders for my class. I include blank paper in the journal. And when
I am ready to journals as a classroom lesson, I make copies of it
and put it in the front of each child binder. Children know they are
able to use their journals during free play, etc... That is why I
have included blank paper. I have each child's names on the front of
their journal. I keep them on a shelf that the children can reach.
can also just punch holes in the paper you are going to use in each
child's journal, and use binder rings to put the book together. When
you are ready to add a new journal page, just open the rings and add
Another possibility is
to just keep the journal papers in a folder and at the end of the
year staple them together.
There are several
different types of binders out there that you can get inexpensively.
I have used the paper report covers too. They work great and are
about $.10 each.
Journals are a very private thing. Do not show a child's journal to
the class. A child should know that this is their book and that you
will not share their pictures with their friends. Now don't tell
them no one else will ever see their journal, because that might not
be true. I personally use journals to watch and make note of a
child's progress. With older preschoolers occasionally you might run
into a situation where there is a disturbing picture that will have
to be discussed with a director and/or a parent. So don't make a
promise you can't keep.
You can have the
children work on their journals all year long. At the end of the
year (after you have used them for evaluation proposes... if you
choose to.) just send their journals home with them. It is a great
keepsake for parents too!
teachers of young preschoolers:
Don't worry about
"product" with journals. If your young or even older
preschooler chooses to scribble, so be it. It is the process and the
thinking, and creativity that matters here.
Most of all:
Most of all, journaling
should be fun! We will be adding new journal captions on a regular
Preschool Education/ Ask The Preschool Teacher/ Preschool Coloring