Literacy

two children playing with unit blocks

An interview with Daniel Spry

Blocks are one of very few resources that allow children to work in all areas of learning at once. They encourage creativity and allow kids to turn problems over, not only with their minds, but also with their hands.
Some months before the Covid-19 pandemic began, we interviewed Early Years Consultant Daniel Spry, who has delivered block play trainings nationally and internationally for many years. Here's the interview.
 
child and teacher sharing a story book

Building a foundation for literacy

A mother once approached Albert Einstein and asked him what she might do to prepare her young son for a successful career in science. “Read him fairytales,” he replied. “And, if you want him to be very intelligent, read him more fairytales.”

This is comforting advice for a nation-full of parents unexpectedly facing the responsibility of educating their children at home. Our predecessors understood that storytelling, singing and poetry provide a rich foundation in oral language which is a critical prerequisite for literacy. Read more about this from Joan Almon.
 
little girls playing with blocks

Learning through block play

Everyone knows that playing with blocks is essential to learning (and loads of fun, even for grown-ups). But what exactly do children learn as they line the blocks up, stack them, plan and build and bash them over? Harriet K. Cuffaro has some great insights into the value of block play. Read them.
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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