Imagery and Drawing: Piaget’s Symbolic Function and the Foundation of Reading (Part 4)
JEANETTE McCARTHY GALLAGHER
This is the fourth article in a series on Piaget’s symbolic function (oral, written and printed language, imagery, drawing, and pretend play) as the foundation of reading. Emphasis is placed upon the child’s construction of mental images that become means of internally representing the world. These images in turn provide background for drawings and the understanding of stories. Children in kindergarten start to represent “stories” by their pictures in which they incorporate persons, actions and surrounding objects. If children are still scribbling (drawing in a non-representational manner), suggestions are given to move these children to the representational level. By telling and retelling a story, dramatizing and listing characters from it, children build a rich base of images which may be used to draw and to label various scenes from the story.
JEANETTE McCARTHY GALLAGHER (Senior Professor, Temple University; Adjunct Professor of Educational Phchology, Lehigh University) provides workshops and lectures on Piaget’s theory as it applies to education. Correspondences should be sent to her at 30 Golfview Road, Doylestown, PA 18901.
The Role of Choice in the Literacy Development of Young Children
DANIEL R. MEIER
This article presents a theoretical framework for viewing the role of student choice in the literacy development of young children. Grounded in notions of language and literacy learning as intimately connected with children’s social and cultural resources, the article discusses ways that teachers and educators can create opportunities for children’s choice-making in early childhood and kindergarten settings. The author uses vignettes and examples from a kindergarten classroom to illustrate the ways that choice can become a central foundation for the literacy education of young children.
DANIEL R. MEIER is Assistant Profesor of Elementary Education at San Franciosco State University.
Kindergarten Policies: Another Look at the Research
DIANA WRIGHT GUERIN, JULIE C. SANDWELL, and LISA THADDEUS LOVIL
Recent research on five kindergarten policy issues, the “birthdate effect,” entrance age policies, the practice of voluntarily delaying kindergarten for age-eligible children, early grade repetition, and readiness testing, is reviewed, using as a starting point the research synthesis published by Shepard and Smith (1986). Specific isues are addressed. Recent research supports and extends the conclusions of Shepard and Smith. Two suggestions to improve the preparedness of children for kindergarten are endorsed: quality preschool/public education at age 3 and effective communication between schools and parents.
DIANA WRIGHT GUERIN is Professor of Child and Adolescent Studies, California State University, Fullerton, CA. JULIE C. SANDWELL and LISA THADDEUS LOVIL are graduate students in the Master of Arts Psychology program at California State University, Fullerton, CA.
Literacy Workshop: A Process that Empowers Children to Read and Write in Kindergarten
DEBORAH HOLZNECHT MENG
The purpose of this article is to share a process called literacy workshops that includes reading, writing, publishing, and author’s chair. The process was successfullly implemented in a kindergarten classroom and evolved in response to the Reading Program Advisory recommendations for improving literacy instruction. The process includes explicit teacher directed skill instruction, child directed learning, and activities and strategies used in literature-based integrated language arts instruciton. The questions that guided the implementation were: How can I provide more explicit direct instruction in phonemic awareness, concepts about print, and phonics? Can I deliver this skill-based explicit direct instruction and still incorporate the best practices for kindergarten? The related research, theories, and methods are reviewed. The curriculum activities are described and samples are shared. The writing development of the children is clearly illustrated.
DEBORAH HOLZNECHT MENG is a kindergarten teacher in the Elk Grove Unified School District, Elk Grove, CA and a lecturer in Teacher Education, California State University, Sacramento. Correspondence should be sent to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.