Day 6 Teaching of Reading – Emergent Literacy

Read aloud poem: Have You ever seen? by Author Unknown dishes up a clever play on words that highlights the complexity and nonsensical somewhat illogical nature of the English Language:

Have you ever seen a sheet on a river bed?
Or a single hair from a hammer’s head?
Has the foot of a mountain any toes?
And is there a pair of garden hose?

Does the needle ever wink its eye?
Why doesn’t the wing of a building fly?
Can you tickle the ribs of a parasol?
Or open the trunk of a tree at all?

Are the teeth of a rake ever going to bite?
Have the hands of a clock any left or right?
Can the garden plot be deep and dark?
And what is the sound of the birch’s bark?

Read aloud story: The Jumbie of the Silk Cotton Tree from the Book: Folklore and Legends of Trinidad and Tobago  compiled by Gerard A. Besson. Stories folklore and legends were centered around the Silk Cotton tree in various cultures around the world.

We looked at emergent literacy, a viewpoint attributed to world literacy advocate, New Zealander, Dr, Marie Clay (DBE) (1927 – 2007). Remarkably her research on Emergent Reading Behaviour (1966) and Reading Recovery culminated into her focus on early intervention to encourage learning development in children with disabilities and special needs.  The stages of emergent literacy overlap and develop in the observed sequence:

  1. Emergent/ cue/ selective stage – Look at print and re read from memorization of books read to them
  2. Early reading/ spelling sound stage – Look at words L to R, (beginning and ending letters) to decode patterns
  3. Fluent stage – Say unfamiliar words to decode messages; eye scan multiple words; express their thoughts
  4. Consolidation – Read and develop an interest in books as messages written by someone
  5. Flexibility – Use silent reading, skimming texts, make reading choices based on interesting material

For me this all ties in with the ideas posited by the cognitive development theorists that place emphasis on using relevant tools and material at each developmental stage of the learner.  The home influence as a precursor and contributor to learning and reading development could not be overemphasized,  as the learner’s environment is a key input in the process of the learner developing reading readiness.  Early intervention is the best foundation!  The following tips were shared:

  • Write with children/ the learner in mind
  • Role play using Reader’s theatre
  • Give the learner 2 sentences to read
  • To build confidence let the learner read material from lower levels. For example a learner in Standard 5 can be given material from Standard 3
  • Encourage the use of fingers to point
  • Get creative.  For example use sandpaper to trace letters
  • Celebrate new knowledge and the learner’s progress
  • Stop focusing the learner on what they are not able to do yet
  • Use material the learner is interested in

I point when I read and thoroughly enjoy shared reading.  My main takeaway today is that the learner learns best when they are having FUN with a teacher who CELEBRATES them,


Love to write & share experiences...

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