Supporting Diverse Voices in Young Children’s Texts: Writing as a Space for Children to Play at Naughty and Nice
This paper argues that facilitating our students to write with voice is the central task in writing instruction. Data for the paper comes from a teacher research study I undertook within my own classroom. I demonstrate that written voice is salient to young children and describe why teachers should support a diversity of voices in children’s dictations and early writing. Examples illustrate how children work in playful and complex ways with qualities of written voice. In contrast, there is discussion of how some children struggle. Suggestions for how teachers might organize a classroom to promote strength and diversity in young voices conclude the paper.
BARBARA HENDERSON is Assistant Professor of Elementary Education at San Francisco State University.
Lessons Learned:A Cross-Cultural Study of Teaching
SANA M. SERRANO
Alternative methods of teaching that improve instruction can be gained from cross-cultural information about theory, content, and pedagogy. I was part of an elementary school group that studied Japanese teachers’ method of teaching mathematics. This article describes what we learned about an alternative method of instruction, which we viewed on video tape. Included are exerpts from a second grade mathematics lesson.
SANA M. SERRANO is Assistant Professor of Elementary Education at California State University, Northridge
Last Class Notes
LILLIAN G. KATZ
During my 31 years at the University of Illinois, I taught a graduate course titled Early Childhood Curriculum Trends and Issues. The students, all of whoma were in Master’s degree programs, worked with preschool, kindergarten, and early primary school children. The course topics included studies of various curricula, approaches in the field, and examination of research comparing various curricula. The course also included discussion of the role of play in all aspects of development, the distinctions between parenting and teaching, and the role of teachers in the development of young children’s social competence.
LILLIAN G. KATZ is Professor Emerita of Early Childhood Education, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and Director, ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, University of Illinois.
Shared Enactment: A Meaning-Oriented, Socially Interactive, Skill-Based Approach to Literacy
The purpose of this article is to relate an activity called Shared Enactment which promotes individual narrative/literacy activities, story comprehension, and social skills and develops metacognition in children through its precursor, metaplay. The activity is meaning-oriented and socially interactivea providing a playful context as it teaches specific literacy skills: strategies that the research and literature have shown to promote optimal learning in young children. Shared Enactment involves dictation of stories generated by the children with the child/author serving as the director. One question guided the implementation of this practice: Can students be taught specific skills advocated in a standards-based curriculum and still engage in meaning-oriented, interactive activities which are essential to optimum learning! The practice is described and examples of children’s dictated stories, their enactments, and teacher’s scaffolding techniques are shared.
JANET WALLACE is a teacher in San Juan Unified School District and a graduate student in Early Childhood Education at California State University, Sacramento