How do the children in your care respond when you grab a book off the shelf, are they excited or are they uninterested? Sometimes the way you express your interest can mold a child's response. Do you get frustrated that they aren't participating or do you welcome a little bit of active time when you read?
Literacy learning and the expectations of children at different stages and ages, as well as developmental levels can impact how you engage with the children in your classroom.
Below are some questions and answers that we hope can help you as a childcare professional in regards to literacy learning in the classroom.
Question: What if the children that I read to do not like to sit, are there other ways I can share books with them without making them sit?
Answer: Absolutely there are a lot of ways to share a book with a young child besides sitting with them. Some children, especially toddlers, do not want to sit. Some books have words that you can sing, or turn into songs (such as 10 Apples Up on Top).
Some books are just pictures, and you can look at the photos and you can encourage the child to point at items in the book they can identify “Do you see the dog? What does a dog say? Can you pretend to be a dog?”
Question: Is it okay to read to infants or are they too young?
Answer: It is never too early to start reading to children, even infants. In fact, newborn babies will benefit from the social interaction of being read and spoken to. For more information you may enjoy the following resources:
Question: How do you keep a toddler interested during reading time?
Answer: First, consider the way you are reading to them. Are you keeping a monotone voice and not changing your inflection for events, dialogue, or emotion? Next, think about what you're reading. Is it the same book over and over? Is it a book that isn't interesting to many students? Keep your reading material interesting as much as possible!
Question: Can you provide some ideas or resources for rhyming books that would be fun to read to my class?
Answer: Here are links to some great rhyming books:
Personally, I LOVE Dr. Seuss books for practicing rhyme with children. Here is a link to our resource blog that has Dr. Seuss lesson plans to accompany the books:
Question: How often should I change activities in a literacy learning center? Do I need to introduce the new material each time and if so, when should I do that?
Answer: Some teachers may change activities to coincide with curriculum or objectives. Others may make changes based on student reactions and acquisition of skills. It really depends upon your program’s goals.
As for introducing the centers, that also depends upon your program. For example, a Montessori program would introduce the centers and activities through a demonstration and then allow the children to use the materials to support their learning. Other programs may have a specific way to introduce activities or centers. In your program you may have a different approach and it is perfectly fine.
Here are some links that you may find helpful:
Question: What are some ways to show the parents what their child is learning?
Answer: There are many ways that you can show parents the learning that their child is experiencing. You can document the activities and outcomes using tangible finished products, photographic evidence, or written observations. It is completely up to you as to how you want to show the student’s learning but you have many options to do this.
Above all, it should be a priority to communicate this learning with families in a way that honors them and respects them. If they often seem rushed during drop off time, this may not be the best time. Pick up time may be an easier time where you can simply say something like “When I was reading to Jackson, he really reacted to rhyming words. We had a lot of fun repeating rhymes today!” This is a quick conversation that shows parents what their child has been doing at school and how they are learning. If the parents asks for more information, please do give it to them!
For more information on Early Literacy for Infants and Toddlers,
register for our one hour course:
For more information on The Literacy Learning Center,
register for our two hour course:
For more information on Lets Talk Toddlers,
register for our three hour course:
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