The first stages of literacy are hearing and speaking. Words are made up of phonemes, small sounds put together to make meaning. Children need to be able to hear parts of a word and understand the sounds they are hearing, and be able to put them together to make words. We call this the phonological system.
Phonological System – The phonological system is the sound of language. It is what you hear. Phonological awareness means hearing the sounds in words. It is the realization that words are made up of sequences of sounds
Once children can hear the sounds in words, they can begin to associate the sounds with symbols in the alphabet. Start by helping them learn to recognize print in the environment around them, such as familiar signs (McDonald's, Tim Horton's, etc). Then help them recognize their own name and the letters in their name. From there, add familiar words like 'mom' and 'dad'.
They will be on their way to developing strong early literacy skills!
We are encouraging the use of strategies to solve literacy difficulties. Bring your child's attention to his/her success when solving a problem or difficulty. Ask your child what strategy helped him/her to solve the problem. Ask your child what made him/her use that strategy.
Here are some COACHING strategies you can use:
We want your child to think about what he/she is reading. We want your child to ask and answer higher level questions before, during and after reading. Your child needs to be actively involved in reading.
Here are some prompts you can use to expand comprehension and stretch your child's thinking.
Reading Comprehension Strategies
Parents can use the Q-chart to develop questioning skills and other reading comprehension strategies in your child.
The questions in the upper left quadrant of the chart are questions requiring simple, fact-based answers.
(e.g., Question: Who is the main character? Answer: The main character is Sam.) There is one answer and the thinking is not complex.
The questions in the lower right quadrant are open-ended and require thought and interpretation.
(e.g., Question: Why might the hero have left home? Answer: Sam may have left home to find a job. In the story it says that the family is poor. They may not have had enough money to feed all their children.)
There could be several answers or interpretations but your child should provide evidence from the text to support his/her answer.