Are you looking for some material for your next PD or staff meeting to get your early literacy practitioners thinking? Webinars are a great way to build knowledge and generate discussion in your team. You can ask participants to watch the webinar before the meeting and come prepared to talk about it, or you can watch the webinar as a group and then have a dialogue about it.
Get Ready to Read has posted three freely available webinars for early literacy on their site. You can watch the programs and download the slide presentations for each of these three topics:
Reading with children provides valuable opportunities for enriching vocabulary and other important oral language skills as well as for extending basic knowledge about the world. Viewers will learn how to maximize language growth through shared book reading. They will also find out how to increase children’s understanding of concepts of print, how books work, and the wonders of letters and words on a page. Activities will be demonstrated to help prepare children to become motivated, equipped, and successful readers and writers.
Phonological awareness, or the insight that words are made up of discrete parts, is one of the strongest indicators of future reading success. Viewers will learn how to use books, songs and conversation to increase youngsters’ ability to learn important preliteracy concepts through play with sounds and syllables. Enjoyable activities will be described and modeled to help children rhyme as well as identify, separate, and blend sounds with words.
Children can be empowered to match what they know best – speech – with what they need to learn to read – print. Through children’s first exposure to the alphabet, the speech to print connection is built. Activities to strengthen letter naming and children’s own name recognition serve as the springboard for establishing sound-symbol relationships and word recognition. Enjoyable group activities demonstrate how early literacy can be promoted to prepare children for later reading success.
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Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.