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Monday, July 25, 2011

Book Study Party Literacy Beginnings Chapter 5:Using a Framework for Language and Literacy Teaching

The Literacy Beginnings Book Study Blog Party hosted by Vanessa Levin at Pre-K Pages is going strong.
Pre-K Pages

Here are my reflections on Chapter 5:

This chapter read like a literacy based How To for setting up an Early Childhood Education program. It gives the reader a basic framework for a typical prekindergarten instructional program that is easy to read and understand.

One thing I liked in particular is that the suggested framework was divided by 3 year old and 4 year old classes. If you haven't had the experience, take it from me- there is a BIG difference between a 3 year old and a 4 year old!

However, both programs have similar activities that should take place every day in a high quality
Early Childhood Education program:

Morning Meeting
Circle Time
Snack Time
Bathroom Breaks
Outdoor Play
Literacy Activities/Centers
Choice Time
Inquiry Based Projects/Experiences
Story Time

Book Based Activities
Phonemic Awareness
Letter/Word Study
Phonics Activities
Library Time

Oh, and don't forget Math, Science, Social Studies, Art, Computer, Music... LOL.

The authors do acknowledge that there is a LOT to fit in each day. They suggest incorporating multiple subjects across the curriculum to be sure you get it all in. Tying a favorite Read Aloud into interactive and independent writing and reading, inquiry projects, science experiments, cooking activities, book-making, social studies, math, art, etc.

Books are the glue!
The chapter goes on to emphasize 3 Essential Literacy Activities:

Interactive and Shared Reading
Library Time
Book Activities

These activities are an absolute requirement for your program.
There are a few of my go-to resources for conducting these activities listed throughout this post. You know, one or two. :)

The chapter then focuses on each Essential Literacy Area that takes place in a high quality early education program:

Interactive Read Alouds: Before, during, after reading questions, think and talk about the text together as you read. I really love reading Robert Munsch books. They are incredibly easy to make interactive- something Robert Munsch believes in very strongly. (He came to our school in Japan for a workshop. Such a nice man!) Robert Munsch's books are full of repetitive text and onomatopoeia (sound effects).

Shared Reading: Reading in unison, concentrate on concepts about print, lots of repetition.

Interactive Writing: the teacher and the students share the pen. Students can add letters, sight words,
names, punctuation, etc. Model and practice coming up quickly and sitting down quickly.

Shared Writing: the teacher is the scribe. You can write Thank You letters, mini lessons for Independent writing can take place here, predictable charts, etc.

Independent Writing/Drawing/Bookmaking: This is where Writer's Workshop comes in. Start with procedures, labeling pictures, stretching/writing the sounds you hear, craft lessons, focus on what students can nearly do. Remember the ZPD?  (Zone of Proximal Development)

Phonemic Awareness and Phonics: Songs, fingerplays, rhymes, name activities, etc.

ABC/Word Study: In the beginning of the year , you will focus on letters while the latter part of the year focuses on words.

Choice Time: I LOVE that the authors backed up the importance of introducing centers slooooowwwly and no more than 1 a day. Turn or cover those shelves before school starts, teachers! We've got sound backup to support it now! :D

Circle Time: the authors describe the whole group meeting area as "the hearth of your community". So nice! make it spacious enough for all to sit comfortably, inviting, and cozy. The authors also mention the importance of having a short share time for any important news the kids would like to share with their classroom family.

Library Time: Provide a variet y of seating choices, organize with labels on containers and shelving, teach proper book handling procedures- I love reading Mr. Wiggles books for this, and include class made books.

Book Activities: respond through literature through drawing, writing, dramatic retelling, art activities, cooking, etc.

Writing Activities: A good suggestion was to place interactive writing/drawing just before independent writing/drawing to act as a mini lesson.

Family Connection/Communication: The authors are sure to note that,

"Parents and Caregivers are your partners in supporting children's development."

Begin before school starts with a leter, postcard, or phone call to introduce yourself to your new students and their families. Keep up communication with newsletters, emails, notes, meetings, and phone calls. They also add a nice little How To on writing a newsletter.

I hope you are enjoying the Book Study. It's not too late to join in!

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