Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Literacy Ideas from the Blogosphere

One thing I love about teaching young kids is that reading/writing/literacy are a part of all we do. My kids print words when we're playing grocery store. We add random letters (or meaningful letters) to drawings. We jot down ideas on clipboards as we play and explore. We increase our vocabularies as we talk about what we are doing.

I was looking back at some of the blog ideas I've saved (on Evernote, not Pinterest!) and discovered a few that are great literacy ideas. I'm looking for ways to incorporate these ideas into our classroom.

Totally Tots: Eye Spy Letters
This idea is great for recycling and repurposing. I like discovering different versions of the same letter, an important reading skill. (It's still an A even if it looks different.) I could also see creating whatever words I wanted on my computer. Using different fonts would give you the same effect. (And who doesn't have used folders lying around. Check out a friend's office if you need some donated!)

Pink and Green Mama: Letter Writing Center
We have a writing center. I can see this becoming part of that...or its own center...or as a substitute for our general writing center for a time. Everything about this center is great–the letter-addressing sample, the photo address book, the cool stationery, everything. And I think using the priority mail box as storage container is genius! Understanding that writing is meaningful and useful is part of literacy learning. And sending letters to communicate with others is a great way to develop skills.

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds: Journals with 3 Year Olds
These journals look like so much fun. The simple line-drawn shapes as starters. The free availability so kids can use them anytime. The freedom of expression. Experimenting with writing and creating marks on paper are important steps in literacy development. I think I need some journals. Now.

Delia Creates: DIY I Spy Books
My kids always seem to enjoy the I Spy books from Scholastic. I've often thought about making my own but never done it. This post shows that it can be done. And learning visual discrimination is an important skill for reading and writing. Maybe I'll gather some of that stuff I have and begin to create some for my class.

Child's Play Music: Water Play, Music Play, & Children
This post blew me away and I just had to share it (just in case you didn't see it). Wait, you say. This post is about music...and about science. But auditory discrimination is important for learning language. Language is key to literacy. (See, I can make it work!) If you want to enhance literacy with this activity, encourage kids to write or draw their observations as they experiment.

A few more links to add to your collection - wherever you keep it. Now I'm off to find some metal bowls to add to my stuff!


  1. Thanks for compiling these great suggestions. I loved checking out the links and brainstorming ways to use them in the classroom.

  2. Thanks for sharing my music and water play post, Scott! And I'm so glad that you picked up on the connection between music, auditory discrimination and literacy (there's an extensive research literature on this exact issue).

    I love your suggestions about encouraging kids to draw or write their observations, and children can also use "invented music notation" to map their playing using their own choice of symbols. Music is, at it's heart, a form of communication and young children are quite capable of inventing ways to record their playing in visual form.

  3. I loved reading these and look forward to trying them out. Thanks for sharing such a great collection of ideas!

    ~ Lauren