November News from the Toddler Community
The children continue to amaze me daily! They are gaining more independence in our regular routines and grow each day.
We will be adding some additional songs to our repertoire such as “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe”, “I am a Little Teapot”, and “Bend and Stretch”. I plan to introduce the book, “The Mitten” by Jan Brett, and use some props from the book for the children to participate in helping to tell the story of the book as a class.
The importance of books and reading with the children cannot be overstated. Historically books have held an honored place; the Monks wrote the bible in its entirety, scrolls have been kept in places of honor and the development of the printing press are all examples through history of the significance of written language. Before the written word, story tellers traveled to tell stories passed down to educate about history and pass down traditions. Books stabilize stories in history. When stories are written down they can be passed in the same way each time. History can be traced through the writings.
Books open the door to the world, with endless possibilities. Reading books to young children will help them learn from the beginning that books have a message. To say the least, it is very desirable for everyone to become literate. Life in society is easier for the individual who is able to read and write. Studies have shown that there are three important areas to develop to establish literacy. The first area that must be developed is phonological awareness, or the ability to hear the sounds/phonemes in language. To support the development of phonological awareness the adult can speak clearly with good pronunciation. There are also many materials used in the 3-6 year old environment such as sandpaper letters, moveable alphabet and more that are used to encourage phonological awareness.
The second important development for literacy is oral language development. The child must be able to speak. The child that speaks well and has a rich vocabulary will be at an advantage for literacy. In the Toddler Community there are many materials that are used for vocabulary development, such as specific language materials in naming objects. In addition, in the Toddler Community everything can become a lesson in language at any time, providing the child with time and vocabulary.
The third important development for literacy is print awareness. The child must realize that the marks on the paper mean something and have significance in order to develop literacy. When it is considered how young the child begins to read, it must be realized that reading most be done early to establish these important developments.
Poetry and rhythmic language (rhyming, songs and finger play) have another benefit of coordinating the left and right sides of the brain, coordinating brain hemispheres (Lise Elliot, What’s Going on in There, pg. 15). We will read and play with poetry, rhyme and songs a lot in the classroom. If you have any favorite books you would like to share with the classroom please feel free to contact me or send them in.