Literacy

little boy looking at picture book

Literacy, learning... and luck

With information and entertainment only one click or swipe away, are we and our children losing the motivation to open up real books?

 

Sue Palmer, literacy specialist and author of Toxic Childhood, has important insights and advice regarding reading, play and the kindergarten approach. Read them.

toddler talking

The foundation of literacy

"In the history of human development, oral language – conversation, poetry, story-telling, and song – arose long before written language. In children we see the same pattern of language development," writes Joan Almon. "Children first learn to listen, to speak, to sing, to enjoy rhymes, stories, and books before they can read or write."

 

Rich provision of oral language prepares children for success in literacy, science, maths and other academic skills. Joan discusses phonemic awareness, early language and fairytales – read this.

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Heuristic play

What is heuristic play?

According to the Oxford dictionary, “heuristic” means helping to find out or discover; proceeding by trial and error. It stems from the same root as Eureka – “I found it!”

In the early years classic, People under Three, Elinor Goldschmied and Sonia Jackson coined the term heuristic play, to explain how to provide a more structured opportunity for this kind of activity. Heuristic play “consists of offering a group of children, for a defined period of time in a controlled environment, a large number of different kinds of objects and receptacles with which they play freely without adult intervention”. It is particularly useful for children in their second year who often seem unwilling to engage in any activity for more than a few minutes.

Interested in running heuristic play sessions in your setting? Read this.

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sharing books in the book corner

The book corner

“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.” –  Dr Seuss

 

Books have a tremendous influence on many areas of learning. They can introduce themes of friendship, diversity, and overcoming challenge, thus helping to develop character. They can expand children’s knowledge of the world, other people, cultures and traditions, or they can introduce imaginary themes. Here's how the book corner can fulfil many of the EYFS learning and development requirements.

 

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children and adult sharing storybook on outlast benches outdoors

Encouraging literacy in children with SEN

A child's first experiences with books and stories, paper and crayons build the foundation for language, reading and writing.

 

“Teaching language and literacy via the use of books demands the highest quality teaching. This in turn requires knowledge, insight and curiosity about how children learn and develop alongside their unique interests and needs,” writes Kathryn Solly. Kathryn explains how children with SEN can become inspired about books and reading.

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