Literacy in Early Childhood Education

At Momentum Early Learning we hold four very important Core Values: Safety, Education, Cleanliness, and Technology. To maintain our higher standard of child care, we focus on education and curriculum. Literacy is a key component of our curriculum. We asked Ms. Jenna at our Sussex Campus to explain the value of early literacy in a child’s life.We hope that Jenna’s tips will help other teachers, and inspire parents to get creative with their story time at home!

Meet Ms. Jennajenna

My name is Ms Jenna, and I am a teacher in the Little Scholars classroom at Momentum’s Sussex Campus. I have been working in the field of early childhood education for the past 4 years. I love to plan engaging and interacting activities to help my students learn and grow through play. One of my favorite types of lessons to plan is literacy activities.

Literacy and the Importance

Literacy typically refers to reading and writing skills. Early literacy skills can start developing in the primary childhood years. Some early literacy skills include letter knowledge, print awareness, phonological awareness, and emergent writing skills. Early literacy skills that are developed during the early years of a child’s life can help them become successful later on in school.

Ways to Incorporate Literacy in the Classroom

  • Add books into different centers of the classroom:
    • Nonfiction books about animals, insects, plants or weather in the science area
    • Picture or nonfiction books about food, families, or different careers in the dramatic play area
    • Picture or nonfiction books about construction, cars, or transportation in block area
    • Picture or nonfiction books about painting, drawing or artists in art area
    • Picture or nonfiction books from different genres/themes in literacy area
      lit
      (Here is a sample of nonfiction books that are found in the science area of my classroom.)
  • Labeling objects/toys in the classroom in large printlit2
  • Add word cards into writing area (change as needed with weekly themes)
  • Use retelling pieces or flannel board pieces that go along with bookslit3
    (I like to organize my flannel board pieces in labeled pouches along with the corresponding book. Here is a sample of some of my flannel board pieces and books.)
    lit4
    (Here is a sample of retelling pieces and the corresponding book.)

Ways to Incorporate Literacy at Home

  • Read books at bedtime (simple board books for babies and toddlers, age appropriate picture books for preschoolers and school-age children)
  • Expose children to different kinds of print (magazines, newspaper, books, and environmental prints)
  • Sing nursery rhymes, finger plays or your child’s favorite songs with them or to them

lit5
(Here are puppets that I made to go along with popular nursery rhymes and finger plays.)

  • Make up your own stories or encourage children to make up their own
  • Label objects in your home in large print

While felt board stories and literacy games can be fun and engaging for children, sitting down and reading a book is just as important. One of the easiest things you can do is to pick up a book and read to your child! Perhaps set aside a few minutes a day to sit with your child and read, bedtime can be a great time to do this.  Also don’t forget about your local public libraries- not only can you check out a variety of fun books to bring home, many offer free story times throughout the week. Literacy is all around us; expose your children to as much as you can during the early childhood years!

Momentum Early Learning, the new standard in education and child care, provides unparalleled excellence of care for children through an open, friendly and nurturing culture. Momentum Early Learning provides care and teaching for children ages six weeks to twelve years old. Momentum Early Learning’s pledge of excellence is based on four core values: safety, education, cleanliness and technology. Families interested in learning more about Momentum Early Learning can call the Sussex Campus at 262.820.2595 or the Germantown Campus at 262.415.8047 or visit Momentum’s website at www.momentumearlylearning.com.

Resources to Use

I use a variety of different resources to help me create literacy activities for the classroom. Here is a list of some of my favorites:

Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/)

Teachers Pay Teachers (https://www.teacherspayteachers.com) *some items are free while others you have to pay for

Printable felt board pieces/activities for books  (http://www.makinglearningfun.com/themepages/BookPrintables.htm)

Printable activities for Jan Brett Books (http://www.janbrett.com/index.html)