Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"L" is for Literacy: The ABC's of Teaching Preschool

In celebration of 20,000 members of the Teach Preschool Facebook community, Deborah Stewart challenged many of our fellow preschool education bloggers to come up with posts about what they feel are important aspects of teaching preschoolers. The goal is to have a post linked with each letter of the alphabet to make "The ABC's of Teaching Preschool".  
"L" is for Literacy! When most people think of preschool literacy, they often jump right to the ABC song and cute children's books. While those are both important in preschool (I admit, I am quite the children's book aficionado),  I believe in sneaking literacy into the preschool learning environment in every way possible. I do this by providing a very print rich environment and exposing children to reading and writing in a variety of ways.

We participate in the "Morning Message",

dictate our thoughts and observations,

make words by practicing substituting sounds,

we practice writing in the dirt with sticks,

and in flour, salt, sand and shaving cream.

We write chart stories,

and Fairy Tales,

We explore with letters in a variety of ways. These are "magic letters" that show up after you rub a crayon over it!

We learn to put letters together to form our names.

and learn to match uppercase and lowercase letters.

We learn new vocabulary. I'm a firm believer in "Big Words". (After only 3 weeks in school, my students can tell you that the "perimeter" of the rug means "the outside edge". Every time we begin a new unit, we make a vocabulary list as we go along of the "big words" that we are learning.

We learn that our writing has meaning and that we often write for a purpose.

 We even learn to write stories of our own.

And of course, we LOVE to read as many wonderful children's books as we can manage to fit in throughout the day!

Links to the entire "The ABC's of Teaching Preschool" series will appear here as each post becomes available. The bloggers participating are all awesome, I encourage you to check out each and every one! Be sure to stop by Deborah Stewart's blog, Teach Preschool and check out the Teach Preschool community on Facebook for sharing and more links from these and other great early childhood education blogs! 


  1. This is a great selection of literacy activities - love them!

  2. I love how literacy can be introduced in so many ways Ayn! This is an excellent addition to our ABC's of teaching preschoolers!

  3. I love all these literacy ideas! So many ways to encourage childrens' love of language and writing! (In my room we especially love shaving cream writing!)

  4. I especially LOVE that you use 'big' words Ayn. There's something really exciting about hearing a 5 year old use and understand a word like perimeter, in it's correct context!!
    Donna :) :)

  5. I love these ideas Ayn!!! Will do this with my kiddos

  6. I think somebody has been reading Fountas & Pinnell ;) This is a great selection of literacy activities to exemplify how literacy can be woven into the fabric of our days. My students love the word "metamorphosis" :) Kudos!

    Vanessa @Pre-K Pages

  7. Some great ideas here, Ayn. I work to incorporate all kinds of language but you reminded me the importance of "big words." (And I always love to see kids' writing!)

  8. You hit the nail on the head. Literacy rich environments provide much more than simply learning to read & write, as important as they are. I have to also agree with Donna, using complex words in the correct context is achievable & wonderful to witness. I have a toddler who can identify several dinosaurs by using their very lengthy names - stegosaurus, triceratops, diplodicus, etc.

    You're doing a wonderful job!

  9. Vanessa, tell me more about Fountas and Pinnell! I don't know about them!

    Thanks everyone, for your kind comments---I'm learning so much from ALL of YOU!!! :)

  10. What a great collection! I will be revisiting this post (and blog) several times over!

  11. So many good ideas, Ayn! My daughter hasn't started writing yet, and I think she'll enjoy the uppercase/lowercase recognition hearts. Love it!

  12. So many ways to make our mark in time! :)

  13. Great post, Ayn! I love all the literacy activities you listed - particularly where they string along letters to form their name. That is one of the first words most kids learn to recognize, and they LOVE to see it!


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