Fun with Letters for Parents and Children

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Workshop for families customized by New Orleans Public Library based on template from ECRR 2011 edition.

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  • [Instructions for presenters are in brackets and red type. Additional background information for this workshop is included in the Every Child Ready to Read ® (ECRR) 2 nd Edition Manual and CD. For this workshop, have an assortment of age-appropriate materials (ages two to five) nearby to use during the presentation: alphabet and nursery rhyme books, music CDs with songs about letter names and sounds, letter puzzles, magnetic or foam letters, props or toys that help children learn letter names and sounds, and other materials that parents can check out and use to help their children learn about letters and get ready to read. Depending on the activities you include, you may also need pipe cleaners, alphabet blocks, clay, or other materials that can be used to learn about and form letters. Have alphabet books, foam or other types of letters, and other related materials at each spot where children and parents will sit.] Information to present and points to make to the audience are in black type. Consider your community and audience as you present the workshop. The workshop is intended to be flexible, so that you can modify the presentation. For example, you can substitute books and activities that may have special meaning for the parents and children you expect to attend. Feel free to present information in your own words. [Presenter: Welcome parents and caregivers and introduce the workshop.] Points to make We are happy you are here. We are going to have fun together while we talk about how to start getting your child ready to read. You will leave with ideas you can begin to use today.
  • Presenter: You could ask the parents why they have come to the session before clicking on this slide or cover up part of the screen or slide. Explain that we are not teaching them how to teach their children to read, but to help their children become ready to learn when they start school—which can be lots of fun! Every Child Ready to Read is based on new knowledge about brain development, reading skills acquisition, and parenting. The practices that we are suggesting have been done by millions of parents for almost a hundred years and nowadays we have to encourage parents to do the same old hands-on work because no computer, no software, no smart toys will do nearly as much. The five practices are fun—and can be done by any parents and cost very very little money. They are habits that will bring a family closer and develop skills that the children need to develop early in life.
  • Points to make From the time they are infants, children learn language and other important skills that will help them learn to read. [Presenter: Ask audience members the ages of their children.] Whether your child is four days old or four years old, it’s not too early or too late to help him or her develop important literacy and pre-reading skills. Developing early literacy skills now will make it easier for your child to learn to read when he or she starts school. You can help your child learn language and other early literacy skills with simple activities. These are easy to make part of your everyday routine and fun for both you and your child.
  • Points to make Children’s reading success in kindergarten and beyond begins with positive language and literacy experiences from the time they are infants. If children develop pre-reading skills before they start kindergarten, they can focus on learning to read once they begin school. Children who start kindergarten ready to learn to read have greater success throughout their school years. They are more likely to read at or above grade level by the end of 2nd grade. Children who read at or above grade level by the end of 4th grade are much more likely to graduate from high school and be successful readers and learners throughout their lives.
  • Points to make You have been your child’s teacher from the day he or she was born. You know more about your child than anyone else. You are in the best position to help your child get ready to read because: Young children have short attention spans. You can do activities for short bits of time throughout the day. You can help your children learn in ways and at times that are best for them. Parents are tremendous role models—if your children see that you think reading is important and enjoy it, they will follow your lead. Children learn best by doing—and they love doing things with YOU.
  • Points to make We are going to talk about five of the best ways to help children learn pre-reading skills and get ready to read. These five practices are easy to do with children of all ages. They can be done at home, at the doctor’s office, in the car, or anywhere you and your child spend time together. When you leave the library, you will have ideas for how to use these practices today with your child. The five best ways to help your child get ready to read are: Talking Singing Reading Writing Playing
  • Points to make Getting ready to read involves many skills. Some children learn these skills earlier and more quickly than other children, just like children learn to walk and talk at different ages. When you use the five practices, you can help your children learn important reading skills, like letter names and sounds, in ways that are appropriate for their ages and interests. There are simple activities you can do each day to help children learn about letters. Don’t push your child. If he or she isn’t interested in an activity, stop. Do have fun with these activities every day so your child wants to do them again and again!
  • Points to make If English is not your first language, speak to your child in the language you know best. This allows you to explain things to your child more fluently. Your child will be able to translate what he or she knows later, rather than having to learn both the concept and the English word at the same time.
  • VIDEO EMBEDDED [Presenter: Sing the “Name Song” to the tune of “Bingo” using one child’s name. Ask children to point to their name on their nametag. Sing the song with other names.] Points to make Between two and four years old, most children are ready to learn about the letters of the alphabet, an essential pre-reading skill. “Learning the alphabet” consists of several distinct tasks: Learning the names of all 26 letters. Learning which names go with which letter shapes, both uppercase and lowercase. Learning what sounds each letter represents. One of the best ways to help your child learn the alphabet is to make it fun! Singing songs like the “Name Song” is a great way to start. There are many other ways to learn letter names and sounds. [Presenter: Watch the video clip to show some additional ways. Continue the discussion with the next slide.]
  • Points to make There are lots of ways to help children learn letter names and sounds. Many letter activities can be done as you go through your day. [Presenter: Play “I Spy” to find letters in the room. Silently choose an object that all players can see. Say, “I spy with my little eye something that starts with the letter (name a letter). What is it?” Ask players to take turns guessing the answer. Depending on your audience, ask the child who answered correctly to pick the next item. Or ask a parent. Alternatively, give parents and children a few minutes to find the first letter of the child’s name on something in the room or on the PowerPoint slide. Explain that playing games like this is a great way to help children learn letter names and sounds. Describe some of the following activities. If you want, add your favorite letter games to this list. Choose one and demonstrate it. Suggest that parents play a letter game with their child on the way home from the library.] Point out the shapes of toys and other objects, and talk about how they are alike and different. Comparing and contrasting shapes helps children notice the differences between letter shapes. Help your child notice environmental print such as names on food cartons or words on road signs. Point out letters as you go through daily routines. Play games like, “We are going to go to a place to eat that begins with the letter M. Where do you think we are going?” Talk about the letters that are most interesting to your child, like the beginning letter of his or her first and last names. Help your child find those letters on signs, food boxes, mail, and other objects. Repeat this activity using the beginning letter of other things your child likes.
  • Points to make Children love to sing the alphabet song. One of the easiest ways to help them learn the alphabet is to sing the song with them and to sing it often. Sometimes children will sing the song as if “elemeno” is one word. Help children hear the individual letters by slowing down the song. You can point to the letters as you sing. [Presenter: Sing the alphabet song. Use magnetic or foam letters or otherwise display the letters of the alphabet. Point to the corresponding letters as you come to “l,” “m,” “n,” and “o.”] Once children can say the names of letters, they begin to match printed letters with the letters in their names.
  • Points to make Alphabet books offer many wonderful opportunities to learn letter names and sounds. [Presenter: Read an alphabet book aloud. Optionally, talk about how many different alphabet books are available at the library. Show examples for different ages and interests, including nonfiction alphabet books. Encourage parents to check out a book to take home.]
  • You can add the cover of the book you are reading to this slide if you wish. Suggested titles: Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert Kipper’s A to Z by Aaron and Gayla’s Alphabet by Eloise Greenfield (we have the large big book versions in some branches) Dr. Seuss’s ABC by Theodore Geisel {In addition to titles above, have several examples of different types of alphabet books on hand, i.e. “Animalia” by Graeme Base, “Beyond Z” by Dr. Seuss, just to show range of material available and how alphabet books can be of interest long into the school years. Include concept books that play with letters, such as “Walter Was Worried” by Laura Vaccaro Seeger.} Try to avoid cutesy or “high concept” alphabet books—see if the language is something the average 3 year old can comprehend.
  • Points to make Among the first words children want to write are their names. This usually begins as scribbling. As children learn letter names and improve their motor skills, they begin to form the letters of their name. As children scribble and draw, they practice eye-hand coordination and exercise the muscles in their fingers and hands. This helps develop the fine motor control they need to write letters and words. Follow these tips as your children practice writing their name: Start with capital letters. These letters use straight lines and circles and are much easier to write than lowercase letters. Use unlined paper. In the beginning, children will not be able to stay within the lines. Use only your child’s first name to start. Start by printing your child’s name in large letters. Have your child trace over your letters to get a better feel for them, and then practice copying the whole word. Make an alphabet book with your child. Draw pictures together or cut out pictures from magazines to go with each letter. Keep it fun! [Presenter: Have parents and children form letters from pipe cleaners, clay, or another material you have available.]
  • Pre-Talkers (0-2): Early Talkers (2-3): Preschoolers (4-5): Set shallow trays on tables—1 per family. Open your bag of rice. Pour a very shallow layer of rice into each tray so parents and children can make letters in the rice. Don’t reuse the rice. It might be messy. Model patience.
  • Points to make Here are more ideas to have fun writing letters. Use chalk to write letters or words on a chalkboard or sidewalk. Give your child a paintbrush and water. Your child can dip the brush in the water and “erase” what you have written by painting over it with the water. Make letters out of cardboard and have your child put the letter under a piece of paper. Color over the letter with crayons and watch the letter underneath the paper magically appear. Write letters in shaving cream in the bath tub or shower. Write letters in the steam that forms on kitchen windows when you’re cooking, the frost on windows, the dust on your car, or the sand at the park. Invite your child to write an email message to a friend or relative. Ask him or her to tell you what he or she wants to say as you type. Ask your child to help by pointing to letters on the keyboard. You can also help your child handwrite a note to a friend or relative.
  • Points to make There are so many ways to talk, sing, read, write, and play with letters. It is important to make learning about letters fun. Before you leave, look for books, music CDs, and DVDs you want to check out and use at home to help get your child ready to read. I am happy to help you find just the right materials for your child.
  • Points to make You are your child’s first teacher, and your home is where your child begins to learn. You can make your home a great place to learn and help your child get ready to read. It does not take money to create special spaces where you and your child can talk, sing, read, write, and play. Here are a few ideas. [Presenter: Distribute the handout, “Getting Ready to Read at Home.” Referring to the handout, ask the group to describe places at home where their children read, keep books, write, and play. Make this interactive and emphasize that parents and caregivers do not need expensive toys or games to develop their children’s early literacy skills.]
  • THIS IS K. G. Wilkins’ slide. I think that these are 2 ideas that a lot of parents need to try out. A lot of kids are over-exposed to video games and tv nowadays, so arranging a space that does not have that stuff can be beneficial. Ideally, it would be a bedroom. Kids who are playing stimulating games or watching exciting shows will not go to bed and sleep instantly. It’s been proven that they need time to get out of that excited mood. A bedtime ritual of bath, reading, and quiet talk will be a way to use that time and create a habit. Kids like habits, but adults have to set them up. Bedtime rituals or habits don’t work every night, but after a couple of weeks it should be making a big difference. This adds “reading” time into days that can be very crowded and challenging. Bedtime reading is one of the best childhood memories many people have.
  • Mention weekly story hours and other special programs for kids. Talk about the library as a resource for books, music, DVDs, information on schools, health, etc. We are a tax-supported library—the library belongs to everyone in New Orleans.
  • [Presenter: This is an optional slide. You can customize this slide by adding the name of your library or your library’s logo to the purple sidebar on the left. You also can replace the generic “library” photo in the sidebar with a photo of your library. Add any of the following to the right side of the slide: a photo of your library, suggestions for books that parents and children can check out, or related information of your choice. The ECRR Manual includes examples of slides that have been customized to indicate where to place logos, photos, and information. (See Section II pages 3 and 4.) Customize what you say about this slide, depending on your audience and collections. Show examples of materials to children, parents, and caregivers.]
  • [Presenter: This is an optional slide. You can customize this slide by adding the name of your library or your library’s logo to the purple sidebar on the left. You also can replace the generic “library” photo in the sidebar with a photo of your library. Add any of the following to the right side of the slide: a photo of your library, a list of the types of CDs, book/CD combinations, and other materials children and parents can check out, or related information of your choice. The ECRR Manual includes examples of slides that have been customized to indicate where to place logos, photos, and information. (See Section II pages 3 and 4.) Customize what you say about this slide, depending on your audience and collections. Show examples of materials to children, parents, and caregivers.]
  • [Presenter: This is an optional slide. You can customize this slide by adding the name of your library or your library’s logo to the purple sidebar on the left. You also can replace the generic “library” photo in the sidebar with a photo of your library. Add a photo to the right side of the slide that relates to places at the library where children can write. Alternatively, use a photo of the library or a list of library materials that support children as they learn to write. The ECRR Manual includes examples of slides that have been customized to indicate where to place logos, photos, and information. (See Section II pages 3 and 4.) Customize what you say about this slide, depending on your audience and resources.]
  • [Presenter: This is an optional slide. You can customize this slide by adding the name of your library or your library’s logo to the purple sidebar on the left. You also can replace the generic “library” photo in the sidebar with a photo of your library. Add a photo to the right side of the slide that relates to places at the library where children can play and learn. Alternatively, use a photo of the library or a list of library materials that relate to play. The ECRR Manual includes examples of slides that have been customized to indicate where to place logos, photos, and information. (See Section II pages 3 and 4.) Customize what you say about this slide, depending on your audience and resources.]
  • [Presenter: This is an optional slide. You can customize this slide by adding the name of your library or your library’s logo to the purple sidebar on the left. You also can replace the generic “library” photo in the sidebar with a photo of your library. Add a photo to the right side of the slide that relates to programs the library offers, show the cover of a brochure or calendar, or add a list of upcoming programs. The ECRR Manual includes examples of slides that have been customized to indicate where to place logos, photos, and information. (See Section II pages 3 and 4.) Customize what you say about this slide, depending on your audience and resources. Have program brochures or calendars available.]
  • Encourage the parents to attend other Every Child Ready to Read workshops. Let them know that there are several of them and that this one is “Fun with Letters.” Promote the PrimeTime reading program—which is wonderful—for parents with elementary grade children. It is a six-week program that is fun, encourages lots of discussion and provides books to read. The program will also help families attend with transportation help, babysitting on-site, and a dinner or snack.
  • Encourage everyone to get a library card during this visit or very soon. We are encouraging parents to read to their children every day—which means a lot of books over the years. The library has more books than most families could ever read—and we pick them for being fun, well-drawn, and thoughtful. Our staff is very helpful in selecting books. We have tons of favorite books to recommend.
  • The Library has been around for a long long time. We are thrilled to have new buildings full of new books and computers, but we need people to come in and use the Library. Borrow the books. Like us on FaceBook. If you want to buy books, visit our twice a week book sale at the Latter Library and that will help the Library. Encourage everyone in the family to have a library card.
  • Fun with Letters for Parents and Children

    1. 1. Fun with Letters forParents &Children
    2. 2. Why we are hereState-of-the-art ideasProven practicesFun things to do at home
    3. 3. Reading is essential to school success. Start now to help your child be ready to learn to readLearning to read begins before children start school.
    4. 4. Children who start kindergarten with good pre-reading skills have an advantage. They are ready to learn to read. Why is it important for children to get ready to readbefore they start school?
    5. 5. You are your child’s first teacher. You know your child best. Children learn best by doing, and they love doing things with you.Why are parentsso important in helping their children get ready to read?
    6. 6. Five simple practices help children get ready to read. Help your childget ready to read with simple activities every day.
    7. 7. The five practices provide fun learning experiences for children of different ages and interests.Every child is unique.
    8. 8. Becoming fluent in a firstlanguage is critical.
    9. 9. Learning letter names and sounds. Make it fun! Start with name songs. There is a child that I know best And Noah is his name oh, N-O-A-H, N-O-A-H, N-O-A-H And Noah is his name oh.Pre-reading skills:• Name all 26 letters. Now you try.• Match letter names with letter shapes.• Match letters with their sounds.
    10. 10. Talking about letters. Letters are all around us! • Can you find an “M”? • Can you find two “O”s? • Can you find the letter at the beginning of your name?Talk about letter names and sounds as you go through everyday activities.
    11. 11. Singing about letters. Let’s sing the alphabet song!Clapping once for each letter in the alphabet songhelps children hearthe sound of each individual letter.
    12. 12. Reading about letters. Let’s share an alphabet book. We have lots to choose from!Alphabet books help children learn letter names and sounds.
    13. 13. Today’s book
    14. 14. Writing letters. • Make letter-shaped cookies • Trace letters • Use magnetic letters • “Write” your name in a tray of rice • Form letters with clay or pipe cleaners. Make learning about letters a hands-onexperience. Form letters from many materials.
    15. 15. Making Letters Something we grow in Louisiana
    16. 16. Writing lettersYou can have fun writing letters anywhere!
    17. 17. Have fun with letters every day. Have fun with letters in many ways!There are many ways to talk, sing,read, write, andplay with letters.
    18. 18. Make your home a learning zone!Your home can be a learningcenter to help your child get ready to read.
    19. 19. Set up a Quiet Zone where your children can sit away from tv, video games, and Your Library noise.has parenting advice in A Quiet Hour before bedtime—for bedtimebooks and on reading, bath, and non-electronic toys--will DVDs. help your child fall asleep at bedtime. Quiet Please!
    20. 20. Your library helps childrenWe have weekly get ready to read. story hours.Bring a friend to story hour.
    21. 21. Talking and reading: Board Books 1. Come to the Library with your kids. are wonderful 2. Read books to them. 3. Talk about for babies and the books. 4. Borrow a couple of toddlers. They books. 5. Bring them back. 6. Repeat. won’t lastforever, but they are lots of fun.
    22. 22. Singing: We have music to borrow.Learn new songsand the words to oldsongs! Dancing with your kid is fun and tires them out!We have rap, pop,children’s, Cajun,country, classical,folk, and worldmusic! Free toborrow.
    23. 23. Writing We have places where you can write. We offer coloring pagesThe Library has the and have crayons that yourtiniest pencils with child can use at the library.no erasers! Include “coloring time” inBecause you can your library visits.make mistakes atthe Library.
    24. 24. Playing:We have many exciting freeperformances, especially in the Summer.
    25. 25. Partying at the Library is Fun!It’s NOT alwaysscary!
    26. 26. Find free programs for all ages @ neworleanspubliclibrary.orgTeen Programs:Game Nights,Workshops,Movies.Adults:Artist talks,author visits,book clubs, andmore.
    27. 27. Please come to future Every Child Ready to Read classes for parents and caregivers. • Fun with Stories • Fun with Words• Fun with Science and Math We also offer PrimeTime Family Reading Time, a program for families with children ages 6 to 12. Itis a 6-week program of free workshops with meals, transportation, and rewards.
    28. 28. How do I get a Library card??Bring a photo ID with your currentaddress to the Library to get a free library card.
    29. 29. The New OrleansPublic Library hasbeen dedicated topromoting reading since 1896. neworleanspubliclibrary.org Hours (vary by location) Monday through Thursday: 10 am to 7 pm Saturday 10 am to 5 pm Friday: 10 am to 5 pm Main Library, Central City Friday: 9 am to 5 pm King Branch

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