Developmentally Appropriate Literacy Instruction for Young Children

Andy Johnson Minnesota State University so what would you see in an emergent literacy classroom in which instruction was developmentally appropriate you would see these five elements and we are going to look at each one for literacy to occur there will be lots of conversation with children which is different than giving directions and talking to them to develop their oral language and expand their vocabulary or language ability vocabulary general knowledge are all strong predictors of reading achievement and comprehension later on so this talk would be both planned and incidental opportunities to interact children with each other and both planned and incidental and the teaching of specific knowledge both planned and incidental your teaching concepts about the world that we live in and vocabulary with that very important the basis of solid reading there would be teachers reading books lots of reading there would be teachers reading big books a big book is a book that is big and you point to the letters as you read them and sometimes you echo read where you read align then they echo it back sometimes you Karl read where you read it together the teacher would be modeling reading of environmental print which are lists and signs and things found around the room or a McDonald sign or milk sign or other things there'd be picture reading or pretend reading or children retell a story using the pictures in the book alright that is a first stage of reading there would be recorded books where children would be able to listen on with the headset and just lots of books laying around preschool and kindergarten developmentally appropriate lots o writing language experience approach where you ask students what they want to say and you dictate a sentence or a paragraph again you can read that back using choral reading or echo reading line experience exploration simply a lot of whiteboards and papers and old typewriters and stuff laying around for children to mess around and here's a good example of that just lots of writing utensils written around writing emerges it develops as we create the opportunities and the correct things in the environment it's another good example of children messing around and that's an adult right there who's kind of modeling the writing writing which is drawing and writing together here's beginning writing you can't make out what it says but then an adult came by and said Gus what does your story say and and she writes down what she said here is writing again dear Andy I rode my bike without training wheels I wrote to Abby's house again that is a letter Clifford the Big Red Dog examples of drawing writing dragging combination of the two this is great provides structure first we then we finally the it was a terrific day all right provide structure and they can go home and read their story this is developmentally appropriate writing I saw four Birds that's a good example of draining this is invented or temporary spelling predictable stories aren't great and Apple is in each of the child children gave a descriptor in Apple it's hard Apple is smooth they can read their own and you can read this choral reading or echo reading practice reading that and pointing to the words I like this one I like red apples green apples yellow apples and the teacher actually had the word red in red print around here so you couldn't model so you could look at the word red and you could actually write it in there against scaffolding to make sure that children experience success here is more predictable rain I like to eat my name is each child can do that or you can do this with one student the teacher would be modeling writing writing in front children let's see what do I need to remember today what are we going to do what'd you write on our list play this is how children learn and come to know the world they explore they model you use play both introduce and reinforce learning this could be concept learning if you're teaching about birds you have a bunch of bird toys or if you're teaching letter sounds you have played things that reinforce that letter sound flashcards computer games and use your imagination here you do have planned systematic direct and explicit instruction what you say I thought your child centered yes it's not that what it's the how and it's the how much a lot of instruction is thirty Seconds to four or five minutes closer to thirty than four or five all right very short incidental but you plan when you're going to teach certain things systematic in that you keep a record of when you teach what skills and I recommend teaching consonants and consonant blends and maybe some letter sounds and starting on photographs alright but you keep track of that these are some things that you would see in an emergent literacy classroom

7 thoughts on “Developmentally Appropriate Literacy Instruction for Young Children”

  1. Excellent presentation, Andy.

    You all might like to know about a new book that was just released last week entitled Kid Writing in the 21st Century: A Systematic Approach to Phonics, Spelling, and Writing Workshop by Eileen Fledgus, Isabell Cardonick, and J. Richard Gentry. It shows teachers how to get started and put all your points together in a joyful kid-friendly classroom. Learn more here:

    Also Andy, please consider moving Invented Spelling to your first slide and making it front and center. Here’s why. A landmark study has just shown invented spelling with scaffolding in kindergarten maps a clear path to reading success at the end of first grade. It’s even more powerful that alphabetic instruction alone or phonemic awareness c alone because invented spelling mediates—that is to say “brings about”—both alphabet knowledge and phonemic awareness. Here’s the study reported in my Psychology Today blog.
    Landmark Study Finds Better Path to Reading Success
    This study proves what exemplary teachers have been doing correctly for years.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. It's so basic, and so wonderful to watch.  These simple techniques would be useful to the tens of thousands of dedicated teachers who teach the worlds poorest children in little private schools.  This is the kind of training those teachers need and deserve. 

  3. This video mini-lecture describes the developmentally appropriate practices you would see preschool or kindergarten classroom using an emergent literacy approach. Dr. Andy Johnson, reading specialist.

  4. This video mini-lecture describes the developmentally appropriate practices you would see preschool or kindergarten classroom using an emergent literacy approach.  Dr. Andy Johnson, reading specialist.

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