| Mar 06, 2008

Mar 6/08 - Early Literacy

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Early Literacy - March, 2008 Checklistsby Susan Ramsay, Early Literacy Specialist, HFL&A

My Canada A.M. Checklist:

Tune radio for snow day cancellations

Shovel snow (again)

Brew coffee and warm hands around mug

Dream of bare feet on a warm sandy beach

Checklists - such useful tools. They do everything from help us refresh depleted first aid kits, to match our interests and abilities with jobs, to flag speech concerns in young children. Checklists help us feel confident that we haven’t missed bringing, doing or knowing something important.

If you are a parent, grandparent or caregiver of an infant or young child, this checklist is for you. This “Doin’ it Right” checklist highlights ways you are already helping your child develop valuable reading and writing skills.

Doin’ it Right Checklist: Help children understand that print has meaning:

My child sees me reading newspapers, magazines or books.

My child sees me write phone messages, notes, emails or shopping lists.

We share books together daily.

My child’s drawings or scribbles are displayed on the fridge with my child’s name or a few words to describe it.

Help children link spoken words with print:

I encourage my child to question and talk, while I listen.

I help my child feel beats and syllables in words by sharing poetry or singing songs.

I emphasize similar sounds in words through tongue twisters and rhymes, or by pausing for my child to fill in the missing word at the end of a sentence in familiar rhyming books.

I sometimes point to the words I am reading in the children’s book.

We search for words that share the same beginning sound as my child’s name in books, store and traffic signs.

We look for alphabet letters or numbers we can identify on household things like clothing, bars of soap, bathroom scales or clocks.

Help children develop hand control and skills for writing:

My child has drawing, writing and craft materials throughout our home (e.g. playdough in the kitchen; soap crayons in the bathroom, scissors and markers in play space)

I encourage my child to draw and write during playtimes (e.g. make traffic signs for toy cars or tricycles; write prescriptions, draw restaurant menus or cut paper into movie passes during pretend play)

I write my child’s name in highlighter for my child to trace over with dark marker or pencil.

Motivate children to read:

My child can choose the story, hold the book and turn its pages during story time.

I provide a variety of books that include stories, information, concepts or rhyme.

We read stories expressively and leisurely.

We talk about the pictures, how the character feels or the meaning of a new word during story time.

We read the same book many, many times, if my child asks.

We visit the library regularly.

Doin’ it right?

I sure am!

I sure will!

Susan Ramsay is the Early Literacy Specialist for Hastings, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington. You can contact her at 613-354-6318 (ext 32)

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