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Early Childhood Teachers — Developing Early Literacy

Early Childhood Teachers — Developing Early Literacy
Preschool literacy sets the stage for success by helping to prevent later reading problems. Including all aspects of literacy – listening, speaking, reading and writing – preschool literacy focuses on developing vocabulary, phonemic awareness, understanding of the alphabetic code, print knowledge/concepts, and strong oral language skills.

Promoting Early Literacy With Dual Language Learners

  • Resources in English and Spanish – The Colorin Colorado website, in Spanish and English, offers a wide range of materials for educators and parents of young dual language learners. These include teaching strategies, research, newsletters, instructional resources, and suggestions for working with families.

  • Addressing the Literacy Needs of Dual Language Learners
    – Recent brain research has greatly informed the way we support dual language learners in preschools. PreK to 3rd: Challenging Common Myths Abut Dual Language Learners will help teachers understand and implement effective practices in their classrooms.
  • Teaching Dual Language LearnersLanguage Castle, developed by Karen Nemeth, offers teachers print resources, teaching tips and a blog to help teachers of preschool dual language learners develop English language skills in engaging and appropriate ways.

  • Effective Teaching Strategies – These resources from the Creative Curriculum offer teachers proven and developmentally appropriate ways to support dual language learners.

Supporting Early Literacy

  • Preschool Literacy Activities – This website provides learning games and activities you can use to develop aspects of early literacy ranging from the alphabet to phonemic awareness and phonics to comprehension.
  • How Do We Know What Works? – Based on the findings of the National Early Literacy Panel report, the What Works? Guide offers teachers effective, research-based strategies to promote early literacy.
  • The Essentials of Early Literacy Instruction – In this article, three literacy experts provide an overview of how children acquire language and specific teaching strategies to promote active listening, speaking, early reading and writing skills for preschoolers.
  • Head Start Literacy OutcomesDomain 2, Literacy, offers teachers a summary of the main elements of preschool literacy: phonological awareness, book knowledge, print concepts, early writing and alphabet knowledge.

Developing Early Reading Skills

Building Listening Skills

  • Storytelling – Storytelling sharpens listening and promotes oral language skills by encouraging children to tell and retell stories. The article, Learning Language and Literacy, builds a deeper understanding of storytelling as an effective way to build active listening, comprehension skills and oral language.
  • Rhyming Games – Rhyming is an essential part of phonological awareness, which is the ability to hear and discriminate sounds. Download and print this free space-themed rhyming game to provide engaging practice with rhyming words.
  • Activities to Promote Phonemic Awareness – Developed by early childhood educators for early childhood educators, quick and fun phonemic awareness activities will help you develop the children’s critical listening skills.
  • Building Phonemic Awareness Skills – Marilyn Jager Adams offers a range of engaging classroom activities to build phonemic awareness in young children.
  • Listen to Match Sounds – This short video shows how to create a listening skills game from plastic eggs and common objects to promote phonemic awareness and help develop listening skills.

Promoting Oral Language Skills

  • Speech and Language Development – Language development begins at birth and can be encouraged through specific activities at school and at home. These activities, for children from birth to age six, are outlined for teachers and for parents.
  • Oral Language Resources – This site provides links to access oral language rating scales, strategies for read-alouds and activities to promote expressive reading skills for preschoolers.
  • Research-based Strategies and PracticesPromoting Oral Language Development provides an overview of the research, strategies and practices to promote oral language development with young children.

Encouraging Preschool Writing

  • Supporting Young Writers – This short article offers a number of helpful strategies to promote writing. It is available in an English version and a Spanish version.
  • Developing Fine Motor Skills 1 – Many children begin preschool before they have developed sufficient fine motor skills to master tasks such as writing, aligning objects or scooping sand into a container. These activities and strategies from HighScope provide developmentally appropriate ways to build these skills in classroom settings.

  • Developing Fine Motor Skills 2
    – Young children need to build fine motor skills to write letters and numbers. The activities offered on this site focus on helping children develop their fine motor skills through a wide range of activities using common classroom materials.
  • Writing Practice – Young children love to write! These helpful writing practice sheets will help those who are ready to learn to form lines and letters by tracing or practicing on their own.