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The Learning Ladder II

Home A reading and writing curriculum for Family Child Care Providers, Children and Families

Module 1: Supporting Children's Literacy
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Supporting Writing

Creating Writers

Girl using Magic Marker Some children learn to write easily, and naturally develop writing skills. Your family child care program can help this process by creating a print-rich environment.

What does a print-rich environment look like and what do you do to make it?

  • Fill the space you dedicate to the children and your child care program with all kinds of reading material, including books, newspapers, and magazines.
  • Put labels on familiar objects and areas. We can help children if we spell out words in upper-case letters. For example, teachers can hang a sign on the sand table at children's eye level that reads, SAND TABLE.
  • Put labels on toy containers, cupboards and supply containers.
  • Hang posters of the alphabet at the children's eye level.
  • Write out the words of a song that you are singing in circle time. Point to the words as the children sing the song.
  • Print out the children's names and label the places where they keep their personal belongings, their coat hooks, and any other area that only they use.
  • Help children to write out their names on their drawings. Tell them that they did a "good job" even when you can't read what they write.

Creating Writing Centers

In addition to making your family child care program's environment print-rich you can create a separate writing center. You can design a writing center as part of a learning area in your family child care space.

Children may visit this area for a number of reasons. They may go to the writing center to create props for their play. For example, children may go to the writing center to make money or tickets needed in their "airport". Other children may visit the writing center to make a birthday card for parents. Others may simply play with paper and pencil, creating pages and pages of pretend letters.

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