Reading, Writing, Playing, Learning: Finding the Sweet Spots in Kindergarten Literacy (Paperback)
  • Reading, Writing, Playing, Learning: Finding the Sweet Spots in Kindergarten Literacy (Paperback)

Reading, Writing, Playing, Learning: Finding the Sweet Spots in Kindergarten Literacy (Paperback)

Paperback 160 Pages / Published: 30/03/2017
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This practical handbook shows teachers how to nurture a kindergarten learning environment in which children feel safe, comfortable, and able to take risks. It offers innovative ways to encourage children to explore, experiment, discover, solve problems, and freely interact with one another. Based on extensive classroom practice, it demonstrates when teachers need to provide support, ask questions, and provoke thinking and when they should back away and leave children to their own devices.

Reading, Writing, Playing, Learning offers concrete suggestions for creating play-based learning in a culture of inquiry. The book discusses all aspects of oral language development, reading to and by children, shared and guided reading, reading to write and writing to learn, putting "play" into word play, and celebrating diversity and meeting the needs of all learners.

This remarkable book is committed to creating classrooms where children can learn and grow while they play.

Publisher: Pembroke Publishing Ltd
ISBN: 9781551383217
Number of pages: 160
Weight: 295 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 10 mm

Lori Jamison Rog and Donna-Lynn Galloway, two experienced educators and consultants, provide Kindergarten teachers with various tools to enhance play while building student reading, writing and learning skills through a supportive classroom environment. They begin their resource with Sheree Fitch's beautiful poem, "First Day of School" which urges teachers to see each child's individual strengths, "He wants to colour a picture./Help him to see that the colours he chooses, /The pictures he makes, are beautiful.../Before you ask him to pain the Sistine Chapel." The Introduction outlines the
history of Kindergarten, and the changing emphasis on play and explicit literacy instruction. The writers agree that the main emphasis in Kindergarten should be on, "What's in the best interests of the children?" (p. 13)

This resource is divided into eight chapters which explore various aspects of Kindergarten instruction: play-based learning, classroom organization, oral language, read-aloud, shared reading, guided reading, writing, word play and diversity. The first chapter, "Play-Based Learning in a Culture of Inquiry," explains the connection between literacy learning and play. "Through play, children learn to co-operate and compromise, to lead and to follow." (p. 15) The second chapter describes how the classroom environment can provide a strong support for collaborative learning. Subsequent chapters focus in on specific aspects of literacy and provide specific strategies and activities to engage students. In chapter 3, "Floating on A Sea of Talk: Oral Language Development," the resource examines teacher talk, language games, phonological awareness, and vocabulary development. Book selection, home-school connections and classroom libraries are examined in other chapters.

The authors provide a compilation of research on play-based learning and explicit literacy instruction in Kindergarten. There is definitely a need for instructional resources on Kindergarten because of the implementation of fullday Kindergarten in several Canadian provinces. While experienced teachers may have used many of the techniques described in this book, it could provide a useful tool to new teachers who need research-based instructional techniques. More detailed information on assessment would have been a good addition to this book. Reading, Writing, Playing, Learning compiles information and strategies which are available in various other resources, but having them in one place is useful. After all, Kindergarten is a very special year for young learners, "The routines we establish, the skills, strategies, and concepts we teach, and the expectations we hold will influence our students for the rest of their lives."

(p. 92) Thematic Links: Play-Based Learning; Explicit Literacy Instruction; Kindergarten Classrooms; Read Aloud; Shared/Guided

Resource Links
June 2017
Volume 22, Number 5

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