The best way for children to develop literacy and language skills is to…(drumroll please)…read and talk with them as much as possible! Reading builds phonological awareness (matching sounds to written letters) and talking with them builds phonemic awareness (matching sounds to letters orally)–both of these increase your child’s vocabulary and intelligence!
- Stories are read to the children daily during every Circle Time and Story Time. It is also done one-on-one during the week to help your child identify basic sight words and develop his/her reading skills.
- For select lessons in STEM, Arts and Crafts, and Music and Theater, we often include stories to read and interact with (e.g. counting, discussing, reading practice).
- There is a permanent library here with plenty of board books, picture books, phonics beginning reader books, story books, and touch and feel books. I also get up to 50 new children’s books a month from local libraries that include Caldecott and other award winning books, seasonal and themed books, child favorites, Dr. Seuss, and whichever topics I’ve observed each child interested in.
- We have a children’s Lending Library that children enjoy sorting through to choose books to borrow for at home.
- All children will learn to identify letters by sight and then around age four to five, if they are ready, how to read letter combinations and beginning words through both sound and sight.
Writing is practiced in a variety of developmentally-appropriate methods. Proper pencil-grip comes after fine-motor control and development (such as working with play-doh and tracing through a maze). Children will start with scribbles, then marks, then writing letters (with no regard for size or spacing), then letters in the right order for their name, then letters in more uniform size.
Phonemic and Phonological Awareness
Sounding out and comprehending letters and words in language is practiced daily with conversational engagement and activities. A solid foundation for this learning is given through stories, conversation, and language and literacy activities. The more children listen and speak, the more they are developing skills. This is facilitated through both peer play and guided activities.