Chapter 3 Early Literacy from Birth to School By: Vanessa Tobon and Jaclyn Clark
Journey to literacy examples
Leslie Anne was read to by her grandmother starting at 6 months.
- She knew how to hold a book up, to use a distinct voice in reading, and to stay at each page for a short time.
Irma grew up in an illiterate home and did not know what to do with books when she checked them out from the library.
Lesson for educator: learn students’ background and break the cycle of illiteracy
Stages of Literacy Development
Adopted by the International Reading Association (IRA) and National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
Awareness and Exploration
Birth through preschool
Interest in print
Logographic knowledge: environmental print
Experimental Reading and Writing
Understanding of basic concepts of print with sustained reading activities, writing activities, rhyming, and writing letters of the alphabet as well as high frequency words
Early Reading and Writing:
First Grade: Formal instruction
Simple stories read and retold
Accurate word identification skills
Transitional Reading and Writing
Second Grade: reading with greater fluency
Use Cognitive and Metacognitive strategies (Piaget’s formal operations stages – constructivist)
Children are capable of performing various facets of reading and writing.
Independent and Productive Phase
Third grade on
Children are increasingly more sophisticated in reading and writing and their ability to refine their literacy skills and strategies.
How Reading Develops
Exposure to family members using print
The Importance of Family Interactions
“ Kidwatching at the Supermarket”
Low income: read by trial and error
Important step of attention written language often denied at home.
Children must learn how print functions in their lives.
The Importance of Literate Environments
How Writing Develops
The Importance of Scribbling
The Importance Invented Spelling
Advantages of invented spelling
Development stages of spelling
Developmentally Appropriate Practices
Creating Literate Environments
Emphasis on warm, accepting environment for student to interact with teacher in the same comfort as a child would learn to speak at home
Risk taking encouraged
Holdaway’s description of a natural, home-centered language learning environment (1982)
Children develop in their own way at their own rate.
Parents are receptive and encouraging and not focused on making corrections.
Parents have faith and patience in children.
Parents do not create competitive situations with other children.
Children learn in meaningful situations that support language learned.
Children need reading models to emulate.
Designing Literacy-Related Play Centers Literacy play centers in preschool and kindergarten: provide an environment where children may play with print on their own terms; provide natural context for beginners to experiment with literacy; and promote literacy by giving children opportunities to observe one another using literacy for real reasons. 1986 Roskos study of closely observing eight children during free-play situations makes three recommendations: 1. create and frequently use play centers that facilitate sustained pretend play and prompt experimentation with reading and writing; consider developing play centers that stimulate young children to explore the routines, functions, and features of literacy 2. ask children to share pretend-play stories, record them on chart paper, and use for extended language-experience activities 3. observe more closely the literacy at work in pretend play... observations may guide our instructional efforts to connect the unknown and known about written language
Several factors to consider when designing literacy play centers:
1. Setting : places and contexts that are familiar; setting should be general enough for children to create their own stories and themes
2. Locations of centers in the classroom : locate in designated area of classroom; label accordingly at children's eye level
3. Props in a play center : include real props found in the environment and use for dramatic effect or for literacy-related activity; appropriateness of props depend on their authenticity, use and safety
Teachers can assume any of the following important roles in children's play:
1. Onlooker role : physically present nearby but does not enter the play setting; teacher may encourage children's play or give suggestions
2. Stage manager role : teacher does not enter the play but might make suggestions to extend the play or respond to requests for prompts
3. Co-player role : teacher becomes directly involved in the play as a participant; teacher will model and extend language for the children; teacher is a fellow peer
4. Leader role : teacher is very directive and models specific behaviors of play to be adapted by the children; teacher will introduce a new play theme, explain roles and possible scripts, and introduce props and print into setting; teacher switches between participant and director
Exploring Print Through Language Experiences Children have a desire to express themselves in symbolic terms through drawing, scribbling, copying, and, ultimately, producing their own written language. Exploring written language with paper and pencil helps children form the expectation that print is meaningful.
Talking, Creating, Singing, and Dancing
Language experience approach embraces the natural language of children and uses their background experiences as the basis for learning to read.
Language experience activities permit young children to share and discuss experiences, listen to and tell stories, dictate words, sentences, and stories, and write independently.
Teachers can revolve language experiences around speaking, listening, visual expression, singing, movement, and rhythmic activities.
Use conversation to encourage individual or group language-experience stories or independent writing.
use art as a vehicle for personal expression
tell stories through pictures
talk about everyday sights and occurrences
create dances that tell a story
Role Playing and Drama
Role playing and dramatic activities stimulate the imagination and also provide many opportunities to use language inventively and spontaneously.
Role playing gives children the chance to approach ordinary or unusual events and situations from different perspectives and points of view.
Dramatic play activities involve unstructured, spontaneous expression.
The objective of any kind of dramatic activity is self-expression.
Teacher's involvement is one of continuous encouragement and facilitation.
use children's literature for drama
engage children in problem solving situations as a start for spontaneous dramatic activity
Reading to Children
Create a love for books by reading aloud!
Reading to children helps them appreciate literature, develop and enrich their own language, and build implicit concepts about reading and writing.
Reading to children provides models for writing as they develop a sense of plot, characterization, mood and theme.
Reading to children is an important way of sharing books and provides valuable stimulation for relating speech to print.
Parents can share reading with their children through bedtime stories.
The idea of shared reading is to use a "big book" or other enlarged text to share a story with a group of children or the whole class.
The story becomes the basis for discussion and language-related activities.
Shared reading creates opportunities for children to learn what a book is, what an "expert" reader does with a book as it is read, and what makes a story a story.
Repeating the Reading of Favorite Stories
The teacher should be willing to read and reread favorite books and to invite children to participate as much as possible.
Language patterns of the books should be predictable, melodic, and rhythmic.
When children memorize stories, pretending to read actually establishes good models.
Providing Assistance as Needed
Parents should follow their child's lead and answer any questions when their children ask for assistance.
Children choose their own activities and materials.
Beginning readers benefit from developmentally appropriate practices that are home-centered, play-centered, and language-centered. Developmentally appropriate practices must be age appropriate, individually appropriate, and socially and culturally appropriate. “ To make a difference in children's literacy development, be aware of the learning environment of the home, respect the diverse cultural milieus from which children learn to use language, and develop strategies to build on family strengths.” As each child contributes different kinds of knowledge, values, attitudes and strategies for literacy learning to school, appropriate school experiences are key in realizing their full potential as literacy learners.