Literacy in the First Year

I got an idea last week to do Facebook classes for parents on literacy tips for different age groups. My goal is to educate and provide parents with ideas about how to effectively teach their children literacy from birth through childhood. Most of my experience teaching literacy is grades 6-8, but now that Miss Molly has entered the picture, I have been doing a lot of research on infancy literacy.

This post is for parents and early childhood educators on literacy in the first year (from my Facebook class).  It includes infant development information, stages of learning, and book suggestions.

New parents know that reading is important, but many don’t realize that reading to a child from birth is extremely beneficial. I found this great YouTube video from CNN about The Importance of Reading to Babies and used this to get my class started. Some of the highlights from the video include:

*Language, reading and writing skills develop at the same time and go hand in hand.

*Birth-3 years is when 90% of the brain develops

*Language and cognitive outcomes increase when reading to children

*Two biggest benefits of early literacy: the ability to learn and succeed later and strengthens emotional bond with parents

These are great ideas to keep in mind during a little one’s first year.

Literacy During Pregnancy:

*Talk to baby, play music, read to belly

*Create a baby library with a variety of texts (NB-preschool)

*Create a literate environment

-Warm and inviting (colors, pictures, etc.)

-Music (CD player, iPod)

-Texts around the house (magazines, books)

*Usborne has a fabulous Home Library Starter Collection that is perfect for a new baby!

home-library-starter-collection

Newborn-3 Months

*Baby senses are developing, especially sight and sound, so it’s importacloth-baby-booksnt to nurture with literacy
-Sing to baby

-Talk to baby

-Read books with pictures and little to no text on the page

3-6 Months

*Babies start to sit with assistance (makes reading to them so much easier), start to reach and hold objects very-first-playbook(which makes reading more interactive)

-Allow your baby to hold books, help turn pages, etc.

-Use books with common objects

–helps them get familiar with objects and language development

 

6-12 Months

*Babies are more independentvery-first-bus-book

-Let them “play” with books (mix among toys)

-If he/she brings you a book read it to them.

-Have he/she help during reading time (hold book, turn pages)

Tips for All Ages

*Read every day!

-Set reading time (part of bedtime routine)

-On the go reading (doctor’s office, parties, etc.)

*You don’t have to finish the book every time!

*Make the story come alive!

-Use voices, different tones, etc.

For more book options click here.

 

Touchy-Feely and Sight Words in One Book

Having a child can be expensive, so when I see a product that can grow with my daughter I get excited. I’m very picky with choosing books for Molly because I want texts that she can use for years instead of a month or two.

As a new mom, I do a lot of research on how to give my baby a strong start and the most popular suggestion is reading to your child (see previous post for more ideas on this). However, I’ve noticed that as Molly gets older she sometimes needs a little more stimulation, so we have introduced touchy-feely books in our house.

Molly is constantly drawn to bright colors and lights, so I want to read books that are visually appealithats-not-myng to her. She is also starting to grab things more, and we are working on introducing her to new textures. Usborne’s That’s Not My collection is perfect for Miss Molly because of the bright colors, cute themes, and touchy-feely pages. These books are perfect for me because they can be used now and also when she is in preschool and kindergarten.

This post is for parents on how to use the That’s Not My collection at home to engage your young reader.

When I purchased my mini consultant kit in January it came with the That’s Not My Dinosaur book, which is adorable for a little boy. As a girly girl myself, I had to get Molly one of these books that was geared towards a baby girl. I was debating between the Princess and Dolly and decided to go with Dolly this time around (I’m planning to get the Princess and Mermaid soon).

The physical construction of these books is incredible. As with many baby books this one is a board book, but it’s extremely lightweight with thicker pages than other baby books. Molly has seen me hold a book and turn pages for a few months now, but this was the first book she wanted/was able to grab by herself. She was able to lift the book on her own and hold the pages with her four-month-old hands. molly-reading-thats-not-my

The pictures are large and use contrasting colors for little eyes to see everything clearly. Each page has different color schemes, which helps keep Molly engaged longer. The touchy-feely components match the main idea of the page. For instance, the page Molly is on says, “That’s not my dolly. Her hat is too soft.” The touch and feel aspect on this page is the doll’s hat.

One of my favorite things about this collection is how they can also be used with early readers. These books are perfect for helping little ones with sight words and learning to read. Each page has a handful of sight words (to see the Dolch list click here) and is made up of simple, concise sentences that are manageable for young readers.

Some suggestions for using That’s Not My with preschool/kindergarten kids:

*Use them frequently. They are small and light enough to throw in a bag to use while you’re out and about, or read one a day as an activity. They are definitely a quick read, which is all you need sometimes.

*Show off! Kids love to show friends and family when they can do something new. Have your child readthats-not-my-monkey the book (or have them help you) to people the child feels comfortable with. This will not only boost their confidence, but also give them the additional practice.

*Relate the theme to daily life. If you’re taking a trip to the zoo, get your child excited by reading books like That’s Not My Monkey or That’s Not My Lion. There are so many different options so this is quite easy to do, especially if you use them seasonally.

These little books are portable, durable, and adorable. I love how they can be used from infancy all the way through kindergarten. For more information visit my store.