Monday, June 9, 2008

Digital Photos and Oral Langauge Samples

I really like having digital photos of students engaged in classroom activites, field trips, or special events.

The digital camera is such a useful piece of technology because we can click away hoping to capture that one moment and not worry about wasting film.

I am very fortunate at my school because we have quite a few digital cameras available for teacher use and a number of color printers that can be used to print photos. We take tons of photos and use them to promote authentic, familiar language building experiences.

We start with photos of students playing or working in classroom tasks. At cirlce time or in small groups my assistant and I model how to talk about the picture. For some groups we work on labeling the objects or people in the picture. The next step is to use a 2-3 word phrase to tell about the picture and the action in the picture (i.e. Susie painting.) We then work to increase the descriptive words and build upon the sequence of the activity.

Our goal is to show students an array of 2-3 pictures, let the child choose one to talk about and record a language sample such as this (although it may be grammatically incorrect) : "I playing water table. I getting the crab a new home. Him like his new home because him it's big for him and him safe there."

The child who told us this story demonstrates his ability to label familiar objects and to use verbs with the "ing " ending. He also demonstrates that he understands the science concept that the crab moves to a new home because it outgrew the old one and for protection. His language sample further shows that we need to continue to work on proper pronoun usage and grammatically using helping verbs such as "am".

Digital photos act as a writing prompt or an idea prompt for young children. They spark many great conversations and opportunities to see what students have learned.

1 comment:

Mrs.V said...

Wonderful idea! We're hoping to get a new digital camera this fall. (Our other one was stolen...)