At the beginning of the school year, I ask each parent to provide a composition book for their child. I label the covers with their names and photos.
I keep their journals in a basket that sits on a shelf in our reading corner all year. When we rotate our small groups each day, one group sits at the journaling table. However, the journals are available for the 3's to use at any time. They are quite proud of their books and take good care of them.
I introduced their journals by drawing a circle on one of the pages and providing markers. They could do whatever they wanted with it.
Then, I provided circle stickers. Some placed them in a circle shape, others placed them inside the circle. I added some other shapes, too, such as a gingerbread person when the 3's were very into The Gingerbread Boy book.
Then, some dictated what their picture was about.
And they started trying to mimic my writing.
I vary the writing tools. I have added stencils, letter stamps, stickers, and textured items for rubbings.
Often, when the children finish other small groups, they ask if they can move to the journal table. They are so focused, adding their own pages. Even the ones who might not normally enjoy focusing on fine motor activities love their journals. This is a great start to future journal writing!
Many of you have asked what notebooks we use for our journals. We use Mead Composition Notebooks. I love the size!