Thesis

Kindergarten journal writing: how does daily journal writing impact reading and writing in a kindergarten classroom?

fu this study, significant progress in student reading and writing was observed when the teaching method was changed from a "letter of the week" program to a journal writing approach. The students in the study belonged to a half-day kindergarten program. Students were assessed on their letter-sound understanding along with their reading levels at the beginning and the end of the study. By the end of the study, which lasted ten months, 9 of the 20 kindergarten students were reading at the first grade level. Their writing demonstrated an understanding of the letter-sound connection, the concept of word boundaries and some vowel patterns and digraphs. Most importantly, the students developed a high level of understanding of the process of writing. The traditional method of teaching a "letter of the week" generally includes extensive whole-group instruction and intensive drill and practice on isolated skills for groups of students. I believe that these practices are not particularly effective for young children. My study is based on the premise that young children need to be engaged in experiences that make academic content more meaningful and build on prior learning. The journal writing program-used in the study incorporated teacher modeling, peer scaffolding, verbalization, writing using developmental spelling and re-reading. The study shows that daily journal writing allowed students to work at their own level without being divided into ability groups. This teaching learning/technique became a time of community, collaboration and creativity.

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