Take this opportunity to find out how children really learn to read and write. Explore current research that cuts through the media messages about reading wars and the right way to teach children. Learn by reading stories about children, doing interactive assignments, and exploring the latest in parent and childcare information.
In this course, you will learn how a child becomes literate from the moment of birth. First, you will investigate the many things a child's growing mind must do to make sense of the written word and create writing. From there, you will explore the development of reading and writing from infancy to the early school years. You will know what problems to look for and how to assist a struggling reader. You will see how you can boost literacy growth during daily routines and child's play.
1 Introduction to Literacy
Your first lesson introduces the course philosophy and objectives. Then, you will review examples and anecdotes to show you some of the many ways you interact with reading in your daily lives. You will also explore the history of reading instruction, so you better understand where research has taken us.
2 Language Development
Just as a child communicates with us before using words, young children initiate many literacy-related activities before they actually read and write. This lesson introduces language skills that have the greatest impact on a child becoming a successful reader and writer. You will end this lesson with a new understanding of the complexities of language development.
3 Sounds and Symbols
We all get excited when children learn their ABCs. But what role does this skill play in becoming a reader and writer? And what does it really mean to know your ABCs? This lesson uncovers the differences between rote memory, knowledge of sounds and symbols, phonemic awareness, and how all these things come together for the early reader.
4 Attention and Literacy
While attention and literacy may seem like big words for little people, the way a child's brain is attending to print in his world has a huge impact on reading, writing, and learning. In this lesson, you will learn about different types of attention and the importance of having an organized thinking system in order to learn about print.
5 Memory and Literacy
This lesson introduces what's happening when a child works to store information in memory. By the end of this lesson, you will realize how important it is to store information in some sort of order, and also how to get things out of memory again once they're put away. You will then be able to watch a young reader with a new awareness of how this skill impacts her success.
6 Comprehension and Literacy
You will understand what understanding is all about in this lesson. How does a child make sense of what you read to him or what he reads to himself? You will explore the many skills a child needs to understand text. Just because a child can say a word doesn't mean he knows the word when reading it.
7 Birth Through Age Two
While you would never want or expect a child under two to read, much pre-literacy work goes on during the early years before a child is really even talking. In this lesson, you will learn how infants grow to become readers and explore the literacy processes that occur during the first two years of life.
8 Ages Three and Four
This lesson explores the sequence of skills that brings toddlers and preschoolers to the threshold of becoming true readers and writers. You will learn why you should read that favorite story one more time, with enthusiasm. In fact, once you understand how much this repetition is helping your child's literacy, you will want to read it a dozen more times.
9 Kindergarten and Beyond
Research shows that humans learn literacy skills in the same order. This lesson explains that order and why it's okay if your child doesn't meet these milestones by a specific age. This lesson will guide you through the evolution of reading and writing letters, words, sentences, and complex ideas.
10 Becoming a Fluent Reader
How do all of these pieces come together to produce an able reader? By the end of this lesson, you will know what fluency looks like when a young child is successfully reading. Literacy skills continue to develop so a child can be successful with literacy activities throughout school and life.
11 Becoming a Fluent Writer
Now that you know all about the mental processes and learning sequences that lead to becoming a writer, you will learn new activities that demonstrate how the complex skill of writing emerges. You will learn what to watch for and how to assist a child who's becoming a successful scribe.
12 A Word About Disabilities
What's going on when a child isn't reading or writing when you expect him to? By the end of this lesson, you will know how to assist a child who struggles with literacy learning and how to locate resources for assistance. You will also understand the concept of “learning differences,” which can help you focus on the strengths of a child who masters reading and writing slower than their peers.