of East Roswell
2852 Holcomb Bridge Rd (corner of SteepleChase Dr & Holcomb Bridge), Alpharetta, GA 30022 • (770) 993-8684

Roswell, GA Preschool: Early Literacy and Language Acquisition

Posted on 05-23-2016 | Suzanne Edwards

The foundation of a child's success in school is laid during the early preschool years. It is crucial that this foundation be the strongest possible. How well a child reads directly affects his/her success in school and in life since this ability opens the doors to all knowledge of the world. Our program places a very strong emphasis on working with the students to have them start reading at as early an age as possible. We frequently hear from our graduates' parents that their children are the most advanced readers in their respective Kindergarten classes. The activities below start with our youngest students and continue through Pre-K.

Nursery: We begin teaching baby sign language to give children a method of communication before verbal skills develop. Teachers frequently read books to children, emphasizing the importance of positive interaction between children and adults and developing a love of reading. Teachers constantly talk to the babies, giving them new vocabulary. Infants listen and eventually try to repeat words they hear in the classroom. Printed words are introduced throughout the Nursery, introducing the children to the concept of letters.

Toddlers/Twos: Sign language use becomes more frequent and reciprocal. Children begin naming and pointing to familiar objects in books, showing the beginning of understanding connection between pictures in books and real-life objects. Children act out things they see or hear read aloud in books. Students select their own books and frequently ask for them to be read over and over. They learn the alphabet song and begin to talk about starting sounds of familiar objects. Instruction in Mandarin Chinese begins in the older toddler class, where familiar songs are used to teach new words and sounds. Children recognize their names on cubbies and begin to identify the letters in their name. Children are encouraged to engage in conversations with each other. While not yet completely verbal, teachers can encourage conversation by asking open-ended questions that require more than a yes or no answer while playing in a center with the children. Play props are provided to stimulate this. The teacher may also model conversation for non-verbal children.

Threes: Zoophonics, a curriculum for teaching recognition of upper and lower case letters and the corresponding sounds using animal characters, songs and movements, is introduced. Children begin listening more carefully to stories and make predictions about what they think will happen. Students use printed visual cues and some basic sight words are introduced. Books are integrated across the curriculum in all areas - math, science, literacy, social-emotional, etc. Interactive writing also begins at this age. Children dictate words to the teacher, talk about experiences, draw pictures, and write letters. Children are encouraged to engage in conversations with each other as they play in a learning center. Imaginary play where children assign roles for engaging in play is common at this age. For example, in the Home Living Center, the children might re-enact a family dinner with each child assigned the role of a family member as they plan and act out a dinner scenario. Children at this age (as well as Pre-K) also enjoy conducting puppet shows for each other using the classroom puppet theater and themed puppets - or making their own puppets - which involves imaginary play and storytelling.

Pre-K: Parents commit to reading to their child a certain number of days per week, and students earn recognition for reading logs. Children practice reading using predictable readers based on word families. These go home daily with the children in their literacy pouch so that parents can also help their students practice at home. Twice a week, parent volunteers read one-on-one with children at the beginning of the Pre-K day. Children begin putting sounds together to create words, and reading comprehension emerges. Students use emerging writing/spelling skills to write descriptions and captions on their artwork.

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