Before becoming a college professor and developing my Early Childhood Education program, I was privileged enough to teach infants, toddlers and preschoolers at a Reggio Emilia-inspired laboratory school at Virginia Tech. While a teacher at the school, I worked deeply with the Reggio philosophy and was able to see what can happen when teachers listen to children and follow their lead in their learning. Continue reading “Make-Your-Own Light Table (and add some Reggio Emilia to your life)”
Aside from being a teacher, I have also been involved in the arts throughout my life. At one point in my 20’s I took an improv class at a the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York City. I realized quickly that the work of an improv actor is very similar to the work of teacher. You have to think on your feet and respond to whatever is happening in front of you. And you never know what is coming next… Continue reading “Improv and Literacy Development”
Oral language development is the basis for all other literacy development. Children must first develop their oral language skills (listening and speaking), and then they will be able to participate in reading and writing. Here is one of the first activities I do with my early childhood students in our literacy class to emphasize oral language development. It’s easy to do and produces new words and sentences quickly and in a very interactive way.
This activity can be done with preschoolers and up. The older the children are, the more they can do in the activity. Read on and see what I mean…
While playing with this animal puzzle one afternoon, Miss H decided to add a new material. After we had put all of the animals together and were talking about what each animal was, she got up, went to her toy shelf, and came back with her container of letters.
Starting Kindergarten is an exciting (and scary) time for parents and children. Here is a great book to read to your child if s/he is heading to Kindergarten this year. It will give them an idea of what to expect when they enter the classroom:
This book can be read before the first day of school in preschool or Kindergarten – it reminds children that their parents are always with them as they go out and explore the world of school:
Turn flash cards into a “Picture Card Game!” Make a pile on the floor and search around with your toddler or preschooler and find ones that you recognize. See how many she can identify and pay attention to which ones she chooses to pick up. Can she identify the pictures and/or tell you about them? Continue reading “Fun with “Picture Cards””
Sensory Play Week! Make your own sensory tables with different size/height plastic bins. What have you filled them with?
It’s PUZZLE time! Buy your puzzle rack when your baby is born and add puzzles as they grow! I’ll tell you what puzzles to introduce at what ages and what you can expect your infant, toddler and preschooler to do and learn from them.
Keeping reading and retelling stories with your infants, toddlers and preschoolers. After reading a book go one step further and retell with manipulatives. Try these for Jan Brett’s “The Mitten.” Great as masks or as felt board pieces.
There are different types of books and literacy materials that you can introduce as children grow from infants to toddlers to preschoolers.