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Chapter 3: Print Awareness

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1 Chapter 3: Print Awareness
Christina Pavlock

2 Elements of Print and Book Awareness:
What? Elements of Print and Book Awareness: Functions of Print Conventions of Print Book Conventions Print awareness is understanding and appreciation of the forms and the functions of print. Students with print awareness know how to handle a book, where on a page to begin reading, and the difference between a letter and a word. Knowing that printed words are symbols for words in spoken language helps students to bridge the gap between oral and written language.

3 Why? Adults sometimes forget that children have to learn the most basic conventions that govern written language, such as spaces that separate words Burns, Griffin & Snow, 1999 A child’s awareness of the forms, functions, and uses of print provides the foundation upon which reading and writing abilities are built. Assessments measuring a child’s understanding of print concepts have successfully predicted future reading success.

4 When? Keep in mind that many children enter school quite well versed in the nature and purpose of print, so print concepts instruction should be provided only for those children who need it. – Vellutino, 2003 Print knowledge is acquired by most children during the preschool years. In preschool and Kindergarten, the enhancement of students’ print awareness should be a central goal. In Kindergarten assess print awareness three times: in the fall, winter, and spring. The lowest-achieving students should receive help and careful monitoring for the first six months of school. By the end of Kindergarten, students should have developed basic concepts of print.

5 How? Since too much print referencing during reading can detract from students’ enjoyment, Justice and Ezell (2004) suggest three to five print references during the reading of a story book. Print referencing is a read-aloud strategy that can be used to direct students’ attention to the forms, features, and functions of written language. The strategy is most effective if it is used with big books or regular-sized illustrated storybooks in which print is a highly noticeable feature. Print referencing cues can be nonverbal or verbal.

6 Talking about books: cover, title, author, and illustrator.
Print-Referencing Cues Components of a Lesson Ask questions about print. Make comments about print. Pose requests about print. Point to print when talking about the story. Track print when reading. Talking about books: cover, title, author, and illustrator. Text directionality. Concept of word. Observation and assessment of benchmarks.

7 Conclusion Print awareness plays an integral part in the process of learning to read; it is a child’s earliest introduction to literacy. Print awareness does not emerge automatically or unaided. Active intervention by adults who point out the conventions and features of print and printed materials is important. Promote print awareness in your classroom by creating a print-rich classroom environment, providing plenty of read- aloud experiences, and embedding print-referencing cues in shared storybook reading. Honig, Bill, et al. “Print Awareness.” Teaching Reading Sourcbook. Novato: Arena,

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