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First Year Teacher Self-Study Course

First Year Teacher is a self-paced professional development course for novice K-3 teachers, developed by Reading Rockets. The program provides teachers with an in-depth knowledge of reading so they are prepared to guide their students into becoming skilled and enthusiastic readers.

Photo of teacher and students

Print Awareness: Intro

Children who have an awareness of print understand that the squiggly lines on a page represent spoken language. They understand that when adults read a book, what they say is linked to the words on the page, rather than to the pictures. Children with print awareness understand that print has different functions depending on the context in which it appears — for example, menus list food choices, a book tells a story, a sign can announce a favorite restaurant or warn of danger. Print awareness is understanding that print is organized in a particular way — for example, knowing that print is read from left to right and top to bottom. It is knowing that words consist of letters and that spaces appear between words. Print awareness is a child's earliest introduction to literacy.
In a perfect world, all students would begin school with print awareness firmly in place. But the world is not a perfect place. So let's take a look at how teachers can help students to develop or increase print awareness.

Becoming Aware of Print

In San Jose, California, 32-month-old Mira gets a head start on reading from her parents.

Print Awareness: Intro
Diary of a First Year Teacher

Diary of a First Year Teacher

Join Barbara Zielinski, a first grade teacher at River Plaza Elementary School in Middletown, NJ, during her first year teaching.

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go." — Dr. Seuss