As I was putting together my post for last week's preschool activities, I realized that I haven't shared Ellie's journal with y'all. It is nothing fancy - just a composition notebook that I decorated with her name. I glued some cardstock to the front and then applied Mod Podge to the entire cover (a couple coats, drying in between).
Most all educators and early childhood specialists agree that the most important teaching tool for children is reading. We can do pre-writing practice and learn about numbers but it is critical that we read, read, read! Ellie loves to be read to and to keep it exciting, I look for books at the library that I think she will enjoy and circulate them into our reading schedule with some of our "regulars" like Where, Oh Where is Huggle Buggle Bear? and Corre Perro, Corre!
Journaling is a great way to expand on reading and introduce toddlers to writing. One of the first books we read after I introduced Ellie's journal was Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar. After reading the story, I had Ellie draw something she remembered from the story. I try to date each entry and put the book or theme that corresponds with her picture.
Since beginning the journal, Ellie has learned how to write most of her letters. We will start incorporating some letter practice in here too but, obviously, a journal can be adapted to any age.