About Early Literacy
The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children. – US Department of Education
Early childhood literacy is the skills a child needs before learning to read. There are five part ways to help children develop them. They are
- Singing and Rhyming
Reading Readiness = Reading Success
Reading Success = Overall School Success
Developing these skills should not feel like work to you or your child!
- Be playful and silly together.
- Share a book every day, but stop when your child’s mind wanders. Keep it fun.
- Read out loud from picture or chapter books. With babies, point to things and name them, too.
- Say nursery rhymes, make animal sounds, and sing songs together.
- Talk together about the story and pictures, explain the concepts.
- Ask your child to name and describe things.
- Get refrigerator magnets to help your child learn the alphabet, the sounds, and a few short words.
- Talk with your child as you spend time together. Your child will soak up vocabulary like a sponge, so don’t limit yourself to simple words. Provide a language-rich environment!
- Let your child see you reading, and he will want to learn how.
- Buy your child some books of her own, especially the ones she wants to hear over and over.
- Play rhyming and matching games, and make up more games together. If your child is named Jackie, call her “Jackie-zo-zackie” or “Jumping Jackie”, etc. Play “I Spy” by saying, “I spy, with my little eye, something in the room that rhymes with Mabel. What is it?”
Related books are available at the Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library.
- RIF Leading to Reading
The adults page her articles and information about leading kids to reading. The baby/toddler and preschooler pages have stories, songs, and games.
- Zero to Three’s Early Language and Literacy
In question and answer format, presents recent research on brain development and early childhood literacy of newborns to age 3. Separates information for parents, child care providers and health clinicians.
- Ready At Five
A huge collection of tip sheets and activity calendar for parents, supporting early literacy.
- A Child Becomes a Reader: Birth Through Preschool
A 32-page printable booklet of skills for newborn to age 6 by The Partnership for Reading, administered by the National Institute for Literacy in cooperation with National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, and US Department of Education and US Department of Health and Human Services.
- Grow Up Reading @ The West Bloomfield Township Public Library
A good basic explanation of early literacy skills and reading with your children from The West Bloomfield Tpw. Public Library.
- Parents Page
Parent Page Handouts on a variety of topics including choosing books for young children and reading with your child. In English and Spanish. It includes Reading Together to Build Early Literacy and On the Road to Reading as well as an eNewsletter you can subscribe to. Sponsored by Parents As Teachers, an early childhood parent education and family support program.
- RIF’s Leading ro Reading
Sections for Babies/Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Grown-ups.
- Helping Kids Learn to Read . . . and Succeed!
A large site with information, activities, and advice. Click on English or Spanish.
For more websites with related information see literacy expert Saroj Ghoting’s site (from which many of these references were drawn).
Accelerated Reading Program
Accelerated Reader is a software program created by Renaissance Learning and used in many schools to encourage reading. How the program is used in an individual classroom may vary from one school to the next.
Students read a book at his/her reading level, then take a test on the computer. Questions include vocabulary and comprehension for the story, and students earn points based on the number of questions they answer correctly. For more information contact your child’s school, or talk with your child’s teacher.
The Plainfield Community School Corporation is now making every test available for students to take. To look for a book with an AR test, go to the Quiz Store at the AR website.
All AR tests are taken at school. They are not offered online, nor can tests be taken at the public library.
Staff has labeled many AR books to make it easier to find books at the right level. The labels are purple, and have the AR reading level right on the book spine.