Pictures by Mily Cooper Photography
Reading is my day job. Seriously, it is. While I often refer to myself around here as a teacher…..to be more specific I am an intervention coordinator and a language arts specialist. What does that MEAN? I have a teaching credential, and taught my own classroom for ten years. Then I was promoted, and received special training to become a literacy specialist. I trained other teachers and collaborated with them to plan instruction for students who were significantly behind in language arts. Now I work in a low performing school running an intervention lab. My team of teacher’s assistants and I provide small group lessons to children who are two years behind.
Time and time again, when I meet with parents to do intake surveys…..I realize that the students I work with were not exposed to literature at a young age. So, what am I talking about today? Early Literacy Tips…..simple activities that will help prepare YOUR toddler for the future and help them learn to love reading. And yes, I actually do all these things with my own toddler.Read Aloud Everyday: Yes. Every single day. Read alouds are an amazing way to teach young children concepts of print (that letters make words and that print moves from left to right)…..and to teach them to ENJOY great literature. Plus, they’re a great way to spend time together without distraction.Choose Books That Are Interactive: Toddlers have short attention spans. Books with flaps, textures, and great illustrations? Will help them to engage and appreciate the experience.Descriptive Talk is Key: Ask your toddler questions. Encourage them to describe their toys, feelings, and experiences. Help them with new vocabulary words….that expanded vocabulary? Statistically leads to stronger readers in elementary school.Create a space where books are accessible: Allow your toddler to access books at all times. Let them select the ones they are interested in. We even keep a book bucket in our cars!Keep it Light: Reading is supposed to be fun. Keep it light and easy. You don’t have to finish every book you start.Visit Book Places: Bookstores and libraries. They’re the best places to explore and find new books, to sit and cuddle up with a new book.