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First Year Teacher Program



Teacher Toolbox


 1.  Print awareness
 2.  The sounds of speech
 3.  Phonemic awareness
 4.  Phonics
 5.  Informal classroom-based assessment
 6.  Fluency
 7.  Vocabulary
 8.  Spelling
 9.  Writing
 10.  Text comprehension

Diary of a First Year Teacher

Module 1  –  Print awareness

  |   Pre-test  |  Intro  |  In depth  |  In practice  |  Assignments  |  Post-test  |  

In practice

Guidelines for Instructions To Promote Print Awareness

An Activity For Assessing Print Awareness in Children

Give a student a storybook and ask him or her to show you:

•  the front of the book

•  the title of the book

•  where you should
   begin reading

•  a letter

•  a word

•  the first word of
   a sentence

•  the last word of
   a sentence

•  the first and last word
   on a page

•  punctuation marks

•  a capital letter

•  a lowercase letter

•  the back of the book

  • Make sure students know how books are organized. They should be taught the basics about books – that they are read from left to right and top to bottom, that print may be accompanied by pictures or graphics, that the pages are numbered, and that the purpose of reading is to gain meaning from the text and understand ideas that words convey.

  • Read to children from books with easy-to-read large print. Use stories that have predictable words in the text.

  • Use "big books" to help children notice and learn to recognize words that occur frequently, such as a, the, is, was, and you.

  • Label objects in your classroom.

  • Encourage preschool children to play with print. They can pretend to write a shopping list, construct a stop sign, write a letter, make a birthday card, etc.

  • Help children understand the relationship between spoken and written language.

  • Reinforce the forms and functions of print found in classroom signs, labels, posters, calendars, and so forth.

  • Teach and reinforce print conventions such as print directionality (print is written and read from left to right), word boundaries, capital letters, and end punctuation.

  • Teach and reinforce book awareness and book handling.

  • Promote word awareness by helping children identify word boundaries and compare words.

  • Allow children to practice what they are learning by listening to and participating in the reading of predictable and patterned stories and books.

  • Provide practice with predictable and patterned books.

  • Provide many opportunities for children to hear good books and to participate in read-aloud activities.

Excerpted from: Guidelines for Examining Phonics and Word Recognition Programs, Texas Reading Initiative, Texas Education Agency (2002)
And from: Tips for Teaching Kids to Read; by Ed Kame'enui, Marilyn Adams, & G. Reid Lyon

First Year Teacher was a pilot project of Reading Rockets, which is service of WETA, Washington D.C.'s flagship public television station. Funding for First Year Teacher was provided by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs; The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation; and The Overbrook Foundation.

© 2004 WETA