Monday, January 30, 2012

Reading With Children

       Reading out loud to children is a very beneficial activity. Teachers can bring in large books to read out loud to the entire class. This allows children to follow along together as a class, while the teacher leads the reading. Teachers should prepare before reading books out loud to students. Practicing reading a book out loud will make the reading with your classroom a better learning experience. This type of practicing allows teachers to figure out the parts of the stories that should be read in a different way.
    Thinking about what parts should be read fast or slow will add to the meaning of the story. It is also important to change the loudness of your voice when reading out loud.This adds to the storyline through emphasizing different parts with your voice. Using different voices for the characters and using different tones in your voice can bring the story alive. If you read a book in only one tone, one voice, and there is no expression in your voice then the words become more of a task instead of an experience. It is important to make literacy meaningful to your students, so every experience should be thought out.

          Children can participate in many ways during this type of interaction.  Reading out loud allows children to hear the words and create meaning from them, while still developing literacy skills. Children are able to repeat what the teacher has read, make predictions, learn new words, and much more. Reading books out loud with children is a great tool that can be very beneficial to the education of young children.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Literacy is Everywhere

Teachers and parents can share literacy experiences outside their homes or classrooms!

Where can we find good examples of literacy outside the classroom? Look around and see literacy in our everyday lives. Literacy is on our signs, our doors, and labels. Children can see how meaningful literacy is in our everyday lives through exploring familiar places, such as local stores or supermarkets.  Literacy can be seen when taking trips to local stores or supermarket through exploring:

Grocery lists
Newspaper Ads
Sale Signs
And More!

           This type of experience will also allow children to connect literacy to real life situations. Children will be able to associate meaningful experiences to literacy through this type of exploration. Children can also use literacy to document their findings. They can make maps of the store or supermarket. They can write and draw the people they see. They can take pictures of the area or video record events that take place. This type of exploration also allows them to collect print samples from the stores. Children can see their community in action in a meaningful way that promotes literacy skills. Children can also prepare for field trips through writing out their own grocery lists, making predictions of items they may find, or writing down questions they have about their future field trip. There are lots of ways we can think about the role literacy has within our community and it is important to explore these ideas with our children. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

How Do You Define Literacy?

                Literacy is an important tool used in our everyday lives but the idea of defining what literacy is can be tricky. People view the concept of literacy in different ways. Literacy can be thought of as a necessary tool we use to communicate ideas with one another. Reading and writing are two core ideas thought of when the subject of literacy is discussed.  When thinking about what literacy means, how would you define what reading is?  Can someone read or take meaning from pictures in a book and if so is this a part of literacy? These ideas are important thoughts to consider when thinking about how children learn to read and how they see literacy. It is essential for parents and teachers to remember that it is important for children to take away concepts or understand the meaning of what they are reading.  

              Pictures can play an important role in helping children create meaning from their readings. Adults use pictures and visual keys to make meaning of their surrounding just like children do. We can easily recognize a stop sign before reading the word STOP based off of the shape and color of the sign. Literacy is something important that everyone should define for themselves through looking at all the different aspects involved.