Using Digital Storytelling to Help First-Grade Students' Adjustment to School

 

When coming to school for the first time, children might face a number of adjustment problems. The study presents the results of a project which used digital storytelling for helping first-grade primary school students during this transitional period. It was examined whether, through the development of the digital stories, students could understand how the school functions and whether this process helped them to change their attitudes and behaviors, thus achieving a smoother adaptation to the school environment. Students’ active participation and behavioral modeling to enhance positive behaviors provided the theoretical basis. Due to the students' young age, their teachers functioned as their "hands", executing their instructions when developing the stories. At the same time, however, they indirectly guided them to certain key-points that had to be highlighted, without openly lecturing them. Observations and interviews with the classes' teachers and with the students that presented significant adaptation problems were used for data collection purposes. The results are considered satisfactory. Adaptation issues ceased to pose a significant problem and the overall classes' climate was improved. Finally, due to the project's short duration, it can be applied relatively easily, without altering the school’s timetable.