In this video segment from Between the Lions, a chorus of children’s voices captures dozens of fun and practical reasons to write: decorating cakes, posting "lost" signs, sending postcards and letters, following directions, and more. The song and accompanying images are reminders of the importance of writing in everyday life.
The songs "I Got a Reason to Read" and "I Got a Reason to Write" were created to highlight one of the key goals of the Between the Lions series: to celebrate the power and pleasure of print. Both songs show children reading and writing in all kinds of purposeful ways, from reading books, signs, and maps to writing letters, lists, and notes. The examples illustrate the importance of reading and writing in everyday life. Words are tools for communicating, and children who know how to read and write gain access to a world of exciting resources.
The four strongest preschool predictors of children’s success in learning to read and write all involve opportunities to interact with words. The four factors that explain the most variation in K–1 performance are:
In classrooms that foster early literacy, examples of reading and writing can be found everywhere: in books, wall displays, magazines, and more. Teachers write messages and signs to inform students of the day’s events. Children are encouraged to keep journals that record their developing efforts at writing. Many hours of each day are devoted to the pleasures of literacy as teachers and children read books aloud, and as children read to one another, explore books on their own, and write down their thoughts.
For preschool children in particular, experts urge teachers to set up classroom centers that present aspects of literacy in a developmentally appropriate way. This means that teachers show children the contexts in which people read for real purposes. A library corner would feature comfortable chairs and a variety of books within easy reach. In a writing center, students might keep journals, respond to messages, or use moveable letters and other appealing writing implements. In a science center, students might experiment, observe, and draw or describe the changes they see in an ongoing project. A role-play center might be a grocery store one week, a post office or restaurant the next, etc. In all of these centers, it helps to include the tools and props of literacy that we use in real life: notebooks, pencils, markers, stamps and stamp pads, menus, signs, labels, etc. Effective teachers will often coach individual children in their explorations, demonstrating how we use these tools.
Academic standards correlations on Teachers' Domain use the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) database of state and national standards, provided to NSDL projects courtesy of JES & Co.
We assign reference terms to each statement within a standards document and to each media resource, and correlations are based upon matches of these terms for a given grade band. If a particular standards document of interest to you is not displayed yet, it most likely has not yet been processed by ASN or by Teachers' Domain. We will be adding social studies and arts correlations over the coming year, and also will be increasing the specificity of alignment.