Reading is great. Stories open a whole new world to us, texts introduce us to concepts and information and even advertising offers us something new.
I work with Kindy kids. over the last 10 years I’ve only come across two kids who were reading books. Yet somehow, parents of 3-4 year olds are expecting their child to be able to read every letter of the alphabet and write more and more complex things. I get that the world is changing, but if your kid is not showing those skills, I’ll scaffold their learning so that they can read when they are ready to. By all means, I’ll push for name recognition and writing, for the kids to start to link up the patterns of letters to the names of their friends, but I’ll also let them discover a love of letters for themselves.
FOr your viewing pleasure, a snap shot of my room and the literacy it supports.
Books, you can’t go by them! We’ve set up a book nook near a sunny window with cushions and a table near by, this lovely boy decided to make the most of a sunny day and sit on stacked chairs to enjoy his story. When I saw him, I wanted to be him! I’m thinking that makes my book area a success 🙂
Letters are the base of all words, with the focus usually being on the letters in our names first. Magnet letters can be found in every second-hand shop frequently, formula tins go to the bins after use. So by combining these two complimentary resources, we now get to explore letters as we assemble them into words or patterns on our own workspace.
Puzzles are great, many children have learnt the ABC song by the time they hit kindy, so doing an alphabet puzzle is just like singing with your fingers 🙂
We have a few random name puzzles that were donated to us and the kids love these too, especially as some of the letters can be swapped between them, which of course helps with letter recognition!
I printed out the kids names (using the ‘outline’ option of my favourite font) then laminated them as individual cards. We use them with whiteboard markers for writing skills and as group-time flashcards 🙂 I added the small whiteboards to the area so that the kids could extend their ideas.
This is just what happened to be happening one day. When I decided to assess the literacy in my room after a parent discussion. If these links are being made during regular play, then I’m sure that the children are going to be immersed in it over the next couple of weeks 🙂