Pre K Reading
The term for children who are developing early reading skills is emergent reader.
U nlike spoken language and many of the physical tasks mastered in childhood, reading is not a naturally acquired skill. Children must understand certain “rules” to make sense of how letters and sounds go together to form the basis of the English written language. Beginning at birth, children hear and begin to respond to spoken language; they will naturally acquire the language(s) that is reinforced through interaction.
By the time children reach 18 months old, they have begun to understand spoken words and have developed a limited vocabulary. Most 2-year-olds comprehend basic verbal language and have a vocabulary of approximately 50 words that increases to about 200 by the time they reach age 3. Language acquisition is essential to all forms of communication and sets the stage for developing the skills that will be required for reading.
T he term for children who are developing early reading skills is emergent reader. This “critical window” in development is defined as the period, generally between the ages of 2 and 5, when children become aware that words are the “code” we use to speak and write in English. At some point in this period, young children also begin to develop an understanding that text holds the meaning of our spoken language. Another fundamental task of this stage is understanding concepts of print: how our written language is represented and how this representation occurs in books.
These concepts of print are the important first steps in developing the foundation for reading, and include the understanding that:
Print, made up of letters and words, contain the meaning of a story, and that the illustrations and images correspond to the print
The directional arrangement of print in English is left to right and top to bottom from one line of text to the next
Book orientation knowledge: books have a front, back, and an author
D uring this period, children also begin to make connections between text and the world around them. Known as environmental print, this is writing that is found in everyday life and includes cereal boxes, signs, and the books that are read at bedtime.
Some of the most natural and effective ways to develop this knowledge are done through play. Parents and caregivers can introduce simple activities that allow children to play with sounds, letters, and words.
Games that allow children to notice beginning letter sounds are fun ways to introduce phonemic awareness.
Naming animals that begin with letters of the alphabet and alphabet hunts that allow students to identify items in a room or magazine that begin with specific letters are two examples.
Alphabet matching for uppercase and lowercase letters in another way to introduce students to print.
A s parents and caregivers prepare children to enter school, there are a number of specific skills that will establish a solid foundation for reading. Researchers such as Marilyn J. Adams, have identified three primary predictors for determining preschoolers’ success at learning to read.
1 Their ability to recognize and name letters of the alphabet
2 Their general knowledge about text and books
3 Their awareness of phonemes (the speech sounds that correspond to individual letters)
T he good news, according to Adams’ research, is that reading potential is not shown to be strongly related to poverty, handedness, dialect, gender, IQ, mental age, or any other circumstances that can’t be changed. Instead, the potential for reading is primarily due to experience with print and print concepts.
Things to know before entering Kindergarten
To equip students with the preliminary skills for literacy, the following phonemic awareness and concepts of print are useful prior to entering kindergarten:
Help your Pre K Reader find the path to success!
"I believe that Reading Horizons is enormously powerful and easy to integrate into any grade/skill level. It is really one of the most genuinely effective programs in the ever-widening (and often confusing) sea of methods and materials competing for precious financial resources." - Penelope Steward, Bruneau School District, Bruneau, Idaho
"it gives children the tools and skills that are necessary to decode any word that they may come upon. I love the hands-on approach. Our children use slates at their seats to practice the skills taught. They enjoy Reading Horizons and are always eager and excited for that particular time of day." - Anita Manship, Teacher, Mt. Vernon Elementary School, Fortville, Indiana
"I believe the greatest strength of the Reading Horizons program is the systematic approach and how one concept continues on through the entire program and builds upon the next. The constant reinforcement of what was learned months ago keeps students alert and remembering all the phonics rules." - Ed Schollenberger, Salem Elementary School, Payson, Utah