“Literacy learning has a profound and lasting effect on the social and academic lives of children. Their future educational opportunities and career choices are directly related to literacy ability. Since early childhood is the period when language develops most rapidly, it is imperative that young children are provided with a variety of developmentally appropriate literacy experiences throughout each day, and that the classroom environment is rich with language, both spoken and printed. Early childhood teachers are responsible for both understanding the developmental continuum of language and literacy and for supporting each child’s literacy development. Literacy learning begins at birth and develops rapidly during the preschool period. The main components of literacy—listening, speaking, reading, and writing—should all be encouraged and supported through conversations and activities that are meaningful to the child and that involve adults and peers. Each child’s interest and motivation to engage in literacy-related activities are evident before that child is able to read or write conventionally. Children should be provided with environments that encourage literacy exploration and their emergent reading and writing behaviors should be valued and supported by their teachers. Effective language and literacy programs provide children who do not speak English with opportunities for listening, speaking, reading, and writing in both English and the home language. It is important for the teacher to recognize the need to make modifications in the presentation of vocabulary, directions, storytelling, reading, and other oral language communication when working with children who do not speak English as their home language. These modifications may include the use of visual aids, scaffolding, repetition, rephrasing, and modeling.” (NJ Department of Education, 2009) Gone are the days in which manual labor was the backbone of our society. We are a people living in the information technology age. Everything that is done from brewing your morning cup of coffee to setting your I-pod to wake you up morning and everything in between requires reading. Without reading a person will face great adversity in day to day living let alone success. It is now critical that every child and adult be able to read and comprehend. Over the past ten years, the amount of information that requires one to read, utilize writing skills, problem solving, and critical thinking has grown enormously. Studies have shown that one of the strongest indicators of a child’s success in school is the educational attainment of his or her parents. As you can imagine, this can plainly effect more than the person who is illiterate. This can also be a death sentence of poverty and destitution as the child grows into adulthood just as doors open for the life-long reader. Today we will discuss: what is needed to prepare children to read, the methods used to help recognize phonics and begin the transition into emergent readers, and what can be done to encourage reading in the future. Preparation
In order for a child to begin reading parents must begin assisting their child from an early age. “Every step a child takes toward learning to read leads to another. Bit by bit, the child builds the knowledge that is necessary for being a reader. Over their first 6 years, most children •Talk and listen.
•Listen to stories read aloud.
•Pretend to read.
•Learn how to handle books.
•Learn about print and how it works.
•Identify letters by name and shape.
•Identify separate sounds in spoken language.
•Write with scribbles and drawing.
•Connect single letters with the sounds they make.
•Connect what they already know to what they hear read.
•Predict what comes next in stories and poems.
•Connect combinations of letters with sounds.
•Recognize simple words in print.
•Sum up what a story is about.
•Write individual letters of the alphabet.