A Journal of My Own!
Here at Marvelously Made we do a million things to build literacy skills with the children. We understand that the most important thing we can do for young children to build literacy is to READ to them everyday. We read during Gathering Time, and we sprinkle books throughout the classrooms for the children to read themselves, we read to them outside and inside, we read to them the stories they have told us, we read and read and read!
Nurturing young children to become “readers” is really not about the names of letters and the sounds they make; it is about learning language. It is about playing with words and sounds. It is about hearing stories and finger plays and poems and songs. It’s about recalling what you have read and predicting what will happen next. Young children become readers when they are read to. And young children learn to love the power and importance of the written word when their own words, stories, and writings are valued.
Because we believe in the value of the child’s work, we wanted them to have a special place where they could write and draw. A place that is all their own. A place that is important and attractive. So this week we presented each of the children with their own journal.
As the children arrived at school, they found a box on one of the tables. A gift for them, with a note that read, “Do Not Open!”. Throughout morning play time the children wondered about the beautiful package on the table.
Here are some of their ideas about this special box:
– “I think it is cupcakes.”
– “Who is that for? What is it?”
– “I think it is a rocking horse.”
– “It says, “Do Not Open”; not yet.”
– “Maybe it’s a mommy!”
– “I think it is a unicorn pillow.”
– “Maybe it is a butterfly.”
– “What’s that present for?”
– “How do we open it?”
At Gathering Time, we talked to the children about the box and explained that inside there was a very special gift for each of them. Then together we unwrapped the box to discover the journals inside.
We explained that a journal is a special place to write stories, record your ideas and thoughts, draw pictures and keep things that are important to you. We showed the children that they each had their very own journal in the box and that they will stay at school for them to add to anytime they wish.