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    By L.P.

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    We usually do our journals together with me writing on the board. I set up their journals with a "smiley face" and two lines. They start writing at the smiley. I draw a smiley on the board and two lines, then tell them what words we are going to write. I sound out the words to them and they tell me the letters to write, then they copy it. (Once they know their letters better, I will have them write it on their own)After we're done writing, we do directed drawing, usually with geometric shapes. When they've finished the drawing to go with the words, they can add anything they want to the picture. Once a week we have "their choice" drawing and I tell them that they must do some writing on the page even if it is only their name. I help sound out words or spell if asked. I subbed in a kindergarten class where the teacher would write the words for them on slips of paper and was still doing it at the end of the year! She left instructions for me to have them sound it out and then write it but they were so dependant on those slips of paper that they were clueless.

    Another teacher whose classroom I worked in as an assistant, had a picture clue/phonetic chart stapled in their journals. It was my job every morning to help them sound out the words (but not write it for them) while she did individual reading with the students. I would sit at a table with them and sound out their words and they would write the letters, using the chart if they needed it. It was very intense and hectic. This was towards the end of the year though when I started working with her. I am not sure what she did at the start of the year when the students didn't know as much.

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