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Preschool Reading and Writing: Essential Elements of Emergent Literacy

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1 Preschool Reading and Writing: Essential Elements of Emergent Literacy
Marilyn Astore Language & Literacy Consultant California Preschool Instructional Network Add your region’s information on this slide. CPIN 2006

2 What is Emergent Literacy?
Skills, knowledge and attitudes that are developmental precursors to conventional reading and writing Whitehurst and Lonigan (1998) in Landry, Lonigan and Shanahan (2005) Susan Landry, Christopher Lonigan and Timothy Shanahan are members of the National Early Literacy Panel. They presented the preliminary findings of the National Early Literacy Panel Report at NAEYC in Dec These convergent findings from the draft report are highlighted in the next few slides. CPIN 2006

3 Definitions of Emergent Literacy (Continued)
Skills and abilities linked to later outcomes in reading, writing and spelling Basic building blocks for learning to read and write This is a summary of the meta-analysis that will be shared in the panel’s report. These are the skills that will make a difference later in literacy development. This is a good review of what CPIN has focused on in the last year. CPIN 2006

4 What Elements of Emergent Literacy Strongly Predict Future Success in Reading and Writing?
Alphabetic Knowledge Oral Language Concepts About Print RAN (Rapid Automatic Naming/Lexical Access) Phonological Awareness Writing/Name Writing Invented Spelling The panel’s meta-analysis determined that these are the most powerful predictors of success in conventional literacy. At the preschool level, RAN refers to a child’s ability to look at rows of pictured familiar objects or colors that are repeated randomly and being able to name them rapidly. Phonological awareness (also referred to as phonological sensitivity) is the ability to detect and manipulate sounds in spoken language. It is a key indicator of reading success. Alphabetic Knowledge has been shown by current convergent research to be the strongest indicator of reading success in K-2. The other elements are crucial predictors as well. Oral language includes vocabulary and the development of syntactical and narrative understanding. Inventive spelling is a reflection of a child’s ability to write letters that correspond to sounds that he/she hears. It represents a huge milestone. Correctness is not the focus at this stage of spelling development. Landry, Lonigan and Shanahan; Lonigan (2006) CPIN 2006

5 What Areas Are the Strongest Predictors?
Emphasize that all the elements are inter-related, for example, children with weak oral language development often have problems with phonological processing skills. Under Oral Language, deep vocabulary knowledge is key---Can a child understand and use more than one meaning of a word, based on the context of its use, e.g., “ I am upset, because I am late.” “You have upset the apples in the basket.” Syntactic Knowledge--Can a child understand and use words in a sentence? Narrative Understanding--Can a child grasp the meaning of the message in a longer piece of text, such as a paragraph or story? Hart and Risley, Dickinson, Biemiller and Beck have all emphasized the importance of deep vocabulary knowledge through adult-child conversations, read-alouds in small groups, etc. Oral language development is also facilitated by more use of big books that focus on concepts, such as science and mathematics for preschoolers. Alphabetic Knowledge includes letter recognition and the idea that there are sounds associated with each letter. IN preschool children generally will not have mastered either of these skills. Phonological Processing Skills include: Phonological Memory-- a child’s ability to immediately recall sound-based information (e.g., repeat a nonsense word or number from short memory). Phonological Access-- a child’s ability to retrieve phonological information from his/her long-term memory. Phonological Awareness--a child’s ability to notice spoken words, syllables and onset-rime within a syllable(c-at, m- at,etc.) and includes the ability to blend, segment and delete sounds in spoken words. The developmental progression in phonological awareness moves from larger chucks to smaller chunks of spoken language. Weak phonological processing skills have been found to be the core deficit in most struggling readers. Lonigan (2003, 2006) CPIN 2006

6 Conventional Literacy: The Reading/Writing Connection
Receptive Automatic, Fluent Decoding Reading Comprehension Expressive Spelling Composition When you think about literacy, reading and writing are reciprocal skills.. In K -2nd grade, the emphasis is on decoding. A reader has to be automatic and fluent in decoding, so that the focus can be on the meaning. Composition refers to the ideas, experiences and feelings expressed in writing; spelling relates to the child’s ability to write the letters that correspond to the letters or letter patterns he/she knows. In preschool, approximation is the emphasis, rather that correctness. Landry, Lonigan and Shanahan CPIN 2006

7 The Emergent Reading/Writing Connection
“Assessing children’s writing provides useful indicators of their level of print development and their understanding of the sounds of language.” Moats (1998) in Paulsen, et al “Research has shown that writing leads to reading achievement.” Braunger, Lewis and Hagans (1999) in Paulsen, et al (2001), p. 260 A child’s writing reveals a great deal about what he or she already knows about reading. CPIN 2006

8 The Emergent Reading/Writing Connection (Continued)
Experiences such as making lists, writing notes and messages, planning menus and writing their names, as well as the names of other family members, encourage children to experiment and interact with print. These experiences help children to gain a better understanding of how speech can be represented with print. Paulsen, et al This is how it happens by --- having these experiences. The more informal but purposeful experiences children have in emergent literacy, the richer their preparation will be for more formal instruction in conventional literacy. CPIN 2006

9 The Emergent Reading/Writing Connection (Continued)
There is a striking parallel in the developmental sequence that children go through as they learn to say the sounds in their language and when they learn to write the sounds of our language. Paulsen, et al What seems to be easier for children to say is easier for them to write. CPIN 2006

10 Why is This Connection Significant ?
“In alphabetic writing systems, decoding texts involves the translation of units of print (graphemes) to units of sound (phonemes), and writing involves translating units of sound into units of print.” Lonigan (2003) Why is this so important? A reader looks at the print and translates the text into meaningful speech. This is the speech-to-print connection that underlies reading. A writer translates sounds into letters or patterns of letters that form words on paper. CPIN 2006

11 How Does the Reading/Writing Connection Develop?
Children learn about literacy beginning in the earliest years by observing and interacting with readers and writers, as well as through their own attempts at reading and writing. The breadth, depth and nature of children’s engagement with text greatly affects their development of literacy learning. Snow, C.E., Burns, M.S. and Griffin, P. (1998), p. 44 Children are inherently curious about the process of learning to read and write. Thisslide comes from the classic book by Snow, Burns and Griffin, Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children. Marilyn Adams has said that middle class children have been read to about 5,000 hours before they enter school. Early childhood program directors need to ensure that teachers are reading 2-3 times a day in small groups, so children have frequent opportunities to interact with stories and informational texts. CPIN 2006

12 Development of the Reading/Writing Connection (continued)
“…Even with scribble and non-phonetic letter strings, children appear to be exploring features that they abstract about print…” Scribbling is a big step forward ! When children begin to scribble, they are really experimenting with composing their ideas as written text. Snow, Burns and Griffin, p. 59 CPIN 2006

13 Development of the Reading/Writing Connection (continued)
“Late in the second year or early in the third many children produce reading-like as well as drawing-like scribbles and recognizable letters or letter-like forms.” Snow, Burns and Griffin, p.57 During the latter part of this period, children will often label and comment about what they have illustrated. Snow, Burns and Griffin, p.59 Children need multiple daily opportunities to experiments in different media. They may make a line or mark and say, “This is Daddy”. This attempt at writing demonstrates their understanding that these marks link to spoken language. CPIN 2006

14 Development of the Reading/Writing Connection (continued)
Between three and four years of age, children continue to experiment with writing by scribbling, forming random letter strings and shapes that resemble letters. Some four year olds begin to identify salient sounds in words and can demonstrate this knowledge in their writing through the use of invented spelling. Snow, Burns and Griffin Remember back to last year’s presentation on developmental writing…the importance of a child’s name. One of the first things they learn is the first letter in their name. CPIN 2006

15 A Major Developmental Milestone
“The child’s first written representation of a word using only its beginning consonant is a dramatic moment in the evolution toward literacy. “ At this point, the child has a rudimentary understanding that letters stand for the sounds of language, though this understanding is probably based on the letter’s name rather than its sound.” Roberts, B. in S.B. Neuman and K.A. Roskos (1998), p.43 This is so dramatic. No matter what the mark looks like it is a watershed moment for the child. It should be celebrated. CPIN 2006

16 Encouraging Emerging Readers and Writers
How can early childhood staff and families nurture preschoolers’ growth in their attempts to read and write? Share your ideas with a partner. Share with your partner how this should be happening in programs. What is going to stimulate this process amongst children? Give groups 5 minutes to talk. Ask each table to share one idea. Chart responses if possible. Encourage participants to think of developmentally appropriate practices and doing this in a playful and purposeful way. CPIN 2006

17 Shared Writing: A Key Strategy to Connect Reading and Writing
Shared writing (The Language Experience Approach) is an excellent way for helping “children to realize that what they say can be written down in print and that print can be read back ...” “Shared writing also presents opportunities for teachers to demonstrate the structure and conventions of written language.” Vukelich, C. and Christie, J.(2004), p.9 The term shared writing is used interchangeably with language experience. “What I say can be written down”. Shared writing charts are an easy way to model spoken and written language. CPIN 2006

18 Shared Writing Activities
“Daily News” or “Morning Message” Dictated Stories, Ideas or Experiences for individual or class books “Surprise Box”-- Large box covered with paper; teacher records children’s guesses about what is in the box and and reads them out loud to class Caution about journals: Lucy Calkins--You have to be careful that journals are not dead-end activities. If no one is giving feedback, then it is a time filler. Surprise Box…self-explanatory. Dictated story -Caulkins says the picture is important ---the picture is the rehearsal. When the child is drawing he or she is rehearsing in his or her mind what is going to be written. Surprise box. Put in a mystery object record ideas onto the box. . Replace paper with fresh paper. CPIN 2006

19 Shared Writing Activities (Continued)
“Take-Home Bear”- Stories about what child did with bear when he/she took it home-dictated to a family member or to the teacher the next day. Quilt Stories-Dictated Stories framed individually with wallpaper strips and mounted together to produce a giant class story quilt. Moomaw, S. and Hieronymus, B. (2001) Bear is a familiar activity. If the family doesn’t take dictation, have a staff member do it with the child sometime during the day.. Quilt story--self explanatory (If you know of a program where this is done, see if you can borrow and put on display). CPIN 2006

20 Linking Reading and Writing In Thematic Play Areas
Share handout--These are some suggestions. You may have more. CPIN 2006

21 Play settings that reflect real-life reading and writing situations:
Grocery Store Veterinarian’s Office Home Center Post Office Airport/Airplane Library Business Office Restaurant Vukelich and Christie CPIN 2006

22 Role of the Teacher When teachers are directly involved, children learn more about reading and writing then when they are playing alone or with others. Teachers can be: Stage managers (gathering, making props and organizing materials, talking with children about their plans, etc) Vukelich and Christie CPIN 2006

23 Role of the Teacher (continued)
Co-players (joining in the play) Play leaders (extending and enriching play episodes) “When teachers act as stage managers and add reading and writing materials to all their classroom centers, they coax young children into engaging in reading and writing behaviors. Co play- playing restaurant and you are ordering off the menu so someone has to make a list of what you are orderi CPIN 2006

24 Role of the Teacher (continued)
“When teachers go a step further and become co-players and play leaders, they can provide children with meaningful reading and writing opportunities. “Through such play, children practice the important reading and writing skills.” Vukelich and Christie, p.35

25 Supporting Emergent Literacy at the Writing Center
What kinds of materials should be available? Discuss with a partner. Ask group to partner or in table group to discuss. If you have time have a few people share out what they heard. One idea shared is to have name cards of everyone in the room on a ring at the writing center (so children can write the names of their friends); another is to have rubber stamps of the letters, so children can experiment with writing even if they are not yet comfortable forming letters. CPIN 2006

26 Support at the Writing Center
Time spent by teachers in the center: key to children’s progress Baldridge and Segal Extensive opportunities for exploration and practice: essential for encouraging emerging writers Barone, D.M., Mallette, M.H. and Xu. M.H.(2005) Choice: important for children to decide about their topics, materials, purpose and length of time spent on a piece of writing Barone, Mallette and Xu Share idea of writing suitcase if it needs to be portable. Bring a sample if possible for display. Materials should be in all interest areas to promote writing as well as a designated writing area. Materials could be in a shoebox size containers. A pizza restaurant donated small boxes to use as writing desk. Supplies can be put in a pizza box, because it is so sturdy it can be used as a writing surface. Important to have upper and lower case letters in rubber stamps. Wikki Stiks Name tags so they can copy names with child’s picture to help with reading…post cards CPIN 2006

27 Introducing Preschoolers to Letter Forms
Looking at letters gives young children some information about the lines used to form those letters. Watching an adult form a letter provides preschoolers with more information. It is important for children to have frequent opportunities to look at letters, as well as to watch a grown up write. CPIN 2006

28 Introducing Preschoolers to Letter Forms (continued)
The teacher can play an alphabet clue game with children in a small group by writing a letter, one line at a time, on a large sheet of plain paper and asking the children to guess what letter he/she is going to make. If a long, vertical line is drawn, they might guess T or F or H . The teacher continues adding lines, telling the children when he/she has given them the last clue. Children may initiate games such as this in the writing area after playing with the teacher. Schickedanz Not every letter has lines. The teacher may start with a circle. Children may try this game on their own with other children. CPIN 2006

29 Supporting Preschoolers’ Attempts to Write Letters
“A good way to help children learn to write letters is to let them begin with the first letter of their own name.” Baldridge and Segal, p.224 Next Step: Try remaining letters in name. Reminder for Adults: Do not critique letter reversals done by preschoolers! Children usually begin with capitals because they are easier to write. The focus is not on mastery, but exposure to letters. Typically developing children will reverse letters until 2nd grade. Emphasize that adults focus not on correcting, but on modeling the correct pattern. Baldridge and Segal CPIN 2006

30 Useful Materials for Letter Writing
Shaving Cream Playdough (rolled out for finger “writing”) Cornmeal (in a cardboard box lid) Caution that children don’t touch their eyes with the shaving cream. CPIN 2006

31 Models for Copying Plastic Letters Letter Cards
Tracing Over Models with Finger: A Multisensory Scaffold Sandpaper letters can also be used for another mult-isensory approach. CPIN 2006

32 Strategies for Supporting English Learners and Children With Special Needs
This is a title slide. CPIN 2006

33 Support for Preschool English Learners
Review the recommendations outlined on pp. 68 and 89 of Preschool English Learners: Principles and Practices to Promote Language, Literacy, and Learning. Send groups to chart paper to brainstorm additional strategies based on the pages that are part of their handouts from EL guide. Appendix A is support for typically developing children who are EL learners. Principles and Practices- takes into consideration children with disabilities. DR access accommodations are an additional support for special ed brainstorming. CPIN 2006

34 Supporting Children with Special Needs DR access Adaptations
Augmentative or alternative communication Alternative mode for written language Visual supports Assistive equipment Functional positioning Sensory support Response fluency Alternative response mode DRAFT Leave slide on screen so they can refer to the handout. This is an additional list of supports from DR access adaptations. CPIN 2006

35 Directions for activity
Review your group’s information, and at the chart paper brainstorm some additional strategies for promoting the development of emergent reading and writing. If time allows, debrief charts by a carousel or choose someone to report out. CPIN 2006

36 Nurturing Reading and Writing Readiness at Home
Children see their parents reading regularly and enjoying it. There is an abundance of all types of literature available--newspapers, magazines, novels, children’s books, etc. Bishop, A., Yopp, R.H. and Yopp, H.K. (2000) A great resource for this is Halley Yopp. Also refer to the two federal documents that you have received. CPIN 2006

37 Nurturing Reading and Writing Readiness at Home (continued)
Visiting the local library is a weekly family routine. Children are read to regularly, including books that focus on important moments in their lives---a new puppy, an important outing, birth of a sibling, nightmares, visits to the doctor, etc.

38 Nurturing Reading and Writing Readiness at Home (continued)
“…Homes that encourage reading and writing by having paper, pencils, crayons and even chalkboards readily available…are developing characteristics in children that will allow them to enter school with confidence.”

39 Nurturing Reading and Writing Readiness at Home (continued)
“…Many children write before they begin reading. Parents who encourage their children to experiment with writing often are helping them ease into reading. “However, these parents do not expect perfect handwriting, spelling or grammar. They are very accepting of their child’s attempts to write.” Bishop, Yopp and Yopp, p.10 We are not pushing for perfection. Emphasize this with parents. Example from meeting: When children are frustrated, an adult could say them it is a process and they have been doing this for 30 years. It takes time to learn it all. CPIN 2006

40 Strategies That Foster Print Knowledge and Emerging Writing at Home
Help your child learn to recognize her name in print. As she watches, print the letters of her name saying each letter as you write it. Display her name in special places in your home. Encourage her to spell and write her name. CPIN 2006

41 Strategies That Foster Print Knowledge and Emerging Writing at Home (continued)
“Point out words and letters everywhere you can. “Read street signs, traffic signs, billboards, and store signs. Point out certain letters in these signs. “Ask your child to begin naming common signs and find some letters.” Armbruster, Lehr and Osborne (2003), p.22 CPIN 2006

42 Strategies That Foster Print Knowledge and Emerging Writing at Home (continued)
“Have your preschooler use her way of writing--perhaps just a scribble, to sign birthday cards or make lists. “Reading and writing support each other. The more your child does of each, the better she will be at both.” U.S. Department of Education (2002), p. 25 CPIN 2006

43 Strategies That Foster Print Knowledge and Emerging Writing at Home (continued)
“Hang a family message board in the kitchen. Offer to write notes there for your child. Be sure that she finds the notes left there for her. “Ask your preschooler to tell you simple stories as you write them down…” CPIN 2006

44 Strategies That Foster Print Knowledge and Emerging Writing at Home (continued)
Write with your child. She will learn a lot about writing by watching you write. Talk with her about your writing so that she begins to understand that writing means something and has many uses. CPIN 2006

45 U.S. Department of Education, pp. 25-26
Strategies That Foster Print Knowledge and Emerging Writing at Home (continued) “Help your child write notes or s to relatives and friends to thank them for gifts or to share her thoughts. Encourage the relatives and friends to answer your child.” U.S. Department of Education, pp Again, exploration is the key here. All attempts need to be celebrated. CPIN 2006

46 Families as Partners in Literacy
How do you structure opportunities for sharing strategies that support children’s early literacy development with families from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds? How do you ensure that the home language of families is valued in the fostering of young children’s development as emergent readers and writers? Discuss with a partner. Ask directors to share examples of how they are structuring opportunities in their programs for families to get literacy support that honors and builds upon their varied linguistic and cultural backgrounds. This is a question about how they are addressing this need in their entire system, not just one teacher at a time. CPIN 2006

47 Assessment: What Emergent Writing Reveals about Emergent Literacy
Use Measures 30 and 31 of Desired Results-R, to analyze what these measures demonstrate about preschoolers’ letter and word knowledge and emerging writing skills. This activity can be done in pairs or with the whole group. Remind participants that there are two Measures of the DRDP Access that will be out soon. These measures will help teachers in analyzing what special needs children’s work reveals about their knowledge about reading and writing. CPIN 2006

48 The participants will work in pairs, using their copies of the DRDP-R, Measures 30 and 31, to discuss what these samples shows about the child’s knowledge of print and his or her developmental stage in writing. Look at Measure 31-What developmental level would you consider this child at? CPIN 2006

49 The participants will work in pairs, using their copies of the DRDP-R, Measures 30 and 31, to discuss what these samples shows about the child’s knowledge of print and his or her developmental stage in writing. Look at Measure 31-What developmental level would you consider this child at? CPIN 2006

50 The participants will work in pairs, using their copies of the DRDP-R, Measures 30 and 31, to discuss what these samples shows about the child’s knowledge of print and his or her developmental stage in writing. Look at Measure 31-What developmental level would you consider this child at? CPIN 2006

51 The participants will work in pairs, using their copies of the DRDP-R, Measures 30 and 31, to discuss what these samples shows about the child’s knowledge of print and his or her developmental stage in writing. Look at Measure 31-What developmental level would you consider this child at? CPIN 2006

52 References Armbruster, B.B., Lehr, F. and Osborn, J A Child Becomes a Reader: Birth Through Preschool. Jessup, MD: National Institute for Literacy. Bishop, A., Yopp, R.H. and Yopp, H.K Ready for Reading: A Handbook for Parents of Preschoolers. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Baldridge, B.S. and Segal, M.S Building Literacy With Love: A Guide for Children and Caregivers of Children From Birth Through Age Five. Washington, D.C.: Zero to Three Press. Barone, D., Mallette, M.H. and Xu, S.H Teaching Early Literacy: Development, Assessment and Instruction. New York: Guilford Press. Braunger, J., Lewis, J. and Hagans, R Building a Knowledge Base in Reading. Portland, OR: Northwest Regional Laboratory, National Council of Teachers of English. It might be helpful to bring some of the reference for display. CPIN 2006

53 References California Department of Education Preschool English Learners: Principles and Practices to Promote Language, Literacy and Learning (Draft). Sacramento: California Department of Education. Landry, S.H., Lonigan, C. J. and Shanahan, T Findings from the National Early Literacy Panel: providing a focus for early language and literacy development. Presentation at The National Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.. Lonigan, C. J Development and promotion of early literacy skills in children at-risk of reading difficulties. In B.R. Foorman (ed.), Preventing and Remediating Reading Difficulties. Baltimore, MD: York Press. Lonigan, C. J Early literacy development: foundations and interrelations. Presentation to California Preschool Instructional Network in Ontario, CA. It might be helpful to bring some of the reference for display. CPIN 2006

54 References Moats, L Achieving research-based practice: replacing romance with reality. Presentation at The Sopris West Summer Institute, A Summit on Literacy, in Snowmass, CO. Moomaw, S. and Hieronymus, B More Than Letters. St. Paul, MN Redleaf Press. Paulsen, L.H., et al Building Early Literacy and Language Skills. Longmont, CO: Sopris West. Roberts, B “ I No EvrethENGE:” what skills are needed in early literacy? in S.B. Neuman and K.A. Roskos (eds.), Children Achieving: Best Practices in Early Literacy. Newark, DE: International Reading Association. It might be helpful to bring some of the reference for display. CPIN 2006

55 References Schickedanz, J. A Much More Than the ABCs. Washington, D.C.: IRA. Schickedanz, J.A. and Casberge, R.M Writing in Preschool: Learning to Orchestrate Meaning and Marks. Washington, D.C.: IRA Snow, C.E., M.S. Burns and P. Griffin, eds Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. U.S. Department of Education Office of Intergovernmental and Interagency Affairs Helping Your Child Become a Reader. Jessup, MD: Education Publications Center (Spanish edition available). Vukelich, C. and Christie, J Building a Foundation for Preschool Literacy: Effective Instruction in Children’s Reading and Writing Development. Newark, DE: IRA. It might be helpful to bring some of the reference for display. CPIN 2006

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