For my future preschool classroom, I plan to create a literacy-rich environment which promotes emergent literacy skills. Through manipulatives and learning materials provided, each area of the classroom will be thoughtfully designed to encourage children to participate in spoken and written language daily. Labeling items and location around the classroom will aid children to form associations with the sight-words they represent; increasing print recognition. Along with a reading center area where children can spend time reading with peers or individually during free-choices, I would like to have relating books and reading materials available in every subject area of the classroom. For example, dramatic play can be provided menus to use as props or books about restaurants, and the science center could have books available on themed topics (such as nature or magnets) for future inquiry. Similarly, I plan to have writing materials available in all subject centers beyond a designated writing center. Areas like a math center can hold opportunities to engage in writing number-words and making counting symbols for problem-solving (examples: tally, dots, drawings, etc). Along with including visible and interactive literacy materials around the classroom, I intend to be mindful of the developmental needs of all my students and shall make any necessary accommodations to enable equal learning opportunities. By establishing a literacy-rich environment. Collectively, immersion in a literacy-rich classroom environment will promote enjoyment of language skills, as well as offer greater promise for children to become proficient readers and writers.
Regarding how to encourage emergent literacy skills at home, communication between teachers and families is key to promising quality connections. Teachers can discuss literacy goals for each student with parents and integrate the individual interests and needs of each child into the classroom setting. This may include providing materials – such as labels and multilingual books – of a child’s native language to their classroom environment for English Language Learners (Reading Rockets, 2007). In EDU 305, we further discussed several ways teachers can lead families to supporting emergent literacy at home. We agreed that daily newsletters are a helpful strategy for teachers to keep parents informed on current topics that their children are learning in school. Newsletters can additionally be used to share songs/rhymes/activities/games/flashcards introduced at school to be practiced at home. Another way we thought teachers can assist families to support emergent literacy outside of school is to have a classroom library available, so parents and children may borrow books to bring home and increase reading time together. Overall, it is important for teachers to be present to communicating with families and willing to suggest, create, and lend materials in order to promote emergent literacy at home.
The Access Center (2007). Literacy-Rich Environments. Retrieved from Reading Rockets: https://via.hypothes.is/http://www.readingrockets.org/article/literacy-rich-environments