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How To Use a Kindergarten Journal

Do you know that I have a master’s degree in teaching and curriculum? I do.

The focus of my studies was on teaching writing.Ideas for writing in a kindergarten journal for homeschool or the classroom - including fun activities for learning to read and write including drawing pictures to illustrate stories and thoughts. Written by a certified writing specialist teacher with a master's degree.

Despite our initial troubles with the kindergarten journal, I know a thing or two about teaching someone to write.

How We Use Grace’s Kindergarten Journal

Each school day, we write the date in Grace’s journal. I let her choose whether she’d like to write the date or I should.

After the date, she has to write one sentence. We just started kindergarten in January, so one sentence is appropriate right now. We’ll increase the length as her skills and confidence increase.

Because she’s just learning the writing process, I help her to sound out the words she’d like to write. I say, “Happy starts with huh. What letter is that?” She considers each sound and writes the corresponding letter. I tell her about silent e’s and unfamiliar combinations, like ph, th, and sh.

I’m also using this time to teach her conventions of writing – when to use a capital and lowercase letters, basic punctuation, letter and word spacing, and keeping the words in roughly the same vertical space.

After she writes a sentence (or two), I encourage Grace to draw a picture to go along with her sentence. We have a variety of art supplies available, including crayons, markers, colored pencils, and oil pastels.

Addressing errors with a very young writer

I don’t correct errors as Grace writes. I want her to learn the process of writing without obsessing over letters and punctuation. Recording thoughts on paper is a learned skill, and thoughts are more important than mechanics at this stage.

Once she’s finished writing, we’ll look at the errors. It’s important to have a focus in mind; right now, mine is writing the letters correctly.

I read the sentence back to her and point out any letters that are backwards or formed incorrectly. I will also point out words that are sounded out incorrectly, but that’s it. I don’t point out any other errors.


© 2012 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

4 thoughts on “How To Use a Kindergarten Journal”

  1. Here from UBP. I have a kindergartener, so I was excited to see this post! I’m a new follower!

  2. This is Julie, visiting from UBP2012. You sound like you’re doing a fine job with your teaching moments. Keep up the good work. You can visit me at my site, I create Purty Thangs. Hope to see you there!

  3. We do the same thing. I don’t have any degree in anything, so glad to see someone else who does have some kind of training doing something I thought of myself. Makes me feel like I must be doing something right. Though I do have a perfectionist who hates to spell any word wrong, he doesn’t want to mess up his journal. Groan. Some days he is great tries to spellany word, others every word is a struggle and he fusses over every sound. I saw another blog talking about making writing fun, I’m going to write letters to im, sneak them into the mail box, he won’t be able to help h imself and try to sneak ones back to me…I’m hoping.

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