Saturday, August 24, 2013

Using Panda News To Develop Expressive Language and Numeracy!

In honor of the baby panda born at the National Zoo, we offer you this outline of a panda. Use it to encourage expressive language in children and to develop numeracy. Talk about the number of panda eyes, ears, arms, legs, and so on. Discuss the idea that pandas only eat plants. Ask children to contrast this with the healthy foods they eat.

If you have the favorite food of pandas, bamboo, nearby you could take a walk and look for it. Compare bamboo to other plants. This brings in size comparison. Discuss how bamboo is like other plants and how it is different from other plants you see.

Show children how big a baby panda is in comparison to its mother.  Babies are about 5 inches long when born. Find a toy or book that is about this size. Compare it to an object that is 4 to 5 feet tall, the size of a mother panda. What a size difference between a baby panda and its mother! 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Concept of Print

Concept of Print is an important school readiness skill. Make classroom or home reading fun and integrate these key readiness questions into your reading sessions:

Can the child identify the front of the book?
Does the child know where to begin reading? (top/down)
Does the child know which direction to read? (left to right)
Does the child know at the end of the line to return to the next line? (return sweep)
Does the child have a one-to-one match with voice to print? (Can the child point to words as they are read?) 

Does the child understand the concept of first and last part of the book?
Does the child know that the left page is read before the right page?
Can the child identify a period?
Does the child know the meaning of a period?
Can the child identify a question mark?
Does the child know the meaning of a question mark?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Read, Read, Read!

Read, read, read! The most important way to build future literacy success is to expose preschoolers to books…and lots of them.

As you read to children, encourage Concept of Print by pointing out the cover of a book and the way the pages turn.  Point to the first sentence and say, “Let’s begin reading here.” That helps a child know to look from left to right. You may even want to run your finger along the line as you read. This helps train young eyes.

You can even build comprehension skills! Talk about the pictures. Ask children to imagine what the book will be about, what will happen, and what the characters might do. This is an important step in making predictions, a key comprehension skill for the elementary years.

Why not print the illustration below? Have young children add details to show their own love of reading!