Did you know that a baby’s brain is developing the most rapidly during the first two years of life? These early years offer a critical window of opportunity, like no other time, to launch language early and get a jump start on school success. Learn the milestones that develop from 7 to 24 months.
This ILA brief explains the basics of phonics for parents, offering guidance on phonics for emerging readers, phonological awareness, word study, approaches to teaching phonics, and teaching English learners.
Is your child enrolled in kindergarten in a school that is implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)? In this overview for parents, learn more about what Common Core is and how to know whether a teacher is providing developmentally appropriate instruction to address the CCSS for your child. Here are some of the questions you might ask yourself.
Treating communication and language difficulties early on can prevent potential problems with behavior, learning, reading and social interaction. Learn more about the five ways that early intervention can help your child and your family.
Preschool aged children love to write — they're always in search of a marker or crayon. Those early scribbles are an important step on the path to literacy. Parents and preschool teachers can support a writer's efforts in some very simple ways. And it's never too early to start!
Providing young children with rich writing experiences can lay a foundation for literacy learning. This article presents a framework for individualizing early writing instruction in the preschool classroom.
Discover simple at-home activities you can use to help your child understand the connection between the letters of the alphabet and the sound associated with each letter.
The Lead for Literacy initiative is a series of one-page memos for policymakers and early literacy leaders on how to improve young children's literacy, birth to age 9. Using evidence from research, these briefs are designed to help leaders avoid common mistakes and present solutions and strategies for scalability and impact.
Reading stamina is a child's ability to focus and read independently for long-ish periods of time without being distracted or without distracting others. Find out how you can help your child develop reading stamina.
This checklist helps parents find out how well they are doing in creating a literacy-rich environment in their home, and what more they can do to enrich their child's exposure to books and reading.
Parents are a child's first teacher, and there are many simple things you can do every day to share the joy of reading while strengthening your child's literacy skills.
Get the basic facts about what it takes for a young child to learn to read, best practices in teaching reading, the importance of oral language in literacy development, why so many children struggle, and more in this overview.
The What Works Clearinghouse reviewed the research on two practices used in center-based settings with 3- to 5-year-old preK children, as well as a number of specific curricula. Positive results are shown for (1) Phonological awareness training and (2) Interactive and dialogic reading.
Letters are all around us! Here are some ideas on how to use print found in your everyday environment to help develop your child's reading skills.
It's important to remember that a lack of sleep can greatly impact your preschooler's behavior and ability to have a good day at preschool. Try this little experiment with your child to make sure they understand and maintain an appropriate sleep schedule.
Choosing a preschool for your child can be a tough decision; what works for one child may not work for another. This is particularly true for a preschooler with special learning or behavior needs. Get a head start on finding the right setting for your preschooler.
Parents and teachers can do a lot to encourage higher order thinking. Here are some strategies to help foster children's complex thinking.
Basic listening skills and "word awareness" are critical precursors to phonological awareness. Learn the milestones for acquiring phonological skills.
Parents and caregivers are often the first to notice when their child may be showing signs of delayed development. Get answers and advice with this easy-to-understand information about developmental delays.
Blending (combining sounds) and segmenting (separating sounds) are phonological awareness skills that are necessary for learning to read. Developing your child's phonological awareness is an important part of developing your child as a reader. Learn how working on phonological awareness can be fun and easy below.
By providing an environment rich in language and where thinking is encouraged, you can help your preschooler develop important numeracy and literacy skills. Here are four everyday examples of ways to integrate language and math.
Phoneme awareness is the ability to identify phonemes, the vocal gestures from which words are constructed, when they are found in their natural context as spoken words. Children need phoneme awareness to learn to read because letters represent phonemes in words.
Talking to and reading with your child are two terrific ways to help them hear and read new words. Conversations and questions about interesting words are easy, non-threatening ways to get new words into everyday talk. Here are some ideas to get you started.
"Get Ready to Read" is a fast, free, research-based, and easy-to-use screening tool. It consists of 20 questions that parents and caregivers can ask a four-year-old to see if he or she is on track for learning how to read.
Learn more about where to find help if you suspect that your child may have a developmental delay. A developmental evaluation will be used to decide if your child needs early intervention services and/or a treatment plan specifically tailored to meet a child's individual needs.
A simple trip to the grocery store can turn into a real learning experience for your preschooler. Below are some easy ways to build literacy and math skills while getting your shopping done at the same time!
The National Early Literacy Panel looked at studies of early literacy and found that there are many things that parents and preschools can do to improve the literacy development of their young children and that different approaches influence the development of a different pattern of essential skills.
Phonological awareness is critical for learning to read any alphabetic writing system. And research shows that difficulty with phoneme awareness and other phonological skills is a predictor of poor reading and spelling development.
Every child is unique and has an individual rate of development. This chart represents, on average, the age by which most children will accomplish skills in hearing, understanding, and talking.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association offers these age-appropriate ways that parents can engage their young children to help develop speech and language abilities.
How do parents know if their child's reading delay is a real problem or simply a "developmental lag?" How long should parents wait before seeking help if their child is struggling with reading? Susan Hall answers these questions.
Dads play a critical role in their children's literacy development by modeling reading, sharing stories, exploring the world together, and engaging in meaningful conversations that build critical thinking skills.
Dads play a critical role in their children's literacy development by modeling reading, sharing stories, exploring the world together, and engaging in meaningful conversations that build critical thinking skills. Here are a few suggestions to help fathers strengthen their literacy connections with preschoolers.
Kindergarten is where most children learn to read and write. Though some kids can do this before entering kindergarten, it is not required or expected. Being ready for kindergarten means having well-developed preschool skills, and being academically, socially, and physically ready for the transition. Here are some signs that your child is ready for kindergarten.
When engaging in writing, young children often mirror what they see around them; adults and older children writing lists, notes, text messaging. They are observing the way writing is used in our everyday lives. Here are some simple things families can do to support young children's writing.
This list was created to help teachers know which spelling words should be taught to kids in grades 1–5. The list contains 850 words that account for 80 percent of the words children use in their writing — the ones they need to be able to spell correctly.
Every time you pair a book with an experience, you are giving your child an opportunity to learn more about their world. Below are some suggestions for books and corresponding activities to extend your child's reading experiences.
Every time you pair a book with an experience, you are giving your child an opportunity to learn more about their world. Find suggestions for books and corresponding activities to extend your preschooler's reading experiences.
Many New Year's resolutions focus on developing healthy habits. Here's one that is important to make and keep: provide a regular diet of books and reading for your preschooler. Try this menu of reading activities.
As a parent of a beginning reader, it's important to support your child's reading efforts in a positive way and help them along the reading path. Here's a little information about beginning readers, and a few pointers to keep in mind.
Even the youngest child is somewhere on the path to becoming a reader. As a parent, it's important to support your child's efforts in a positive way and help him or her along the reading path. Here's a little information about emergent readers, and a few pointers to keep in mind.
Preschool provides a wonderful opportunity for your child to make new friends, socialize, and learn from an adult. Starting preschool is an exciting (and sometimes nervous!) time for little ones and parents. A few tips might help you and your child get off on the right foot.
Research has demonstrated that the most effective read-alouds are those where children are actively involved asking and answering questions and making predictions, rather than passively listening. This article describes in detail a technique for a three-step interactive read-aloud using sophisticated storybooks.
Can teachers and parents of preschoolers identify learning problems early enough to prevent problems later in school? The Recognition & Response model helps adults know what to look for and how to help, so that later remediation and special education may not be necessary.
Most words in a child's vocabulary come from everyday encounters with language. Children pick up language from books, media, and conversations with the people in their lives. Here are some ways you can increase your child's vocabulary and background knowledge, and strengthen the foundation for their reading success.
Nursery rhymes are important for young children because they help develop an ear for our language. Both rhyme and rhythm help kids hear the sounds and syllables in words, which helps kids learn to read! Here are some activities and recommended poetry books to aid your child's developing poetry, rhyming, and rhythm skills.
The literacy-rich environment emphasizes the importance of speaking, reading, and writing in the learning of all students. This involves the selection of materials that will facilitate language and literacy opportunities; reflection and thought regarding classroom design; and intentional instruction and facilitation by teachers and staff.
Parents — you are your child's most important teacher! Using a few of these ideas, you can help your child enter the classroom ready to read.
Talking to your child helps expand vocabulary, develop background knowledge, and inspire a curiosity about the world – all of which help with learning to read! Here are some simple activities you can do at home to get your child ready to read.
Don't forget to add non-fiction books to your reading routine! Kids can follow their own interests and learn about the world around them by reading about bugs, dinosaurs, or outer space. You can also use the information in books to do activities at home – make green eggs and ham like Sam I Am, or a newspaper hat like Curious George!
Learn about an early intervening system being developed for young children, called Recognition and Response, designed to help parents and teachers respond to learning difficulties in young children who may be at risk for learning disabilities as early as possible, beginning at age 3 or 4, before they experience school failure and before they are referred for formal evaluation and possible placement in special education.
Many young readers are puzzled by the rules and exceptions of spelling. Research shows that learning to spell and learning to read rely on much of the same underlying knowledge. Learn more about the relationships between letters and sounds and how a proper understanding of spelling mechanics can lead to improved reading.
These activities are for families and caregivers who want to help their preschool children to learn and to develop the skills necessary for success in school — and in life.
This article provides an overview of the federal No Child Left Behind law and includes information to help parents use provisions of NCLB to ensure that their child has access to appropriate instruction.
How do you choose the best method for measuring reading progress? This brief article describes which assessments to use for different reading skills so that you can make sure all students are making progress towards becoming readers!
Guided oral reading is an instructional strategy that can help students improve a variety of reading skills, including fluency. This article explains how to implement it in your classroom.
Music is a great way to introduce children to sounds and words! Research indicates that exposure to music has numerous benefits for a child's development.
An informal assessment of the concepts of print, including what the assessment measures, when is should be assessed, examples of questions, and the age or grade at which the assessment should be mastered.
An informal assessment of letter/sound recognition, including what the assessment measures, when is should be assessed, examples of questions, and the age or grade at which the assessment should be mastered.
Parents want the best for their children. Reading can open a window on the world, bringing chances to learn, enjoy and create. Even though schools teach reading and writing, home is the first and best place for your child's love of reading to grow.
What parents do or don't do in the preschool years has a lasting impact on children's reading ability. Learn some facts about the importance and need for literacy experiences in the primary grades.
Activities that stimulate phonemic awareness in preschool and elementary school children are one sure way to get a child ready for reading! Here are eight of them from expert Marilyn Jager Adams.
Learn the basics of how a digital whiteboard works and potential benefits of using the technology in early literacy instruction. Results of a research study in a first grade classroom reveal that digital whiteboards are effective as an organizational tool for lesson preparation and followup instruction; provide opportunities for scaffolded learning; and stimulate greater student engagement.
Creating a word family chart with the whole class or a small group builds phonemic awareness, a key to success in reading. Students will see how words look alike at the end if they sound alike at the end — a valuable discovery about our alphabetic writing system. They'll also see that one little chunk (in this case "-an") can unlock lots of words!
Dialogic reading works. Children who have been read to dialogically are substantially ahead of children who have been read to traditionally on tests of language development. Children can jump ahead by several months in just a few weeks of dialogic reading.
Here are some concrete techniques that children can use to study spelling. This article also shares guidelines teachers and students should keep in mind, because practice makes permanent.
Children's knowledge of letter names and shapes is a strong predictor of their success in learning to read. Knowing letter names is strongly related to children's ability to remember the forms of written words and their ability to treat words as sequences of letters.
Quality can look different in individual primary grade classrooms. However, there are certain characteristics of effective early reading programs that parents can look for in their children's classrooms. First Lady Laura Bush presents a list of these characteristics in this guide for parents.
The scientific research on vocabulary instruction reveals that 1) most vocabulary is learned indirectly, and 2) some vocabulary must be taught directly.
The following are answers to frequent questions teachers have about fluency instruction.
Phonemic awareness is the ability to identify, hear, and manipulate the individual sounds in spoken words. Manipulating the sounds in words includes blending, stretching, or otherwise changing words.
The National Reading Panel identified three predominant elements to support the development of reading comprehension skills: vocabulary instruction, active reading, and teacher preparation to deliver strategy instruction.
Identifying a reading problem is a challenge without a sense for what typical literacy development looks like. Find out what language accomplishments are typical for most children from birth to age three.
Identifying a reading problem is a challenge without a sense for what typical literacy development looks like. Find out what language accomplishments are typical for most children at the age of three to four.
Alphabetics is a term for the letter-sound elements of learning to read, including phonemic awareness and phonics. In this summary, find out what practices for teaching alphabetics have been proven effective by research.
If your child hasn't started speaking by age one and or you are worried about their speech and language skills, there may be a concern. Early identification is key. They need to receive treatment before school begins so they won't miss out on essential pre-reading skills. Learn what the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has to say about early identification, evaluation, and speech-language treatments.
Research-based guidelines for teaching phonological awareness and phonemic awareness to all children are described. Additional instructional design guidelines are offered for teaching children with learning disabilities who are experiencing difficulties with early reading.
Research shows that the very notion that spoken language is made up of sequences of little sounds does not come naturally or easily to human beings. The small units of speech that correspond to letters of an alphabetic writing system are called phonemes. Thus, the awareness that language is composed of these small sounds is termed phonemic awareness.
Children go through phases of reading development from preschool through third grade — from exploration of books to independent reading. In kindergarten, children develop basic concepts of print and begin to engage in and experiment with reading and writing. Find out what parents and teachers can do to support kindergarten literacy skills.
Many teachers will be using supplemental phonics and word-recognition materials to enhance reading instruction for their students. In this article, the authors provide guidelines for determining the accessibility of these phonics and word recognition programs.
These tips for parents of children with learning disabilities emphasize to all parents the importance of helping children learn about letters and sounds. Get concrete advice for teaching the alphabet, raising awareness about sounds, and promoting letter-sound knowledge.
Learn about the three powerful predictors of preschoolers' eventual success in learning to read.
Phonemic awareness training is essential for students who are at risk for reading difficulties. This article describes the components of phonemic awareness and provides activities that special educators can use to provide this training to at risk students.