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For Parents, Teachers and Caregivers

Pre-K: Getting Ready to Read and Write

Teachers and caregivers play a critical role in preparing young children for school and life success. In addition to a warm and nurturing environment, the adults in children’s lives should also focus on the building blocks of reading and writing.

This pre-K guide is designed to walk teachers and caregivers through several important building blocks, including sounds, print awareness, letters and more. Within each section, you’ll find easy to read and use resources for learning more, and for trying some activities within your setting. Short videos bring concepts to life, booklists provide ideas for extension, and we provide guidance about when to have concerns about a child’s development.

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Pre-K Guide: Reading and Writing Readiness

Pre-K Guide for Parents, Educators and Caregivers

Pre-K: Reading and Writing Readiness

What’s important? Creating literacy-rich environments

There’s no doubt that building skills in a few areas during the preschool years can make a huge difference when a child enters school. Browse through to learn more about helping your child learn about sounds, print, letters, and words. Finally, learn how to choose and read children’s books that will help you and your child enjoy reading together for years to come.



Learn more about:

  • Sounds
  • Print Awareness
  • Letters
  • Vocabulary and Oral Language
  • Reading Together
  • Writing
  • Developmental Milestones

Pre-K: Reading and Writing Readiness

Sounds

Babies, toddlers and preschoolers can learn to have fun with sounds! Figuring out words that rhyme, coming up with words that share a beginning sound, and saying silly words all help build a child’s phonological awareness; that is, the ability to notice, think about, and play with sounds in words. These skills will be used every time your child reads and writes!

Watch the video

Pre-K: Reading and Writing Readiness

Print Awareness

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.

Watch the video

Pre-K: Reading and Writing Readiness

Letters

One strong predictor of success in reading is a child’s familiarity with the letters of the alphabet. This includes knowing a letter’s name, shape and sound. Most good alphabet activities help kids get practice in each area.

Watch the video

Pre-K: Reading and Writing Readiness

Vocabulary and Oral Language

Kids who hear more words spoken at home learn more words and enter school with better vocabularies. This larger vocabulary pays off exponentially as a child progresses through school. It’s never too soon to talk to your baby, and make it interesting!

Watch the video

Pre-K: Reading and Writing Readiness

Reading Together

Sharing books with your child can be among the most special moments of the day. These moments with books teach your child many reading readiness skills. Our resources in this section describe the why's and how's of reading with even the youngest child.

Watch the video

Pre-K Guide: Reading and Writing Readiness

Writing

Children, even our youngest learners, enjoy putting crayon to paper. What often starts as scribbling ends up being important clues to a child’s understanding that print carries meaning. Four-year olds often enjoy “writing” their name and other special words like Mom, Dad, love, and you. Helping your child develop writing readiness skills includes making the most out of everyday writing and providing lots of opportunity to practice!

Watch the video

Pre-K: Reading and Writing Readiness

Developmental Milestones

Find out what language accomplishments are typical for most children from birth to age three. If you have questions or concerns about your child's progress, talk with your child's doctor, teacher, or a speech and language therapist. For children with any kind of disability or learning problem, the sooner they can get the special help they need, the easier it will be for them to learn.

Pre-K: Reading and Writing Readiness

Reading Readiness
  • Reading and writing readiness
  • Literacy-rich environments
  • Sounds
  • Sounds
  • Print awareness
  • Print awareness
  • Letters
  • Letters
  • Vocabulary and oral language
  • Vocabulary and oral language
  • Reading together
  • Reading together
  • Writing
  • Writing
  • Developmental milestones
  • Explore Reading Rockets
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Reading Blogs
Maria Salvadore
Maria Salvadore
July 10, 2014
June 24, 2014
"I used to walk to school with my nose buried in a book." — Coolio