Friday, September 18, 2015


Learning to read is a magical thing. Some children seem to read almost automatically, while others learn through a step by step procedure.  Just like walking and talking, every child learns to read, and expand  their proficiencies, on their own time schedule.

Reading and writing are part of almost everything we do.  They are parts of everyday life.  We read and write for a variety of purposes: to gain information, for enjoyment, for instruction, and to communicate ideas.  We read to know which bathroom to use, to know what cereal we are eating in the morning, and to learn new things.  We write lists of things to do, write letters and emails to friends, and for creative expression.  

It is the same thing in the classroom. The children unravel the mysteries of reading by reading signs, reading boxes, and reading instructions. They learn to write by making signs, labeling drawings, and writing stories. Singing songs, saying rhymes, and listening to poems and stories all help build children's vocabulary, as they experience the pleasure of the sounds and rhythms of language. Having conversations, listening, and telling stories help build children's communication, which helps them become better readers and writers.

Each day begins with the children taking turns reading a poem. They can read the poem by themselves or ask everyone to read it together. Each poem is up for about a week, and then displayed in the room, so it can be read over and over again. Often the children memorize the poems and will recite them to the class. 

Reading the weekly poem
Throughout the week, we discuss various aspects of the poem. Do we know what all the words mean, what does it make us think about when we hear the poem, what punctuation did the author use...
I will also point out ways the poet might have strayed from convention, for instance maybe they made up new words, as Lewis Carol did in his poem Jabberwocky, or spelled a word in an unusual manner, as in the poem below.

This is our first poem for the year:

To Naomi - Poem by Lateisha LWelcome
I had a box of crayons, 
all shiny, straight and new.
I lent a friend one crayon,
And-oops-it broke in two! My friend said she was sorry,
But I said 'I don't care, ' cause now we both can colouer
with one crayon-we can share! '

Keep watching the blog for more examples of Literacy activities in the classroom.

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