This week focuses on preschool students, ages 3 to 5 years. How can a preschool teacher integrate language and literacy skills in learning centers in the classroom? What are some writing activities teachers can encourage children to perform to support literacy skills in preschool? Explain and provide specific examples to support your response.
Reply to at least two of your classmates. Be constructive and professional in your responses.
Teachers can prepare learning centers for children to create experiences in which language is practiced in a way that enriches their vocabulary. Real life situations are planned and setup in order to facilitate open communication between students. This can be in the form of dramatic play where students act out situations like a farmers market for example. The children can use language related to farming and commerce in a natural playful setting.
Before writing, teachers can make children aware of print in different contexts like newspapers or magazines. The more exposure the better. Writing workshops can be introduced where the teacher prompts the students on a specific topic. The teacher might say â€œhow many brothers and sisters do you have?â€ The kids practice writing their responses, which may come out to â€œI hv 1 broder and 2 sistrs.â€ They can then share what they wrote with the class. In this part of the process students give specific feedback, which demonstrates the kids ability to make comments and ask questions. The sharing aspect inspires children to be proud of what they write and sparks conversations, which furthers literacy acquisition (Christie, 182).
Christie, J. F., Enz, B., Vukelich, C., & Roskos, K. (2014). Teaching language and literacy: Preschool through the elementary grades. Boston: Pearson.
One important part that a teacher can do for emergent readers and writers is to provide a text/print rich classroom with well defined learning centers to support and encourage language and literacy skills. There are several aspects to creating a print-rich classroom. Per Christie, et. al a classroom should have the following centers: a library center with enough books that include a variety of genres and difficulty levels, writing centers with sufficient materials, a print-enriched dramatic play center, and content centers (e.g. science and math centers) with reading and writing materials (2014). It is important to note that having each center is not enough; it is important to make each center appealing, comfortable, and engaging. For example, the library should not only contain sufficient number of books, it should also be stocked with interesting books and designed with features to appeal to preschoolers so that they are more likely to choose this center during center time (Christie, et. al., 2014). Similarly, the writing center should not only contain a variety of writing implements and paper, but also have a social component by having more than one seat so that preschoolers can interact with each other and build on what they are writing about. Incorporating this social aspect of writing seemed very important since peer-to-peer interactions are so critical.
I thought that one of the most important pieces of integrating literacy into centers was the use of dramatic play centers that were â€œliteracy enrichedâ€. There is reading and writing in our daily lives, and I think we often forget about it. Whether it is reading ingredients in food or reading from a takeout menu it is critical to integrate this into childrenâ€™s school life as well. Dramatic play centers let kids incorporate literacy into their play provided that the centers are stocked with enough print-rich material. Perhaps the main advantage of this that that â€œlinking literacy and playâ€¦can provide motivation for literacy learning. When children incorporate literacy into their play, they begin to view reading and writing as enjoyable skills that are desirable to masterâ€ (Christie, et. al., 2014). Building this love of reading and writing will pay dividends later in life.
Christie, J. F., Enz, B., Vukelich, C., & Roskos, K. (2014). Teaching language and literacy: Preschool through the elementary grades. [University of Phoenix]. Retrieved from https://phoenix.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781323143148/