Thursday, November 19, 2009

Early Literacy Teaching Strategies

Rich Teacher Talk
-conversations a must, and should be incorporated into a variety of settings (one on one, small and large group)
- use rare words to help broaden the children’s vocabulary
- extend children’s comments into more descriptive, grammatically mature statements
- discuss cognitively challenging content -- topics that are not immediately present, that involve knowledge about the world, etc.
- listen and respond to what children have to say

Storybook Reading
- read aloud once or twice a day, and included fiction, non-fiction and poetry in each week’s curriculum plan
- provide conversation and activities before, during, and after reading
- repeated reading of fave books builds familiarity, increasing likelihood that children will attempt to read those books on their own

Phonological Awareness Activities
Include games, songs, and poems that increase children’s awareness of the sounds of language each week. Be mindful of building activities that build awareness of:
Sound matching

Support for Emergent Reading
We can support emergent reading by making available:
- a well-designed, welcoming classroom library area, stocked with lots of good books
- repeated readings of favorite books
- functional print linked to class activities (shelf labels, classmate job charts, etc.)
- play-related print (signs, menus, name tags)

Support for Emergent Writing
Encourage children to use scribble writing, random letter strings, and invented spelling by providing:
- a writing center well-stocked with pencils, paper, book-making materials, envelopes for letters, clipboards for taking impromptu surveys, etc.
- shared writing demonstrations where the teacher takes dictation from children
- functional writing connected to class activities (library check-out slips, do not touch signs, etc.)

To share with parents:
When children play in the writing center they:
* Appreciate literature
* Develop language
* Expand communication skills
* Acquire new concepts
* Better understand the world
* Problem solve
* Sequence beginning, middle, and end of story
* Enhance eye-hand coordination
* Understand and demonstrate directionality
* Realize cause and effect
* Increase listening skills
* Identify and express emotions
* Understand life experiences
* Develop empathy
* Identify social roles and relationships
* Refine motor skills
* Develop visual tracking and discrimination
* Increase vocabulary
* Develop own stories

Shared Book Experience
Read big books and other large format texts to children, and point to text as it is read. During story times, point out the distinction between pictures and print, the left-to-right, top-to-bottom sequence, and book concepts (cover, title page, etc.). Read fave stories repeatedly, and encourage children to read along the parts that they remember.

Integrated, Content-Focused Projects
Provide opportunities for children to investigate topics that are of interest to them. The
objective is for children to use oral language, reading, and writing to learn about the world.
Once a topic has been identified, children can:
- listen to the teacher read topic-related books and look at books on their own
- gather data using observation, experiments, interviews, etc.
- use emergent writing to record information
- engage in dramatic play to consolidate and express what they have learned.

Provided by: Robin Mcconnell

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