Opal School closed in 2021. You can continue to access these resources for free at teachingpreschoolpartners.org/resource-library/.

What Literacy Looks Like in Early K

As early childhood educators, we are asked a lot about what literacy looks like in our classroom.  To begin, we would like to define literacy.  The basic, on the surface definition, as defined by Webster, is “the
ability to read and write.”
Literacy is more than reading and writing,
it has to do with the idea of making meaning and understanding. It is the act
of making meaning of ALL that we encounter.
This pertains to all of our
experiences, ideas and actions. So, when considering how this looks in a
classroom with four, five and six years-olds, literacy has to be more than just
the alphabet and phonics and even more than the printed text. Literacy is more.
It pertains to everything we do and encounter. And this is how we make way for
gaining “the ability to read and write.”

Workshop is a classroom structure we are developing at Opal School to support language and literacy.  We
are finding that the use of materials such as clay, paint, drama, or block building can play an integral
role in language development, and strongly support children to see themselves
as storytellers and authors.

Storytelling is a distinctive
trait of our species. All children are filled with stories to tell.  Developmental psychologist, Jerome
Bruner, tells us that we learn spoken language just so we can share our
stories. With inspiration and support from the pre-primary schools of Reggio
Emillia, Italy, we've learned that the poetic languages of the arts nurture
words and deepen connection children make with the stories of their real and
imaginary lives. We've experienced that classrooms can be places where
children's stories are welcomed by audiences of all ages and become central to
making meaning of the world.


Here is the slide show that we shared during the Parent Meeting this week:  Power of Stories Slide Show.   We hope that you will enjoy the little window into a very important part of our classroom.

February 25, 2013