They have enjoyed a variety of experiences that have made them aware of the fact that spoken language can be represented by written forms. Not including the children who are among the 1 to 2 percent who can read primary-level materials when they enter first grade, in the first grade that I am handling, there are several children who can identify familiar brand names they have seen advertised on television and in the supermarket, recognize road signs, and read their own and possibly some of their friends names.
From having looked on and asked what a word was as someone read to them they have learned to recognize the written forms for a few familiar words. The might also know, from having followed along as parents or teachers read to them, that one reads a line from left to right and proceeds from the end of one line to the beginning of the next line. Other children might not have enjoyed similar experiences, although they may be just as eager to learn to read.
For these as well as the other children, an environment that stimulates a curiosity about and interest in reading will provide the setting and a reason for learning to read. What can a teacher do to make the classroom a laboratory for beginning reading? Here are some suggestions from my own experience: Fill bookshelves with colorful picturebooks and storybooks. These are books which children can look at themselves or which will be read to them. Place some books on a table to attract the childrens attention.
Some might be open to encourage handling and examination. Chairs should be placed nearby for anyone who wishes to look at the books. Attach childrens name tags, written in manuscript, to the front of each ones place at a table or desk. The same might be done to identify the childrens storage bins and clothes hangers. Attach signs, in manuscripts, to objects or stations in the rooms For example, the words”window, door, supplies, pencils, crayons, etc.
One of the purposes for having these captions, signs and labels in the classroom is to help the children become word conscious. Another is to convey the idea that written words may be used like spoken ones. A third purpose is to provide Here is an example of a lesson plan aimed at teaching children how to begin reading. LESSON PLAN AIM: To teach children how to begin reading MOTIVATION: How children respond to different kinds of experiences provides a good indication of what they are likely to do when they are exposed to more formal reading activities.
LINK TO PRIOR KNOWLEDGE: The synthetic approach”the study of separate sounds with their associated written forms followed by the blending of known sounds into words”is not preferred. Two other systems, treated separate or blended into a favorable mix, some closer to meeting childrens learning requirements; these are the language-experience approach to reading and the basal reading program. Each program is characterized by its own set of distinctive features, although variations in the ways they are developed are common.