A Look at Literacy in Early Childhood

February 11, 2013

As presented by the Gan Ami Literacy Professional Learning Community


We believe…

      • Reading and writing are processes that encourage and require a family partnership.
      • Children have a right to be read to often, using high-quality books and engaging experiences.
      • Reading and writing are holistic; requiring meaningful integration into the curriculum.


Infants & Toddlers

      • Infants and toddlers love to snuggle and listen to you read, whether it be a story, the newspaper, or even a report from work.
      • Infants and toddlers like to see pictures and point to things they recognize.  You can point to objects and words on the page, too.
      • Signing, nursery rhymes, and interactive games are favorites with this age.  Change your voice for characters and to express emotions.
      • Infants and Toddler love to “digest” literature—they need books they can freely explore by crumpling, turning, and chewing the pages.


Two Year Olds

      • Two year olds enjoy seeing new books in their reading areas.  Books available should contain a mix of fiction and non-fiction and be rotated regularly.
      • Two year olds like to use a   variety of art supplies to write and draw, especially when they are kept at their own level. 
      • Children should have reading experiences in individual and group settings. 
      • Puppet shows, flannel boards, poems, songs and long walks are an excellent way to provide oral language development.
      • Two year olds love to see their name in print.  Some children even begin to identify letters in their name.
      • Children enjoy telling stories about their drawings—write their words down.


Three Year Olds

      • Three year olds are interested in how letters come together to form words.  They are learning that letters are symbols that represent sounds and these sounds together create a word.  Letter sounds should be discussed often, especially during group time or made into a game.
      • Three year olds begin to make predictions about what happens next in a story.  Use their natural creativity and curiosity to pre-tell the story.  Interactive read-alouds help children develop critical thinking skills and develop concepts of print and early comprehension  skills.
      • Three year olds may enjoy making their own books, especially about familiar topics.
      • Three year olds also begin to recognize their name in print.
      • Children need time to practice drawing circles and lines as these shapes are the building blocks of writing.  Children may “pretend to write” using patterns and shapes to represent letters.
      • A variety of books and writing materials should always be accessible to the children.

 

Four Year Olds (K4)

      • Choose books that correspond to units/lessons your child is working on at school or things that are happening in your home. This will help them connect what they are reading to real life experiences.
      • Journaling is a beginning writer’s workshop! Have children write or draw their learning. After drawing the picture, ask the child what is going on and dictate what they are saying, word for word.
      • Pick more challenging read-alouds so that children learn to sequence a story and begin more advanced comprehension techniques like inference.
      • Use everyday experiences to give your child an opportunity to put literacy into practice: read signs, write a grocery list and encourage them to retell stories to younger siblings.

Join Gan Ami for Coffee & Conversation – A Look Into Literacy on Tuesday, February 12 with two sessions - 9:00am and 7:00pm. This month, Rachel Greenspan and Stacy Mitchell will be joined by the Literacy Learning Community which is comprised of Gan Ami teachers representing a variety of age groups.