Learn to read and write
As word recognition processes become more automatic, children are likely to allocate more attention to higher-level processes of comprehension. Early literacy activities teach children a great deal about writing and reading but often in ways that do not look much like traditional elementary school instruction.
In one study, for example, Pappas found that with multiple exposures to a story three readingschildren's retelling became increasingly rich, integrating what they knew about the world, the language of the book, and the message of the author. And our concern is not so much with the structure of individual sentences, with the correct and resourceful use of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and appropriate word choice, as with the broader elements involved in constructing an extended discussion.
When children first start to write they usually use scribbles on a page. They also use a variety of strategies. Alphabet books and alphabet puzzles in which children can see and compare letters may be a key to efficient and easy learning.
At first children will use the physical and visual cues surrounding print to determine what something says. Excellent instruction builds on what children already know, and can do, and provides knowledge, skills, and dispositions for lifelong learning.
Learn to read and write
Thus the picture that emerges from research in these first years of children's reading and writing is one that emphasizes wide exposure to print and to developing concepts about it and its forms and functions. Most commonly they: Try to write their name Write to label things in their pictures Use writing to organise different parts of their daily lives — for example: writing a list of children coming to a birthday party, or of the things they would like for their birthday or another occasion Write to communicate messages to important people in their lives Write to imitate the ways that adults in their lives use writing — for example: filling in forms or competition entry forms. Increasing the volume of children's playful, stimulating experiences with good books is associated with accelerated growth in reading competence. From these experiences children learn that reading and writing are valuable tools that will help them do many things in life. Using initial letter cues, children can learn many new words through analogy, taking the familiar word bake as a strategy for figuring out a new word, lake. Our attention here lies more with shaping and analyzing extended discussion, with broader questions of how thoughts are developed and how meaning is conveyed within a written discussion. Highly visible print labels on objects, signs, and bulletin boards in classrooms demonstrate the practical uses of written language.
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