A Look at Literacy in Early Childhood
February 11, 2013
As presented by the Gan Ami Literacy Professional Learning Community
- 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.