Friday, September 27, 2013

"Play"ing with Literacy

Calling preschool teachers and parents!  Here are two helpful hints for developing language arts skills:

Want to encourage oral language skills? Make a pretend microphone out of a paper towel roll and tin foil Have children look out the window and imagine they are a weather reporter. Ask them to describe the weather. Is it sunny, cloudy, cold, hot, rainy, etc.?  What should people wear when going outside?  When children “become”  someone else, the fear of speaking in front of a group or even the family can disappear.

Label items in your home and classroom. Kitchen center items, books, tables, etc. should "wear a word" so children can develop Concept of Print, see a meaningful visual of letters in use, and begin to develop a sight vocabulary. But, be careful how you label items. Take a look at the photo. What’s the difference between the two words? The top word is written with all capital letters. The bottom word uses lowercase letters. When labeling, be sure to use lowercase letters. They more accurately reflect print in books. can even take the labels off and have children play a game by returning them to the correct item. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Make Counting Meaningful!

Children may be able to count, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. But do they attach meaning to these numbers? That is key in early numeracy. Help children picture what numbers mean.  
            Using one of our favorite books, you can integrate ideas. Read a Llama, Llama book by Anna Dewdney. Remember that these books promote rhyming, a key skill in early childhood.  
Discuss what healthy foods a llama might eat. I usually pose silly questions like, “Would a llama eat chocolate ice cream?”  Get children answering “No!” with glee. Then ask, “What would you eat that is healthy? What would a llama eat that is healthy?” Prompt with food like carrots.
Use the pictures below to ask, “Which bunch shows one carrot? Which shows three carrots?” Follow by asking children to find one of an object in the room. Continue with other objects. This helps integrate rote counting and meaning of number.
Look, in a brief time frame, you have encouraged rhyming (literacy/ phonemic awareness) healthy eating (science), and numeracy understanding (math). WOW! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Choices! - - - Choices!

In today’s fast paced world, we can too often forget the importance of giving children choices. Choices help children feel empowered and invested in lessons and tasks.  Even simple choices like what color of marker should be used or which of 2 books will be read, can motivate children to listen and engage in lessons. Whether you are a preschool teacher or caregiver, look for ways to offer children simple choices.