Piaget’s Symbolic Function and the Foundation of Reading
JEANETTE McCARTHY GALLAGHER
This is the first in a series of articles providing suggestions for communication with parents on the foundation of reading. Kindergarten teachers know the importance of such activities as pretend play and the development of imagery. Parents are often more concerned about activities commonly associated with reading (learning the alphabet and phonics). Piaget’s developmental epistemology, specifically his symbolic function are presented as a framework. Aspects of the symbolic function such as language, pretend play, imagery and drawing are placed on equal footing relative to the foundation of reading.
JEANETTE McCARTHY GALLAGHER is Senior Professor, Temple University, and Adjunct Professor of Educational Psychology, Lehigh University.
Drawing to Write: The Role of Drawing in the Writing Processes of Kindergarten and Primary Grade Children
CATHERINE C. DuCHARME
Qualitative research design formed the methodology of this study that examined the role of drawing in the writing processes of children ages five to nine. This study attempted to answer the following questions: What role does drawing play in the writing processes of young children? How does the role of drawing change with the individual’s growth as a writer?
Sixty-seven children enrolled in a multiage classroom (K-3) were systematically observed to identify and describe various drawing functions in their writing processes. The role of drawing was found to be important in writing development; three major functions and nine specific functions were identified and described. The data revealed patterns in the way the role of drawing changed with individual growth. Implications for early childhood educational programs were discussed, including the importance of preserving learning environments that are broad-based and that allow for self-selection of drawing and writing activities in order to facilitate growth.
CATHERINE C. DuCHARME is Director, Graduate Programs in Early Childhood Education, California State University, Long Beach. Correpondence should be sent to her at the College of Education, California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840-2201
Developing Conventional Spelling: Temporary Spelling and the Transition Point
ADRIENNE L. HERRELL
The article explains the place of temporary (invented) spelling in the sequence through which children become conventional spellers. Temporary spelling contributes to auditory sequencing, which is a necessary factor in becoming a good speller. The other necessary factor is a visual memory. Activities to develop these factors are pressented. How to recognize when a child has reached the transition point is explained, along with procedures for a transition point conference between teacher and child and suggestions for managing an individual spelling transition program. Activities to support sound/symbol connections are suggested for children who are still working on temporary spelling.
ADRIENNE L. HERRELL is Associate Professor and Coordinator of Early Childhood Education at California State University, Fresno.
Zoology in the Early Childhood Curriculum
This article details the progress of a zoology program in a Montessori class of 20 children, 3 to 6 years of age. The teacher’s diary begins with planning in July and continues through the first two months of school. Described are content and learning experiences about vertebrates and invertebrates. Guiding the program are theoretical principles regarding instruction and learning.
SAUNDRA PLETT is Director of The Children’s Place, Fresno, CA. Correspondence should be sent to her at 5094 E. Tulare Avenue, Fresno, CA 93727