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Links to Literacy Instructional Best Practices

Here is a checklist for best literacy teaching practices.

Book Knowledge and Appreciation

The Teacher...

pre-reads the book

introduces the book to the children:
title
name of author
name of illustrator
shows cover
lets children make predictions
does a picture walk
reads with expression
asks questions
encourages children's interaction with story
uses props to engage children
adds new words from story to Picture Word Wall

reads to:
small group
large group

provides an environment for reading:
cozy inviting reading center
comfortable large read aloud area
variety of books are available at numerous centers

Phonological Awareness

The Teacher...

provides listening opportunities in which children:
follow verbal directions
participate in rhythmic activities
identify sequences of sound
identify environmental sounds
identify word substitutions in familiar phrases or nursery rhymes
listen for patterns in words
listen for beginning sounds in single syllable words, ex: c-at
listen for ending sounds in single syllable words, ex: ca-t

provides activities using rhyming words in:
nursery rhymes
poems
songs
read-alouds
word play
fingerplays

models speaking in complete sentences
encourages children to speak in complete sentences
provides opportunities for children to listen to, recite, or sing rhymes, poems, songs, and fingerplays

Oral Language Development

The Teacher...

provides opportunities for children to engage in meaningful conversations through formal and informal interactions:
naming objects
describing objects
learning new vocabulary

asks questions:
who?
what?
when?
why?
how?
open-ended questions

encourages children to:
describe events
describe feelings
re-tell stories
reenact stories or situations
use positional words
give directions
speak in complete sentences

models speaking in complete sentences

provides opportunities for language activities to take place in:
small groups
large groups
individually

Print Awareness/Early Writing

The Teacher...

models directionality and one to one matching by pointing to words in text, charts, poems, songs
models left to right directionality when writing
displays pieces of familiar text (songs, poems, finger plays) around the room at a child's eye level to "read" independently
calls attention to print displayed around the room
uses interactive writing to provide opportunities for the children to construct print
engages children in shared and interactive writing activities
maintains a writing center in a prominent area of the room
provides a variety of writing materials in all learning centers including things to write on, things to write with, and accessories (envelopes, tape, stamp-pad, magazines, junk mail, magnetic letters, catalogs, etc.)
gives praise and encouragement for early writing attempts
records the child's dictation
displays children's work at the child's eye level
provides examples of environmental print for the children to identify
uses the Picture Word Wall to call attention to words as units of print
provides opportunities for children to respond to literature