Archive for early literacy

May 7th storytime: cats, cats, cats!

We got our meows on at story time this week, as we read stories and sang songs about cats. Our early literacy skill of the day was vocabulary.

Songs and fingerplays: (see song page for more information)

storytime song, open shut them,wheels on the bus, have you ever seen a cat go this way and that, I’ve got a cat on my knee, 5 little kittens, there’s a cat in my little red wagon, big A little A, where is big (little) cat, Simon Says

Activities:

pet, look at, and describe cat puppets, ring bells when they saw a picture of a cat in Feathers For Lunch (after discussing the word c-a-t)

Books:

Cookie’s Week

Feathers For Lunch

Black Cat White Cat

Asides:

#1: I told the adults about the early skill vocabulary, which means knowing the names of things, having words to describe things, and knowing that there are various words for the same object

#2: adding activities or songs that mesh well with a book will increase your child’s enjoyment and retention of the new vocabulary

#3: learning about concepts such as opposites can be a great way to help children develop vocabulary about things that are real but can’t be seen (includes concepts such as opposites)

We had a good time snoring at the library!

Lane Library book information

Cookie’s Week

Feathers For Lunch

Black Cat White Cat

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April 30 storytime: go to sleep

We snored at storytime today–not out of boredom but because storytime was all about that most unpopular of times, bedtime!   Our early literacy skill  of the day was print awareness.

Songs and fingerplays: (see song page for more information)

storytime song, open shut them, twinkle twinkle little star, this is the way we _____ before we go to bed, if you’re a big dinosaur, 3 little monkeys jumping on the bed, head shoulders knees and toes, teddy bear teddy bear, 7 in the bed, Simon Says

Activities:

teddy bear hunt

Books:

Dinosaur vs Bedtime (used a sign that said “ROAR”, which I occasionally held up while reading the book, when they saw the sign the kids were to roar)

Where’s My Teddy (big book)

Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late (used a sign that said “NO”, which I occasionally held up while reading the book, when they saw the sign the kids were to say no)

Asides:

#1: I told the adults about print awareness, and how that means that their child notices print, knows how to handle a book and can follow the written word on a page.

#2: When you read aloud with your children, they gradually become aware that the squiggles on the page mean something. Children will also begin to notice print in the world around them. It helps to point out signs as you drive or shop, like stop signs.

#3 would have been: You may have noticed that I ran my finger under the word no each time we said that word. This helps develop your children’s print awareness, knowing that print has meaning and that it is the words we read and not the pictures. Choosing books that have large or varied fonts is also helpful in the development of print awareness

(the kids were ready for storytime to be over at this point, so we skipped the aside and went right to the end of storytime).

We had a good time snoring at the library!

Lane Library book information:

Dinosaur vs Bedtime

Where’s My Teddy

Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late

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a snowy day storytime

Our storytime theme today was snow, and the early literacy spotlight was on print motivation.   We read A Kitten Tale by Eric Rohmann, Snowballs by Lois Ehlert, and Bob’s Vacation by Dana Rau.   We sang several songs, including One Little Two Little Snowflakes and the Snowkey Pokey, and we dressed Teddy for winter.

The adults discussed print motivation and ways to encourage the development of that skill at home.   I explained to the adults how having their child say a repeated phrase with them as they read a book helps keep the child involved in the story, which is a great way to support print motivation.  Also, this repetition helps make books more predictable, and young readers love knowing what comes next.  I also reminded parents to talk with their child about the books that they read together, as this helps children link the stories they read to their everyday life, and helps them use what they know about the world to make sense out of stories.

Everyone got a pretty paper snowflake to take home as a reminder of our storytime fun.

Lane Library book information here:

Kitten Tale

Snowballs

Bob’s Vacation

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storytime and early literacy: extensions

During almost every storytime, we sing the song “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.”   One reason we sing this song is that it provides an opportunity for us to stand, stretch and move about during storytime.  We all need action breaks!   But we also sing this song because it can be directly connected to the development of early literacy skills.  First,  we are helping to build both your child’s vocabulary and sense of self.  Also, by naming something specific (shoulders) and pairing that with a word, we are showing your child that the sounds that we make are not just random, but that those sounds refer to something in particular.  For example, when we sing the word shoulders, we point to our shoulders, showing the relationship between the word and the body part.

This is a great song to sing at home, as it is a favorite for many kids, and doing so provides a chance for directed movement.  You can also point out the nose, eyes, or ears on your child, and/or try it with a favorite doll or stuffed animal.  A related activity would be to touch objects around the room and say their names,along with some simple descriptives.  For example, “Molly is touching the big table,” “Molly is touching the soft pillow.”

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storytime 9/11/08: phonological awareness

One of the six skills of early literacy is phonological awareness, the ability to identify the different sounds that make words and to associate these sounds with written words. Activities involving dividing words into syllables, rhyming words, and blending sounds to make words can be key for your child during the process of learning to read.

Today in storytime, I shared some ideas and activites designed to help your child continue to develop phonological awareness skills. I read books (Dog’s Noisy Day, Cock a Doodle Quack Quack, and Cows in the Kitchen) featuring animal sounds, and we made lots of animal sounds ourselves, an activity that allows children to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words. We also sang some songs, which is a great activity to help children hear the smaller parts of words, since songs have different notes for different syllables.

Here are a few more activities you can do with your child at home to help develop phonological awareness.

  • read a familiar story or sing a familiar song, but replace the occasional word with a nonsense word (for example, sing “Old McDonald Had a Farm” but replace the word ‘farm’ with the nonsense word ‘barm’)
  • look around the room or out the window and name what you see, then clap out the syllables

See you next week at storytime!

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early literacy

Before a child can learn to read, he or she needs to understand that there is a connection between the sounds they hear and the letters they see on a page.  Of course, the first step is this process is learning to say and write the alphabet.  But letter awareness is not enough, a child also needs to hear how letters sound and connect those sounds to the written symbols.  Here are some activities that may help your child begin to associate the letter sounds they hear with the written language they see.

  • Make the alphabet a tactile experience.  Construct letters from sand paper, macaroni, clay, or even pennies.  Say the letter sound with your child as they touch and feel each letter.
  • Make the letters of the alphabet a constant topic of conversation with your child.  Point out and sound out letters and words on signs, toys, in stores and restaurants, on cereal boxes.
  • Have a set of letters, magnetic or otherwise, available for your child to play with around the house.  Match up letters with objects (t for table, c for cat), and be sure to say the word and its beginning sound aloud.  Use the letters to make words, and encourage your child to make words as well.  Nonsense words are fine here, you are concentrating on combining the written word with the appropriate sounds.  Just be sure to read the words you make aloud.
  • Read to your child.  Every so often, place your finger under the words as you are reading, to show the child that you are not reading the pictures, but the written symbols on the page.

Have fun helping your child learn to read!

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early literacy

For a basic review of early literacy, click here.

The early literacy concept of Print Awareness includes learning that reading and writing follow basic rules such as moving from top-to-bottom and left-to-right, and that written language is related to oral language.   An example of print awareness is a child’s ability to point to the words on the page of a book.  Print Awareness is a reliable predictor of future reading achievement.

Your child’s print awareness can be encouraged by pointing out and reading words everywhere you see them – on signs, labels, at the grocery store and post office.  Also, as you read to your child, occasionally point to the words on the page–this will show your child that the story that you are reading comes from the words on the page and not just the pictures.

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