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Classroom instruction at WIL is guided by a balanced view of literacy development. The document that best captures our orientation is Learning to Read and Write:Developmentally Appropriate Practices for Young Children. This 1998 publication was jointly produced by the International Reading Association (IRA) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and presents a "continuum of children's development in early reading and writing."
Head Start children may mostly be seen as being in the phase of Awareness and Exploration. Our stance at WIL is to maximize the opportunities for children to notice, developing their awareness through the many opportunities we present to explore the delightful and complex world of literacy.
WIL classrooms are literacy-rich. They abound with books -- good literature and class-produced. They offer opportunities for literacy-related play and experimentation with written forms. What they are not are classrooms in which children are skilled and drilled. Most Head Start children need opportunities to develop delight in the world that print affords us.
However, children are apprentices in the literate world, and the person who can and should guide them is their teacher. WIL includes 2 types of daily teacher-led instructionA-Rhyme-A-Week, designed to develop phonological awarenessand
A-Book-A-Week, designed to introduce children to the playful world of printed text.
At WIL, the web we weave to support our children includes their families. The Home Book Reading Program is designed to enable teachers to easily supply families with strong literacy-development support.
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About A-Book-A-Week Instruction
A-Book-A-Week instruction makes use of the 101 Best Books that have been purchased for the Head Start home-school library. Each month, four of the books from the library are highlighted. These books have been selected based on common themes found in preschools -- holidays, colors, and counting. We have also highlighted books that especially support phonological awareness.
Our downloadable instruction for each book comes in the form of 4 activity cards, one for each of the categories we believe to be important in children's development of literacy:Language Development, with attention to vocabulary and syntactic structures. (WIL's A-Rhyme-A-Week deepens this particular emphasis)
Acts of Writing, including letter-sound relationships, print concepts, and genre knowledge
Artist's Craft, with attention to the ways authors and illustrators have created their works
Lots of Links, including intertextual connections, connections to other content areas, and connections to children's lives
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WIL's A-Book-A-Week Instruction
During the course of the year, we will occasionally be adding other titles to the list below. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat 4.0, you will need to download it to open and use these PDF files.
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