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Title: A researchbased approach to supporting preschool language and literacy in public libraries

A research-based approach to supporting preschool
language and literacy in public libraries
  • Presented to
  • Connecticut Libraries by
  • Anne Fowler, Ph.D. and Julia Irwin, Ph.D.
  • Haskins Laboratories
  • Susan Cormier, M.L.S.
  • Connecticut State Library

Acknowledgments to
  • Haskins Early Reading Success
  • Haskins Laboratories - CSDE - URI ERS Fellows -
  • L. Liss-Bronstein, L. Palumbo, M. Gillis
  • ERS Demonstration Site Schools

  • 900 Overview of research and policy
  • 945 Phonological awareness (with video)
  • 1100 Alphabet knowledge
  • 1130 Concepts about print
  • Lunch
  • 100 Vocabulary
  • 200 Story recall
  • 300 Complex sentence structure

Share research helping librarians to
  • Identify what preschoolers need to know
  • Develop and monitor research-based strategies for
    story hour
  • Build lists of books supporting preliteracy
  • Develop resources (booklists, websites,
    professional books) for parents and child care
  • Be attuned to warning signs when to refer
    children for professional evaluation

Children do not catch up
  • Children who fall behind in first grade have a
    one in eight chance of ever catching up to grade
    level without extraordinary efforts.
  • Juel 1994 Clay 1979

ALA - Kids cant wait
Shaywitz, Connecticut Longitudinal Study
Many children already behind when the begin
  • In Early Reading Success schools
  • Only 54 could name even 12 letters
  • Only 46 could identify even 4 letter sounds
    (e.g., p says /p/)
  • Less than half recognized shared sound in moon
    and mouse
  • Only 26 to 44 children had even a rudimentary
    sense of sound-to letter link (e.g., write down M
    for /mmm/)

We do know how to intervene
National Research Council 1998 National Reading
Panel 2000 Connecticut Reading Panel 2000
Research guides policy
National Research Council (1998)
  • Reading Difficulties in Young Children.
    Washington, D.C. National Academy Press.
  • Two major conclusions
  • Preschool oral language competencies provide the
    most critical foundation for reading
  • Intentional explicit instruction will facilitate
    childrens success in acquiring reading, as well
    as oral language prerequisites to reading

Learning to read and write Developmentally
appropriate practices for young children. A Joint
Position Statement by the IRA and the NAEYC (2000)
Research guides policy
National Reading Panel (2000)
  • Careful empirical review of five extensively
    studied components of reading
  • Phoneme awareness
  • Phonics (word study)
  • Fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Reading Comprehension

Put Reading First
Enhancing Oral Language
Connecticuts Blueprint for Reading Achievement
  • Learning to read in any language depends on a
    strong foundation of oral competence in that

The Many Strands of Early Reading Success
LITERACY KNOWLEDGE (print concepts, genres, etc.)
SKILLED READING Fluent execution and coordination
of word recognition and text comprehension
etc.) VOCABULARY, esp. expressive (breadth,
precision, links, etc.) LANGUAGE
STRUCTURES (syntax, semantics, etc.) VERBAL
REASONING (inference, metaphor, etc.)
PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS (syllables, phonemes,
etc.) DECODING (alphabetic principle
spelling-sound correspondences) SIGHT
RECOGNITION (of familiar words)
Adapted from Scarborough, 2000
Research is clear about
  • What children need to know in order to succeed in
    learning to read
  • Effective principles for teaching reading and
  • prereading skills in K and beyond
  • Factors that support expressive oral language in
  • Well spend time on each

What preschool skills best prepare children for
later reading success?
(Scarborough, 1998)
  • Alphabet knowledge
  • Concepts about print
  • Phonological awareness
  • Expressive vocabulary
  • Sentence repetition
  • Story recall
  • Oral language measure

Principles of effective literacy instruction
  • Intentional
  • Explicit
  • Systematic and Sequential
  • i.e., developmentally appropriate
  • Motivating
  • Reinforced with ample practice
  • ..
  • Active, discovery-based
  • Supportive well-planned environment
  • Multisensory (writing, speaking, listening,
  • National Reading Panel

Factors that enhance oral language in preschoolers
  • An environment that
  • inhibits language
  • Minimal talk to the child
  • Adult monologue
  • Not at childs speed
  • Commands
  • Pronouns other proforms
  • Minimal language beyond the here and now
  • supports language
  • Much talk to the child
  • Responsive interactions
  • Time for child to talk
  • Open-ended questions
  • Rich use of vocabulary
  • Talk about past and future events and ideas

  • Fostering phonological awareness

The Rocket Ship
Phonological awareness
  • Phonological awareness includes the entire
  • rocket , or skills sequence. It refers to
    attention to how spoken words sound and are
    pronounced - including word length, number of
    syllables, shared rhymes and phonemes, etc.
  • Phonemic awareness is the capsule of the
  • rocket, one small part of phonological
  • that launches young children into reading. It
  • an understanding that speech is composed of a
  • series of individual consonants and vowels, or

Phonological sensitivity
Phonological awareness
  • Involves units larger than the phoneme
  • rhyme production and recognition
  • Does this rhyme? Cat/hat box/lip
  • What rhymes with back, rack .?
  • syllable segmentation and deletion
  • clap for each syllable in elephant
  • say cowboy. Now say cowboy without the boy.
  • Central focus of the preschool years
  • Risk children who have difficulty recognizing
    and producing rhyme once it is introduced

Phonological awareness
  • requires attention to word onset (e.g., sun,
  • is an excellent K predictor of reading
  • typically requires explicit instruction
  • should be introduced in staged fashion
  • isolation is instilled most easily
  • Can you say a little bit of show, my
  • continuants (m,n,z,f,v,s,sh) and vowels before
    stop consonants (p,t, k, b,d, g)
  • identity (e.g., matching) should be the
    instructional target

RHYME two words rhyme when they are identical
from the stressed syllable to the end of the
word black sack banana cabana
Phonological awareness - definitions
Alliteration repetition of word onsets
(consonants before first vowel)
Lawrence the leopard made lemonade.
Most children rhyme before gaining awareness of
onset (initial sound).
Full phonemic awareness
Phonological awareness
  • awareness of the phonemic structure of spoken
  • demonstrated by ability to segment words into
    constituent vowels and consonants (say all the
    sounds in glass) or identify common segments
    across words (e.g., the first sound in stop is
    the the final sound in pots)
  • is not all-or-none but develops continuously,
    often in tandem with early literacy, until age 7
    and later
  • correlates strongly with reading and spelling
    beyond K
  • almost always requires explicit instruction
  • is NOT appropriate for instruction in preschool

Phonological awareness
  • Phonological awareness activities appropriate for
  • Recognize and produce rhymes
  • Segment (e.g., clap) sentences into words, words
    into syllables
  • Match words on basis of same initial sound

Work toward matching on basis of a few (4-12)
initial sounds, writing down letter for some of
the sounds taught
  • Phonological awareness video
  • Methods for Instruction
  • by Haskins Early Reading Success

Phonological awareness - Demonstration 1
  • Choose rhyming books where children can
  • Memorize short passages for later reflection
  • Nursery rhymes chants (Rain rain go away)
  • Brief books (Baby in the Box, Asch)
  • Anticipate (on basis of rhyme, picture,)
  • The Alphabet Tale, Garten
  • Play Day, McMillan
  • Repeat (and add to) rhyming pairs
  • Bear Snores On, Wilson Chapman
  • Sheep in a Jeep, Shaw
  • Focus on active participation by children

Phonological awareness - Demonstration 2
Rhyming activities
  • Recognize
  • Sort cards picturing words from books - e.g.,
  • /eep/ words and /oks/ words
  • Sound-tration with rhyming pairs.
  • Produce
  • The Hungry Thing (from video)
  • Rhyming cube
  • Connect with story and theme

Phonological awareness - Demonstration 3
Syllable Activities
  • Rhythmic poetry - clap with each syllable
  • Segmenting kids names
  • Blending (puppet talk) as in video
  • Counting and categorizing by number of syllables
  • Tops Bottoms, Stevens
  • link with thematic vocabulary lesson

Phonological awareness- Demonstration 4
Selecting books with alliteration
  • Alphabet books with multiple tokens for each
  • Dr. Seuss ABC
  • Flora McDonnells ABC
  • e.g., D Dinosaur Duck
  • Books focusing on one or two initial sounds
  • Wemberly Worried, Henkes /w/
  • Slowly, slowly, slowly, said the sloth, Carle
    /sl/, /l/

Phonological awareness - Demonstration 5
Alliteration activities
  • Use pictures, objects, writing materials
  • Matching picture cards depicting same initial
    sound (soundtration)
  • Sort objects and pictures into labeled mailbags
  • Connect target phoneme(s) with letter(s) using
    plastic letters, air or carpet writing, writing
    on paper
  • Adapt rhyming activities (e.g,. cube) to focus on
    initial sound

Phonological awareness
  • Cautions regarding alliteration!
  • Focus on one or two simple sounds
  • Practice initial phoneme isolation emphasizing
  • Dont confuse sounds and letters
  • Keep it fun and interactive -
  • no need for worksheets!

Phonological awareness
Manipulation books (language play)
Best for sheer good fun without expecting too
much from all children. Children can listen and
chant the repeated phrases, Clinkety clankety,
Bing bang pop!
Rattletrap Car, P. Root Illustrated by J. Barton
Phonological Awareness Summary
  • General principles from research
  • Start with larger units (rhymes, onsets, etc.)
  • Focus on a few well-selected phonemes
  • Emphasize articulatory component
  • Give children an active role - produce practice
  • Connect with writing, letter recognition
  • Have fun!!!

Group activity Selecting books and activities to
support phonological awareness
Phonological awareness
Alphabet Knowledge
  • Goal
  • Identify 20 upper case letters
  • Identify 12 lower-case letters
  • Know sound for 4 to 12 letters
  • Write down letter for 2 to 3 sounds
  • Write own name
  • Recite the alphabet song, as point to letters

Work toward automaticity
Risk child does not recognize first letter in
Alphabet knowledge - Demonstration 1
Selecting alphabet books
  • Preschoolers need a clear font and clear
    exemplars e.g., C for cat, e.g., Flora
    McDonnells ABC
  • One sound per letter minimizes confusion. Avoid
  • C is for Chessie, Alfie's black white cat
  • Alfie's ABC, Hughes
  • Vary selection between books
  • emphasizing the alphabet song,
  • e.g., Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
  • and those with strong exemplars within a story
  • e.g., Kippers A to Z

Alphabet Activities
Alphabet knowledge - Demonstration 2
  • Alphabet Song and tracking activities
  • Alphabet Tree
  • Sorting letters with different print styles
  • Upper and lower case match
  • Letter naming. letter hunts
  • Letter formation in air, on carpet, paper, etc.
  • Work with childrens names and other salient

Which preschool abilities are important for
Concepts about print
  • Beginning kindergartners should be able to
  • Differentiate between letters, numbers, words and
  • Recognize that it is print (and not pictures)
    that is read in stories
  • Hold a book and turn pages appropriately

Work toward speech-to-print match
RISK Child who lacks book-handling skills
Concepts about Print - Demonstration 1
Speech-to-Print -gt Concept of Word
Jump, frog, jump!
Cows in the pasture, moo, moo, moo
Jump, frog, jump! by Robert Kalan
Barnyard Banter by Denise Fleming
Concepts about print - Demonstration 2
Book handling skills
  • Simple pattern books are ideal
  • e.g., I Went Walking, Williams
  • As you walk through the book
  • Choral read pattern
  • I went walking.
  • What did you see?
  • Use picture and pattern to anticipate next line
  • Practice producing simple vocabulary,
  • I saw a red horse.. looking at me

Concepts about print - Demonstration 3
Selecting books to support concepts about print
  • Repetitive rhythmic books with few words per
    page. Children first learn to chant the refrain -
    then match spoken with written words.
  • e.g., Jump, Frog, Jump, Kalan
  • Large, clear print - few words on page
  • Words worth emphasizing (even if children dont
    join in, e.g., Rain, Stolic
  • Repeated words ideal, Barnyard Banter, Fleming
  • Great for ABC - Chikka Chikka Boom Boom, Martin

Group activity Selecting books and activities to
support Alphabet knowledge and Concepts about
Phonological awareness
A research-based approach to supporting preschool
language and literacy in public libraries
  • Part II - Fostering expressive language
  • 100 Expressive vocabulary
  • 200 Decontextualized language
  • Open ended questions
  • Story Recall
  • 300 Complex sentence structure

Developmental Progression of Language Structure
Decontextualized language
Enhancing expressive oral language
  • Children come to school well able to think and
    reason about the world in situations that make
    human sense to them the here and now. What
    they have to learn to do in school is to think
    and reason in disembodied contextsto use
    symbol systems and deal with representations of
    the world.
  • (Donaldson, Childrens Minds, 1978)

Enhancing expressive oral language
  • The here and now

Visually supported language
Decontextualized (text without pictures)
Expressive vocabulary
Predictors of later reading success
  • Example Name these shapes (or other pictures)

The Sky by Ariane Dewey
Expressive Vocabulary
rocking chair
Queen Anne
The more extensive the links, the more rapid and
accurate is word retrieval
Expressive Vocabulary
Expressive Vocabulary
  • By kindergarten entry, youngsters should
  • Learn and use new words daily
  • Sort relationships among words in knowledge
  • Recognize that words go by more than one name
    Fluffy, cat, pet, animal
  • Use diverse word choices - happy, surprised,
    thrilled, etc.

Work toward interest in and enthusiasm for words
Expressive Vocabulary
How much vocabulary ?
  • Recent estimates indicate that poor children
    often enter school with limited vocabulary
    knowledge. Children with low vocabulary need to
    solidly establish 2 or 3 words a day to be ready
    for 4th grade material by 4th grade.
  • (Biemiller, JEdPsy 2001)

Introducing Vocabulary
Expressive Vocabulary
  • To have an impact on comprehension, vocabulary
    instruction must be rich (Beck et al., 1987).
  • Many encounters with new words (4 or 5 times
  • Manipulations of words, including how words
    relate to other words and to students own
  • Encourage students to produce new words, even
    beyond story hour we learn best by active
  • Books are the richest source of diverse
  • (Biemiller, 2001 Chall, Jacobs Baldwin, 1990)

Expressive Vocabulary
Word selection (Beck, 2001)
  • Basic high frequency (tier 1)
  • baby, run, happy
  • RISK Typically need instruction only in ELL or
    children with extreme language delay
  • Specialized knowledge (tier 3)
  • Wallow, paddock, rafters (Barnyard Banter.
  • Low frequency, limited to specific domains
  • Best learned within content domain
  • High utility sophisticated word (tier 2)
  • Emergency, demand, impatient (Click, Clack, Moo,
  • Ordinary words for mature language users
  • Within childs conceptual grasp

Expressive Vocabulary
Words to Focus On - Tier 2
  • Sophisticated -
  • Ordinary words for mature language users
  • generous versus nice
  • High utility -
  • Useful across many contexts
  • devour versus ingest
  • Conceptually appropriate -
  • Student understand the general concept,
  • but lacks precision and specificity
  • anxious versus sultry

RISK Children who lack many tier one words at
4 years
Enhancing vocabulary via book reading
Expressive Vocabulary
  • Students recognize MOST of the words (go through
    ahead of time and highlight novel words)
  • Engaging yet straightforward storyline with solid
    context for target words
  • Focus on 3 high utility, tier 2 words per reading
  • Read multiple times, introducing 2-3 new words
    each reading (can do this with different versions
    of same story)

Expressive Vocabulary - Demonstration 1
Selecting books to support vocabulary
  • Act out verbs worth learning
  • e.g., squabble, trample, Mr. Gumpys Outing,
  • Have children use words to relate to own life
  • e.g., furious, emergency Click, Clack, Moo,
  • Explain words (briefly)on line to keep story
  • e.g., neutral, on strike, ultimatum in
  • Make the most of words repeated several times in
  • e.g., harvest in Tops Bottoms, Stevens

Expressive Vocabulary - Demonstration 2
Selecting books to support vocabulary
  • Information books (nonfiction or not) are an
    outstanding resource for making connections

Commotion in the Ocean, Andreaa
The Water Hole, Graeme Base
Expressive Vocabulary - Demonstration 3
Using books to support vocabulary
  • Introduce familiar story with higher level
  • e.g., Henny-Penny, Wattenberg
  • this uses VERY advanced vocabulary and idiomatic
    expressions, so only use if children are already
    enjoying playing with sophisticated words

Vocabulary via Concept Sorts
Expressive Vocabulary
  • Guidelines
  • Connect to themes/content.
  • Provide objects or pictures that children can
    manipulate and sort
  • Make sure child names each picture before
    assigning to a group
  • Group by various characteristics large/small,
    land/animal, etc.
  • Follow-up with draw and label or cut and paste.
  • Why?
  • To extend the partial understandings of words
    children already have.
  • To acquire new word meanings, children need
    experience that allows them to add information to
    what they already know.

Concept sorting activity
Expressive Vocabulary - Demonstration 4
  • Tops Bottoms, Stevens
  • Provide pictures cards for foods to sort
  • Model sorting of foods according to different
    criteria above ground - below ground (root)
    green/not green
  • Children participate as group then sort
    independently, naming pictures and justifying
    their sorts orally
  • Use same pictures in expanded sort with other
    foods (e.g., fruits/vegetables)
  • Optional Paste pictures on paper and help
    children provide label (including group names)

Group activitySelecting books and activities to
promote expressive vocabulary in the story hour
Expressive vocabulary
Some resources on vocabulary
Expressive Vocabulary
  • Beck, I. L., McKeown, M. G., (In Press). Text
    Talk Capturing the benefits of read-aloud
    experiences for young children. The Reading
    Teacher. Newark, DE International Reading
  • Biemiller, A (2001). Teaching vocabulary Easy,
    direct and sequential, American Educator, Spring,
    p. 24-28, 47.
  • Hart, B. Risley, T. (1995). Meaningful
    differences in the everyday experience of young
    American children. Paul H. Brookes Publishing

Decontextualized language
  • Fostering decontextualized language via
  • Open ended questions

Decontextualized language
Promoting expressive oral language Wait time
  • A pause for the cause
  • The pause is a delay in teacher response or
    reaction that allows students time to formulate
    their response and to take the risk necessary to
    express themselves.
  • This is often called wait time.
  • (Mary Budd Rowe, 1972)

Decontextualized language - 0pen ended questions
Questioning styles that inhibit expressive oral
  • Teacher So, we have the male robin and the
    female robin.
  • Teacher points to these birds on the page.
  • T What was the male robin doing?
  • T Raise a quiet hand and tell me.
  • T What was he doing?
  • T Uh, Brian?
  • Child Uh, sittin there on a tree.
  • T No.
  • T What was he doing, Lauren?
  • C Singing.
  • T He was singing. Dickinson Smith (1994)


Decontextualized language - 0pen ended questions
Questioning styles that inhibit expressive oral
  • Factual questions limit complexity of student
  • One-word or short answer expected
  • Focus is on recall of information
  • High level of teacher control
  • An environment where the teacher does most of
    the talking. Students have limited opportunity
    to take risks and to use complex language.
    Teachers have limited opportunity to observe and
    to scaffold the complexity of students language.


Decontextualized language - 0pen ended questions
Questioning styles that promote expressive oral
  • Child Hes sad, hes sad.
  • T Why do you think hes sad, Jake?
  • C Hes sad because he wants his teddy bear.
  • T I agree. He is sad because he wants his
    teddy bear.
  • C Yeah.
  • T But how can you tell that hes sad?
  • C By his face.
  • T Oh, his face
  • T Great, hes sad because he wants his teddy
    bear, and you knew he was sad because you saw
    the expression on his face.
  • Adapted from Dickinson Smith (1994)


Decontextualized language - 0pen ended questions
Questioning styles that promote expressive oral
  • Open-ended questions
  • Teacher draws the child out by requesting
  • Teacher affirms the students response
  • Teacher encourages continued analysis
  • Teacher restates, rephrases and summarizes, again
    modeling language and vocabulary
  • An environment that encourages complex
    expressive language AND enables higher order

Decontextualized language - Think-Pair-Share
  • A collaborative learning structure (Lyman, 1981)
  • Steps to Think-Pair-Share
  • Ask a question or announce a discussion topic
  • Give THINK time
  • Ask students to PAIR with an assigned partner
  • Call on students to SHARE their (or their
    partners) ideas with the class
  • ELL allow extra time for students to formulate

Decontextualized language - Think-Pair-Share

My partner said.
Open ended questions
Decontextualized language - 0pen ended questions
  • Choose books with rich story structure worth
    discussing in depth
  • Read ahead and plan where to ask what questions
  • Provide children plenty of time to come up with
    some of their ideas - time to formulate and time
    to elaborate
  • When children dont come up with good answers,
    dont give them the answer - go BACK to the text
    and read it again
  • Use pictures judiciously -the goal is for
    children to derive meaning from decontextualized

Selecting books and planning questions to support
decontextualized language
Open-ended questions - Demonstration 1

Whats happening? Whats going on? Why do you
think shes unhappy?
Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type, Cronin Tops
Bottoms, Stevens Blueberries for Sal,
McCloskey Office Buckle and Gloria,
Rathmann Hoodwinked, Howard
use also for vocabulary and retelling
Group activitySelecting books and open-ended
questions to support understanding and use of
decontextualized language
Open ended questions - Reflection
Which preschool abilities are important for
Story recall
  • Preschoolers should be able to
  • Retell familiar story - often with support
  • Create narrative with two events
  • Discuss books
  • By kindergarten they can
  • Listen to a brief story and tell it back
  • in correct sequence
  • remembering the main characters
  • using some of the authors language

Elements in preschool narrative
Decontextualized language - Story Recall
  • Orient listener with some setting information
  • Describe information and reflect on it. I went
    down a blue slide it was real fun.
  • Include quotations, He went, Get out of there
  • Mark the end of the story - Thats what happened

From New Standards, 2001
Preschoolers can discuss books
Decontextualized language - Story Recall
  • Gather round a book, pay attention to read book
  • Pose answer specific Qs about text
  • Recite familiar refrains from-much read books
  • Use text to predict whats next
  • Discuss character motivation
  • Identify favorite book and tell why they like it
  • example in New Standards CD2 Discussing Eric
    Carle favorites

Decontextualized Language - Story Recall
Demonstration 1
Selecting books to support retelling
Blue Rabbit and Friends, Wormell Simple
story Repetitive language Problem and
solution Flannel board with all characters and
homes Children retell the story multiple times,
using the book phrasing and the flannel props
Decontextualized Language - Story Recall
Demonstration 2
Selecting books to support retelling
One Fine Day, Hogrogian Simple story, repetitive
language problem and solution Flannel board
with just the characters Children begin to
retell the story even during the first reading,
practicing the sequence and the language. This
provides good support for retelling after the
story. Make certain they retell ORALLY. Choral
retelling as different kids point to the
characters would be great
Group activitySelecting books and activities to
support story recall in the story hour
Decontextualized language - Story Recall -
Benspn, V. Cummings The Power of
Retelling.Whitehurst, G., Arnold, D., Epstein,
J., Angell, A., Smith, M., Fischel, J. (1994).
A picture book reading intervention in day care
and home for children from low-income families.
Developmental Psychology 30, 679-689.
Decontextualized language - Story Recall
Resources re enhancing oral language via book
reading strategies
Complex Sentence Structure
Developing Proficiency with Complex Sentence
Sentence imitation
Complex Sentence Structure
Beginning kindergartners should be able
to Accurately repeat sentences 6 to 8 words
long, keeping the grammatical structure intact
such as a) The hungry boy ran home for a
sandwich. b) The cat was sleeping when I
left. Risk children who cannot use or repeat
sentences longer than 3 or 4 words.
Sentence Complexity
Complex Sentence Structure
  • Beginning kindergartners should be able to
  • Speak in (and accurately repeat) sentences 5 or
    more words long
  • Use verb structures to talk about past and future
    events, and to make complete questions
  • Use some combined clauses with and, but,

Complex sentence structure - Demonstration 1
Using books to support sentence complexity
  • Select books that repeat certain pattern
  • She looked in the attic (under the bed, down the
    street...) where (it was dark, there were
  • Lizzy Skunk, Fitzpatrick
  • Have children practice retelling part of the
    story, using the same phrasing (can use flannel
  • Provide feedback, scaffolding them to provide the
    complete sentence

Complex Sentence Structure - Demonstration 2
Using books to support sentence complexity
  • Select books that repeat certain pattern
  • My dad canjump right over the moon,
  • wrestle with giants
  • My dads as wise as an owl, as big as a house
  • Have children use sentence frame to come up with
    their own descriptions for THEIR dad (or mom)
  • Write their sentence, and have them illustrate it

My Dad, Browne
Complex sentence structure - Demonstration 3
Using books to support sentence complexity
  • Hoodwinked (Brown) introduces
  • lots of adjectives such as cuddly, creepy, scary,
  • comparative and superlative forms creepy,
    creepier, creepiest.
  • Follow-up ask children (as a group) to describe
    what they want in a pet (friendly, cute, etc.).
    When they have agreed on a characteristic - then
    have them list a pet that is x, x-er, and xest,
    (friendlier, and friendliest). Write all this
    down on an easel chart so then children can
    read it back
  • rabbits are friendly, cats are friendlier, dogs
    are friendliest

Writing with preschoolers
  • Writing with preschoolers
  • for multiple purposes
  • Improve concepts about print
  • Strengthen phoneme awareness
  • Inspire drive toward literacy
  • Make story structure concrete
  • Encourage narrative skill
  • Give letters meaning

Writing with preschoolers
Supporting writing in the story hour
  • Interactive writing - Group activity. Adult
    guides children in coming up with brief message (
    or list), writes on easel, explaining each step.
  • Writing to dictation - Each child comes up with
    response and librarian transcribes it onto the
    childs paper. Child can illustrate the response
    with pictures
  • Invented spelling - Child attempts to write
    response on his or her own, using what she knows
    about sounds, letters and sight words to guide
    her. Adult may write gloss for what the child
    says the words are

In order to invent a spelling children need to
Writing with preschoolers - invented spellings
  • Some, but not all letters
  • How to write some letters they know
  • That letters represent sounds
  • To attend to the sounds within syllables and
    match those sound segments to letters.

On their own children will
Writing with preschoolers - invented spellings
  • Go for the most salient sound e.g. S for mouse, N
    for and.
  • Rely on the feel of their mouths as they analyze
    the speech stream e.g. once upon a time
  • Choose the LOUDEST sounds ( actually are the
    sounds that are the most forcefully articulated
    or stressed.)

Writing with preschoolers - invented spellings
  • If children know how to write their letters,
    their invented spelling will reflect their degree
    of phonemic awareness.
  • I like housekeeping
  • (no word boundaries)
  • I lk hskpen
  • (Alphabetic Spelling with word boundaries)

Invented spelling - writing down sounds - in an
outstanding way for 4 to 6 year olds to practice
focusing on phoneme awareness
Writing Demonstration 1
  • Writing activity
  • Purpose Develop Concepts about print
  • Activity have students create (or dictate)
  • A letter making a demand
  • as in Click Clack Moo
  • Safety Tips
  • as in Officer Buckle and Gloria
  • Labels for pictures of thematic vocabulary
  • as in Joseph Had a Little Overcoat
  • or Tops Bottoms

Writing - Demonstration 2
  • Writing activity
  • Purpose Build vocabulary
  • Example Hoodwinked (Howard)
  • Describes witch-girls quest for the perfect pet,
    using many adjectives.
  • Follow-up students produce adjectives for their
    ideal pet. Adult transcribes adjectives child
    illustrates with picture of ideal pet.

Decontextualized language - Story Recall -
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