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One of the first steps of reading...

Yes, we are talking about print awareness!

Children need to learn to associate squiggles on a page and icons with words. They do this quite naturally – they recognize logos – McDonald’s golden arches, stop signs by the shape of the sign, grocery store names – the place where you get your favourite food.

By encouraging guesses of signs and words, you are having fun while making your child aware of print and icons all the while giving them a sense of accomplishment when they guess correctly.

We are beginning to demonstrate that reading is important!

As they develop, they may begin to copy an older sibling or a parent and pretend to read. They will ask for a particular book to be read over and over again. The repetition is fun and helps the child to make connections between the events. (Warning – they will notice if you skip a page or get the story wrong!)

They learn about the beginning, middle and end of a story and gradually memorize the sequence of events and retell the story themselves. With practice, children learn that words in print are the same as the words they hear.

To lay the foundation for reading English, children must understand how books work.

They need to learn:

  • how to hold a book correctly

  • to turn the pages gently and towards the right

  • follow from left to right and top to bottom

  • that letters form words and represent the words they hear

How can you help?

  • make print relevant to your child – make a list of things to do, or groceries,

  • read lift the flap books as well as touch and feel books. Talk about what they anticipate being under the flap and describe what they feel,

  • let them choose the book that the find interesting

  • talk about the book as you take it off the shelf. Discuss the cover, the title, the author and the illustrator.

  • encourage your child to hold the book and turn the pages.

  • talk about the pictures and point out details

  • track the words as you read them

Reinforce learning with a fun craft activity!

Make your very own ladybug from a paper plate or just a couple of circles and some antennae – rectangles!

Get creative with the materials you use and try using found objects from around your home.

(Thank you “Educators’ spin on it”)

Here are two books to try:

The Sounds of Snow (We love the way the reader points to the words that describe the sounds)

The Grouchy Ladybug (You can point to the words on the screen)

Have fun making the connection between those squiggles, logos, signs and words!

Looking for more suggestions?


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