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How can different forms of emergent writing be integrated into various dramatic play activities in my pre-kindergarten classroom?. Inquiry by Shante Brown-Merced June 2 nd , 2012. Background :. 18 pre-kindergarten students, 9 boys, 9 girls Majority of students are 4 years of age

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slide1

How can different forms of emergent writing be integrated into various dramatic play activities in my pre-kindergarten classroom?

Inquiry by

Shante Brown-Merced

June 2nd, 2012

background
Background:
  • 18 pre-kindergarten students, 9 boys, 9 girls
  • Majority of students are 4 years of age
  • African American and Hispanic population
  • Socioeconomic status of families in neighborhood is very low
  • Students reside in various household situations (single parent households, one parent in jail or not around, extended families)
how did i begin my research
How did I begin my research?
  • I asked myself “how can I make a connection between play and writing for my students”?
  • I decided to use three types of play that we do in my classroom
  • Free play (what children naturally do on their own without any prompting from me)
  • Story play (using the books we read and acting out the story)
  • Theme based play (encouraging the children to use the materials and ideas surrounded around themes I teach)
the research says
The Research Says

play allows teachers to respond to children’s ideas, to help them elaborate on their thinking, and to help them see the world of literacy through many lenses.

-Gretchen Owocki, Literacy through Play

[Children] need to see stuff, then they can think about it

-Alison Porcelli, Workshop Help Desk: A Quick Guide to Boosting English Acquisition in Choice Time

slide5

Writing creates a template for talk. Retelling, answering questions about their [written texts], sequencing, topic maintenance, extending conversation, and vocabulary development are all key language goals for young children; and each of them can be supported during thoughtful conversations about their writing between teachers and children.

-Katie Wood Ray and matt glover, Already Ready: nurturing writers in Preschool and Kindergarten

what does writing look like in pre kindergarten
What does writing look like in pre-kindergarten?
  • In pre-k, I teach kids to write using pictures (drawing/sketching)
  • I teach kids to write by talking about their pictures (dictation)
  • I teach kids to write using letters and sounds they are learning (writing using beginning sounds)
what did i do
What did I do?
  • I observed my students during center time
  • I encouraged my students to use writing materials when they were in centers
  • I used writing materials to model what writing can look like during center time
  • I played with my students during center time
  • I used the common core learning standards and curriculum maps to align some of my centers with our themes
free play
Free Play

Birthday cards made by a student in the play dough center to accompany the cake she made.

slide10

Two students work with blocks to create their own structures. With some encouragement, they were able to bring their hands on work to life on paper.

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After a discussion with a student about how he likes to go to McDonalds with his mother, the student created his own happy meals in the lego center. Afterwards, he wrote about his work.

theme based play
Theme-based Play

One student used blocks to recreate the sky scrapers he made on his blueprint.

slide13

An airplane created in one of the manipulative centers during a transportation study. Alongside is the writing that was created with the model.

slide14

This is a “super car” created by a student. First he used legos to build it, then he was able to use his emergent writing skills to create a replica on paper.

story based play
Story-based play

During a theme study of the three bears, students created character masks to use as props in the dramatic play center.

slide16

students recreated the foods that the caterpillar ate in Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar during our butterfly study, They labeled using their initial sounds.

i noticed
I noticed…
  • Students were engaged in writing about their play

(making a model then drawing it)

  • Students had some difficulty planning their play

(illustrating a model then making it)

  • Students became more excited about writing during center time, particularly when it was encouraged
  • Though students were able to write with some prompting, they usually did not write in the centers with complete independence
  • The writing center has become more popular during center time. The children draw, color and cut props and pictures.
challenges limitations
Challenges/Limitations
  • Student attendance
  • Student discussion of role distribution during story-based play
  • Student independence
  • Lack of resources
  • My own inconsistency to continue to encourage writing in the centers
  • Writing materials were limited to the writing center; this made it difficult for students in other centers to utilize it more frequently
next steps
Next steps:
  • Start thinking about next year: create plans for my dramatic play centers over the summer
  • Encourage more story play
  • Create a system to switch between free play, story play and theme based play
  • Plan out how I will “teach” each center
  • Incorporate more opportunities for writing in each center starting in the beginning of the school year
  • Make writing supplies accessible to students within each center