Monday, September 15, 2014

Help Children's Eyes Move in the Direction of Print!

We know how important it is to read to children every day. This is something that you can stress with your families. It doesn’t matter what language is spoken in the home.  Spanish speakers can read in Spanish, Thai speakers in Thai, and English speakers in English. We have found that often families think they need to read in English, but helping children discover the joy in the written word is important in any language! For those Spanish speakers in your classroom, why not send home our Emergent activity celebrating Hispanic Month? Just sign up in the box to the right.

In your classroom, you can help children develop important Concept of Print skills. These are explained in more detail in our sample activities. One skill is the idea of return sweep. This means that children know when they get to the end of one line, they should sweep their finger from the right side of the line to the first word on the left side of the line below. You can show this in your class as you are reading the morning message or sharing a big book. Talk about how we move from the end of the line to the next line.

Children can practice this using alphabet letters as the child does in the photo below. He is moving from the end of the first row to the left side of the row below. Notice that we started with a few letters so he could grasp the idea.

This child is physically moving from one line to the next. This helps him understand the idea of return sweep.
You can help children practice this in both English and Spanish by with our free activities. This week we make practicing return sweep easy by placing one sentence on each line so children can see to move from the period on the right to the beginning of the line on the left.

Here’s a special tip from Dr. Kathy:

Standards Alignment:
NAEYC Alignment: Knowing and using the central concepts, inquiry tools, and structures of content areas or academic disciplines
Head Start Alignment: Demonstrates increasing awareness of concepts of print, such as that reading in English moves from top to bottom and from left to right, that speech can be written down, and that print conveys a message.

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