Journal Time with Experience Curriculum
I love journal time with my preschoolers. My students always have the best imaginations and great stories to tell, and journal time allows them the creative freedom to illustrate and tell a story. During this time they get to draw whatever they want. Sometimes I give them stickers to add to their pictures, or different materials to use, and after they have finished their drawings I sit with them one-on-one as they tell me about what they drew. I write down what they tell me, and by explaining their drawings they are making connections between print and speech. At the beginning of the year I give every child a notebook and they work in them throughout the year, sometimes going through more than one notebook!
Writing practice in preschool really is a lot of fine motor practice. Believe it or not, we are working on early writing skills by stringing beads, making art work, putting puzzles together, and building with blocks. Anytime we are working on fine motor skills we are strengthening our early writing skills. Journals help further develop emergent writing skills.
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Besides the journals that I give the children, they get a My Little Journal each month with Experience Curriculum. During this time we focus on how to hold our pencil and work on gaining control over it. This journal is filled with pages relating to our monthly theme and what we are focusing on such as the numbers and letters of the month, the color, and the shape. Inside the cover there are prompts with ideas that they can do to complete the pages. These journals are great for practicing those early literacy skills and reviewing the focus topics.
The activities in these journals are fun and my goal is to provide them with fun learning opportunities rather than overwhelm them. I also take these at their pace. Some days we may get through most of the journal, while other days we may only get one or two pages done.
One of the things I love about this preschool curriculum is how easy it is to adapt to your classroom. There are so many ways you can spin the lessons. I love creating lesson plans and bringing in ideas that correlate to what we are learning from our Experience Preschool curriculum.
This month our topic is Ice Castle and it has been so fun! This week we have been focusing on the Alpine Tundra. We have made mountain sunsets, painted with and explored pinecones, worked in our journals, planted a forest in some playdoh and recreated Van Gogh's painting called Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun (and these are just a few of the things we have done this week). During these activities they are working on so many different skills all while building self-confidence!
Stay tuned for next week, when we start learning about Tundra Animals.