A baby mouthing a book.
Small tears in the pages of a paperback.
A caregiver reading to a child in a rocking chair before nap.
Each snippet described here tells us something about early literacy. Babies first explore texts with their senses, young children learn book handling and how to turn pages through practice, and caregivers read to children at various times of day to promote attention, rest, interest, and imagination. Each snippet also exemplifies one of the many ways children become earnest readers. Continue reading
Research tells us that every aspect of early childhood development is impacted by nurturing and caring relationships. These relationships begin during infancy when the adults and caregivers in children’s lives set the stage for learning and growing. Much of our work around caring for infants involves a focus on routines—feeding, changing diapers, and managing sleep schedules. It can be hard to step back and think about learning opportunities and implementing unique approaches for addressing each child’s needs. Sometimes the key to individualizing learning and meeting children where they are is to have a supportive classroom setup.
As I enter my third year as curriculum manager for FunShine Express, I can safely say that reviewing books for our curriculum is my favorite part of the job. Each fall, I work with our writers to finalize themes for the next year. Once those are in place, I can begin working with vendors and publishers to secure samples of books that explore the subject matter and concepts conveyed in each theme. My background is in writing for children and early childhood education, so I feel especially compelled to find books that are both imaginative and educational. Our offerings over the past few years have covered everything from concept and nonfiction books to retellings of nursery rhymes and books in song. We offered our first bilingual book in the September/October 2020 Buttercups Kit and strive to offer more in the future. This is just one highlight of many.
Documentation is a powerful tool in the early childhood classroom. Put simply, documentation is any evidence collected over a period of time that describes, narrates, or demonstrates a child’s experience. Documentation can involve teacher and parent notes, a child’s drawings and dictations, and recordings/photos of an event or interaction. Such evidence allows for parents, teachers, children, and other stakeholders to engage in meaningful discussions about children’s learning and growing.