Early Literacy Strategies

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Early Literacy Strategies

February 26, 2013

Article by: Ally Cooper, Director of Marketing for Momstown for OurKids.net, Canada’s trusted source for camps and schools.

I was fortunate enough to be in the midst of a Foundations of Literacy course when my kids were in JK and Grade 1. It meant I had built-in test subjects, and I probably drove them a bit crazy, benchmarking their reading levels constantly and trying out different reading strategies with them. As a student teacher candidate, I was learning practical skills to bring into the classroom. As a parent, I had never been more excited. There were so many ways beyond the ‘sound it out’ strategy we all remember from our youth, so many different ways to approach early literacy and to enjoy books and reading with children. I thought I’d share a few of these as many of you are reading books every day with your kids – and hopefully there will be a few nuggets here that help you enjoy and appreciate the experience even more.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and these ideas mostly come from early literacy texts, as well as from my own personal experience with young readers.

  1. Preview the book first
  2. Model proper reading ‘mechanics’
  3. ‘Plant’ words during the ‘preview’
  4. Practice high-frequency words (sight words)
  5.  Build stamina
  6. Use picture cues
  7. You read, then I read
  8.  Choose the ‘right’ level of book
  9. Reading is not all about decoding
  10.  Make connections

Start simple, and then challenge your child to make deeper connections – it’s part of enjoying books, developing critical thinking skills, and having a broader perspective. Most importantly, make reading fun! If your toddler sees that you enjoy reading, then they will want to model that skill at first. If you keep the activity fun then they will really start enjoying reading too. Make reading a positive experience for them you can turn an interest into a lifelong love of books.

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