Friday, October 14, 2016

Focus on Early Literacy in the Library - Word Study

Each month the Early Literacy Specialists from the elementary campuses have a meeting with the district ELAR team. At this meeting, they discuss ways to assist teachers in reaching our goal of every student being an on level or above reader.

The focus of today's meeting was PHONICS, SPELLING AND WORD STUDY. 

There are definitely ways that librarians can help students in this area. 

1. Concepts of print

This includes things like recognizing that print and pictures are different, you turn pages to read and look at the left side first, a word is a group of letters with a space on each side, etc.

Librarians can help students with these understandings by specifically pointing out and modeling these behaviors during read alouds.

After a read aloud, give each student a book and have them find and point to various letters and words on the page, while you check their understanding.

2. Phonological awareness

This is the ability to hear sounds in words. 

Librarians can help students develop these skills by choosing read alouds that focus on rhyme, rhythm and repetition. Choose nursery rhymes, songs, poetry, stories in rhyme work great for developing students' ear for language.

3. Letter knowledge

This is what students need to know about the characters in our alphabet - how they look, how to tell one from another, and how to use them to make words.

Sharing alphabet books as read alouds with young children is a great way for them to practice and strengthen their letter knowledge.

4. Word meaning and vocabulary

For comprehension and coherence, students need to know the meaning of the words they read and write. They must constantly expand their listening, speaking, reading and writing vocabularies. They need to develop categories of words: labels for things, concept words, synonyms, antonyms, homonyms and all parts of speech.

Librarians can support this area of learning by choosing read alouds that focus on these different types of words and discussing word meanings as part of the lesson.

For more details on what each grade level is expected to know in these areas, please review my notes from the meeting.

Let me know if you have any questions or talk with your campus Early Literacy Specialist.

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