By Andrea Ehlis-Chang
October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. A neurological condition, dyslexia is associated with pronounced difficulty in reading. If you are looking to better understand this condition, a good start is to observe how dyslexia can look at the emergent reading level of preschoolers.
Storytime has always been one of my favorites, both as a mom and as a teacher. I have always been passionate about seeing the children’s faces as they prepare and calm down to listen to the story. I wonder what children are thinking. Are they wondering what the story is about? Are they curious to learn about the characters? I have always thought that there are many hidden emotions in storytime. While one might think that more active activities might be children’s favorites, story time has its own special charm.
While every day in a child’s life is one of learning, and everything around them is part of that, providers can offer safe and constructive learning opportunities with “learning stations.”
Learning stations are designated areas of the classroom where children play freely, with little to no direction about how to use materials, while having playful and engaging interactions with the adults around them.
The way learning stations are organized and the materials offered play an important role in inspiring imagination, learning, and play. There isn’t just one way to set up and organize learning stations, but I can offer some guidance to help you get started.
When I was a preschool teacher, I started every day by reading a book. Sometimes the book related to a theme topic, sometimes it addressed a social-emotional concern, and sometimes it was just for fun! I happen to love concept books, especially those that encourage interaction. This May, FunShine® offered Will You Help Doug Find His Dog? by Jane Caston in our preschool kit. A couple years ago, we were fortunate to offer Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson in our infant/toddler kit. Such books bring me joy because I know how much children love them. Interactive books such as these help children build so many literacy skills, but most importantly, they hold children’s attention, create suspense, and provoke wonder. Continue reading