Happy Fall, y'all!
I hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy. Being able to see you all while getting out and delivering books this past month definitely made my heart smile. Even though it’s not my traditional storytime, it’s remaining connected with you in some way, which helps make it feel as if we’re getting back to some type of routine.
As you know, children need a variety of skills to read successfully. There are six specific skills that become building blocks for reading and writing. Vocabulary is my early literacy focus for the month of October.
Studies have shown that children who are read to at least one book a day have a 290,000-word boost over ones not read to by the age of five. Children whose parents read at least five books a day to them will have heard more than a million words by the time they start kindergarten.
"Kids who hear more vocabulary words are going to be better prepared to see those words in print when they enter school,"
says Jessica Logan, lead author of the study and assistant professor of educational studies at The Ohio State University.
These are great facts to share with parents. If you would like to read more about these studies and other early literacy information, you can learn more here
As a parent myself I will admit that I tried to read to my own kids at least once a day, but didn’t always accomplish that due to our busy lives. Having worked at a library in youth services and researching early literacy, I now know how vital that is for successful and academic growth throughout school. It’s simply amazing how much of a head start these kids get, if they’re simply read to a few times a week.
Ways to build a preschooler’s vocabulary that you can share with parents:
Conversation is a priority. The vocabulary children learn in their early years closely relates to their success later on in life. Parent-child interaction is vital. Also, the children playing together helps them with communicating with each other.
Have a word wall in your classroom (names for shapes, colors, numbers)
Read with the child, point to words while they say them, and then have them say the words while you point.
Discuss the new words you’re reading about…their definition, synonyms, use the words in another sentence (one they can relate to.)
Try to read books that your children are interested in. They tend to comprehend much easier.
A couple of books I enjoy reading to enhance young kids’ vocabulary (and the kids enjoy) are Caps for Sale
by Esphyr Slobodkina and The Scarecrow's Hat
by Ken Brown. Both have a Fall season feel with a rich vocabulary you can introduce to the children.
I consider Caps for Sale
a classic and a must read for all children. The peddler sits down to rest at a tree after walking town to town attempting to sell a stack of caps he proudly balances on his head. He wakes up to just one cap on his head and some mischievous monkey business. It includes repetition, patterns, colors and new vocabulary words like “peddler” “disturb” and “refreshed.” It has humor and it’s great for letting the children predict the outcome.
The Scarecrow's Hat
is a warm story of a determined chicken who admires the scarecrows hat. The scarecrow is willing to part with the hat for a walking stick to rest his tired arms. Chicken is now on a mission to find a walking stick for scarecrow, swapping out items among her farm friends until she gets just what she needs to trade off with scarecrow. This book includes problem solving, number order, comprehension and of course vocabulary…. maybe even introducing a couple new animals the littles may not be familiar with.
Please take a look at these awesome books. You will be amazed that even preschoolers will be able to pay attention and keep up with what’s going on.
As always, please contact me if you have any questions, concerns or new ideas you would like for me to target.