Teaching Reading and Writing

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Reflexive Essay

Teaching reading and writing to young children in American has always been an essential element of effective early literacy classroom instruction. Before children learn to read, they need to be aware of how sounds work. I try to integrate phonemic awareness instruction in the curriculum to help children learn to read and spell. The instruction can start with having children categorize the first phonemes, which is the smallest functional unit of speech, in words and then progress to more complicated combinations. Phonics skills must be integrated with the development of phonemic awareness, fluency, and text reading comprehension skills. As a teacher, I try to developing skills in blending and manipulating phonemes, because I think this allows many children to develop strong reading abilities who were otherwise struggling. Phonemic awareness can also be integrated into beginning writing instruction. While a child writes, I can name the letters or comment about the strokes used to form the letters. When teachers take dictated messages from children, such as when writing a thank you letter to a parent or guest, they can provide clear demonstrations of phoneme segmentation. In my classroom, I provide flexible writing experiences that allow my students to use scribble, random letters, or invented spelling in the beginning, and over time move to more conventional forms. When children write their own texts, they are also developing their vocabulary and phonemic awareness. I also believe as a teacher that children need materials to support their literacy development. When children have ready access to writing tools with which to express themselves in symbolic ways, they are motivated to learn and use literacy. I make sure that books, papers, writing tools, and functional signs are visible everywhere in my classroom so that my students can see and use literacy for multiple purposes. Besides accessible writing tools, children also need time to explore...
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