Sunday, May 30, 2010

"B" Book for Babies

Looking for a great book for baby?

Characteristics of Great Books for Babies

• Thick sturdy cover and pages
• Small size, for little hands
• Bright colourful pictures (high contrast)
• Simple geometric shapes
Clear pictures
• Pictures of human faces
• Few words
• Nursery rhymes

The book shown above models the Tana Hoban book White on Black.

Using a die cutter, I cut out several objects, using white construction paper, that begin with the letter B or the sound "buh". This is one of the first sounds that emerge in children. Then, I glued the objects onto black construction paper that was cut into the shape of a house. Then, I laminated the book, punched holes into the left-hand side, and used rings from Staples to bind it together.

Does it have to be black and white?
It is true that objects with patterns having 100% contrast (that is, black-on-white) are the easiest for newborns and young infants to see. However, it is now known that they can distinguish much subtler shades of gray. For example, in the first month babies can distinguish two shades of gray that differ by only 5% in gray level (5% contrast). As good as that is, by 9 weeks of age, infants' contrast sensitivity becomes 10 times better, so that they can see large patterns or objects that have less than 0.5% contrast. This is nearly as good as adult contrast sensitivity (0.2%). This means is that by about 2 months of age your baby is capable of perceiving almost all of the subtle shadings that make our visual world so rich, textured and interesting: shadings in clouds, shadows that are unique to your face; even see a white teddy bear on a white couch!

Source: The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

Print is all around us on signs, labels, storybooks, newspapers and magazines. Seeing print and seeing how adults react to print helps children recognize why print is important. Children with print awareness can begin to understand that written language is related to oral language.

Print awareness is ranked among the best predictors of early reading achievement as well as a child’s future reading abilities. Most children become aware of print long before they enter school. Some researchers have found that children as young as 2 years old can read environmental print. Environmental print is the print that is all around us everyday. Some examples include print on license plates, road signs and labels on the packages of the food we eat. Other researchers have shown that children often read signs rather than their print (like the McDonalds logo when you’re driving in a car).

Regardless, the ability to understand print doesn’t just happen. Children learn about print when adults and other children point out letters, words and other features of the print that surround children. When children understand “how” print works they will feel more comfortable handling books and be more likely to succeed in reading.

On the road to print awareness
Here are some indicators that a child is well on their way to an awareness of print:

- noticing print everywhere
- knowing how to follow the words on a page (left to right and top to bottom)
- knowing how to handle a book (how to hold it in their hands)
- knowing that sentences start with capital letters and end with punctuation marks
- knowing about authors’ and illustrators’ names
- knowing how to identify the front and back cover of a book

I mentioned some places adults can find environmental print to point out to children - license plates, road signs, and the packages of food we eat.

What are some examples of environmental print you use to draw a child's attention to print?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Point them in the right direction...

Did you know that 95% of children’s attention goes to the pictures in the book?

When you’re reading, use your finger (or a pointer) to sweep under words you have read. It will show the child that you are reading the text, not the pictures.

Here are some great ideas for pointers you can use.

**Flyswatters** (with different sized holes)


**Unsharpened pencils**

***Old Wooden Spoons**

**Witch Fingers**


**Old Car antennae**


**Bubble Wands**

**Stir stivcks**

**Plastic flowers**

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

Books shown above are:
Today is Monday by Eric Carle
Goodnight, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
Something from Nothing by Phoebe Gilman
Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Math E-Bulletin

Math skills emerge during infancy and, like reading, develop through opportunities children have to explore and understand math in concrete, relevant ways well before school entry. In Foundations for Numeracy: An Evidence-based Toolkit for Early Learning Professionals it states “Children’s mathematics ability at the beginning of Kindergarten is a strong predictor of later academic success, even stronger than their early reading ability. (Duncan et al, 2007)” (Canadian Child Care Federation and Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network, 2010, p 13)

In this e-bulletin you will find research articles to inform and support your work with young children and their families. You will also find math skill development guides, book lists, activities and programming ideas.


** June 2010 Early Literacy E-Bulletin **

** Math Literacy in the Early Years**


** Math Literacy Information and Research**

Fostering Early Numeracy in the Home, Preschool and Kindergarten

A Good Start to Numeracy: Effective Numeracy Strategies from Research and Practice in Early Childhood

Learning Disabilities: Dyscalculia and Dyslexia


** Math Literacy Programming Ideas/Best Practices **

Video demonstration of math in “The Wheels on the Bus”

Math Play: How Young Children Approach Math

Early Years Math Activities and Games

Family Math Fun! (Early numeracy program for family and adult literacy programs, child care programs, preschool and elementary school classrooms; includes Aboriginal content)

Esso Family Math program for children ages 4-6 years or 7-10 years, and their families


** Math Literacy Resources **

Ages and stages of numeracy development (birth to six years)

Extended activity for early learning and child care programs and parent handouts linking children’s books with the five math strands

Children’s book lists to explore 20 different math concepts with children

Reproducible Number Game


** Parent Information **

“Math with Kids is Fun!” Canadian Child Care Federation handout for parents

Helping your child learn math: A Parent’s Guide

Count Me In: Math Fun for Little Ones (pamphlet)


** To make you smile**

Mathematics reaches a new level

Source: Susan Ramsay, Kingston Literacy & Skills

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Math and Children's Literature

In a child's world, mathematics is seen as a set of rules - a collection of procedures, actually - they must first be memorized and then correctly applied to produce the answer. For example, look at this problem:

There are 125 sheep and 5 dogs in a flock. How old is the sheperd?

Children often believe that the must produce an answer from the numbers provided in the question, even though you and I both know that wouldn't make any sense. To help children make better sense of mathematics, relate it to their world, starting early on in their development. One way of doing this is through picture books. As I said in my previous posting, stories can serve as a great jumping off point for activities and can connect children with the world they engage in.

Here are some great books that explore mathematical concepts:

One Gray Mouse by Katherine Burton
The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
Jim and the Beanstock by Raymond Briggs
How Many Mice? By Michael Garland
Big Fat Hen by Keith Baker
Chicka Chicka 123 by Bill Martin Jr.
Poor Puppy by Nick Bruel
Ten Little Ladybugs by Melanie Gerth
Ten Little Fish by Audrey Wood
Quack and Count by Keith Baker
What Comes in 2s, 3s, and 4s? by Suzanne Aker
One Duck Stuck by Phyllis Root
Blue Sea by Robert Kalan
A Second is a Hiccup: A Child’s Book of Time by Hazel Hutchins
Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree by Eileen Christelow
The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins
Big Week for Little Mouse by Eugenie Fernandes
Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar? by Christine Schneider
The Cheerios Counting Book by Barbara Barbieri McGrath
Cookie’s Week by Cindy Ward
The Crayola Counting Book by Rozanne Lanczak Williams
There Were 10 in the Bed by Karen Young
The Butterfly Counting Book by Jerry Pallotta
The Oreo Cookie Counting Book

Tall by Jez Allborough
Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni
Over in the Meadow by Jane Cabrera
Hannah’s Collections by Marthe Jocelyn
Anno’s Counting Book by Anno
Building Shapes by Susan Canizares
12 Ways to Get to 11 by Eve Merriam
Give Me Half! By Stuart J. Murphey
The Button Box by Margarette S. Reid
Benny’s Pennies by Pat Brisson
Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Are there any suggestions for books or websites with booklists that can be used to promote a better understanding of mathematics?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mathematical Literacy

Yesterday I attended a full day of Family Math training. Myself and teachers learned how to go about hosting a family math evening. Topics covered included 'Math is Everywhere' (and it really is!), multicultural math (chisenbop, the soroban, how to measure the height of a tree with just your thumb), historical math (ancient egyptian maulitplication, Napier's bones), children's literature, as well as quilts and the underground railroad. I left feeling so inspired!

What is Mathematical Literacy?
When people think of mathematical literacy, a narrow definition tends to come to mind that solely focuses on quantity. Mathematical literacy needs to be considered more braodly in terms on an individual’s capacity to identify and understand the role that mathematics plays in the world, to make well-founded judgments, and to engage in mathematics in ways that meet the needs of that individual’s current and future life as a constructive, concerned and reflective citizen (OECD 1999).

Think of the people you see in bulk barn that have X dollars and the candy they want is X price. Many people struggle to figure out how much they can buy.

The Early Math Strategy (2003) discusses teaching and learning mathematics in Ontario. Here are some of the key points it makes:

Success in mathematics in the early grades is critical. Early mathematics understanding has a profound effect on mathematical proficiency in the later years.

Children learn mathematical understanding primarily through, "...doing, talking, reflecting, discussing, observing, investigating, listening, and reasoning" (Copley, 2000, p.29).

Young children have a natural inquisitiveness about mathematics, and teacher can build on this inquisitiveness to help students develop the positive attitidues that often occur when one understands and makes sense of a topic.

Children's prior mathematical understanding needs to be recognized, to be developped, and to be connected with school mathematics.

Numerous studies provide data to indicate that there is a positive correlation between attitude and achievement in mathematics (Dossey, Mullis, Lindquist, & Chambers, 1998).

Using chilren's literature as a starting point for a mathematics activity gives students a sense of how mathematics is connected with the world that they engage in when they read stories.

Here is a great website on early math (starting right from infants!) by PBS:

To see how children are achieving in your area on EQAO tests, please visit

Here is a riddle for you. Can you solve it?

A man buys a horse for 50 dollars. Decides he wants to sell his horse later and gets 60 dollars. He then decides to buy it back again and paid 70 dollars. However, he could no longer keep it and he sold it for 80 dollars.

Did he make money? lose money? or break even? Why?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The 3 Rs of Poetry

Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
Poetry scares me.
How about you?

Why Poetry?

Poetry is language organized by rhythm. Reading and reciting poems with your child can be a very beneficial activity when it comes to building early literacy skills.

Many people think children will dislike poetry,
but that`s far from the truth...Children get a
real kick out of the bounce and wackiness of
poetry, and poems can often be paths to
literacy for children who have previously
found reading difficult.
- Mem Fox, Reading Magic, p. 88

Rhythm and Rhyme
Poems with good rhythm, the way the words bounce off the tongue, are especially appealing to young children who are mastering language and reading. The best ones should almost seem like you`re singing them.

Being able to rhyme is a very important milestone in early literacy development. Rhyme helps children understand that words that share common sounds often share common letter sequences. Rhyme also helps children break words into smaller parts and recognize smaller parts in words.

Nursery rhymes are a great way to introduce rhyme. They can be spoken, sung or read aloud. Not only are nursery rhymes a pleasure to hear and to share, they provide a building block toward literacy.

Books with Rhythm
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom? by Bill Martin Jr.
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Suess
I Went Walking by Sue Williams

Books with Rhyme
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle
Down by the Bay by Raffi
Silly Sally by Audrey Wood

Repetition helps children make good guesses about what words will come next when you are reading with them or to them. Notice how your child’s reading confidence builds when the same great line keeps coming around again. This will help your child see himself as a reader.

Repetition helps information “stick” in your child’s memory. Your child will remember what they read long after they have read it.

Repetition makes poems memorable for your child and helps them understand what they are reading (the storyline).

Books with Repetition
The Napping House by Audrey Wood
Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too? by Eric Carle
Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino

What Else Does Poetry Help With?

vocabulary knowing the names of things

assonance the repetition of vowel sounds that are close together. Example: I made my way to the lake.

consonance the repetition of consonant sounds that are close together. Example: Brown bear, brown bear

syllable counting chunks of sounds in words

patterning word order and sentence structure

learning and remembering

Do not to squirt glue all over the paper :
"A drop, a drop, a drop will do
Any more is too much glue."

Writing numbers:
"A straight line down makes a one
Writing numbers can be fun!"

pretend play using imagination to make mental images

alliteration two or more words begin with the same letter or sound.
Example: Miss Mary Mack

Favourite Poets for younger children:
Shel Silverstein
Jack Prelutsky
Jane Yolen
Douglas Florian
Roald Dahl

Does anyone have any other suggestions for books with great rhythm, rhyme or repetition? How about great poetry books for young children?

What are some creative ways to use poetry with young children?

Friday, May 14, 2010

It Looked Like Split Milk Felt Board Story

Looking to create a new felt board story for your program or to tell with your own children? It Looked Like Spilt Milk is a great book! It's got a lot of repetition in it. When children repeat the same stories and/or lines in stories they begin to see themselves as readers. This can be very motivating in learning to read. Also, the story is really about a cloud and the different shapes it takes. With summer not far away talking about clouds in the sky could be a great extention activity. Enjoy :)

Follow the link below to access tracers to make your own felt board story. Just trace the designs onto white felt and use a piece of blue felt as the background.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Healthy Bodies Make and Take

Last night I co-presented a make and take workshop on the theme of 'Healthy Bodies'. In this workshop format, early years educators were invited to come, eat dinner, then make and take early literacy/group time resources that they can use in their programs.

Because the workshop theme was 'Healthy Bodies', it was fitting to contact the local health unit for resources to be given to participants. I was able to pick up some great brochures at no cost! The premise was that each participant would take one of each brochure. Then, if a parent of a child in their program has a question or concern about a certain health topic, the participant could contact the Health Unit and order multiple copies to be given out to parents of the children who attend their program.

Here is a list of the resources I was able to get:

- Preventing the Spread of Childhood Illnesses

- Raising Healthy Eaters

- Splash into Safety

- Home Safety Checklist

- Have a Ball Together

As for the Make and Take activities, here is what we did:

1) The Very Hungry Caterpillar story retell. This story serves as a great jumping off point for discussions about healthy eating. The caterpillar eats some healthy foods, then he eats junkfood and gets a stomachache.

To make this yourself, you will need all the items in the picture below, plus a hot glue gun. First, to make a caterpillar, colour your regular clothes pin green using permanent marker. Next, using the hot glue gun, glue the balls to the clothes pin in the order shown below. The red ball goes at the opening of the clothes pin - this becomes the caterpillar's "mouth". Then, use the small pieces of foam to cut out eyes, a nose, and antenna (like how they are shown on the cover of the book). Use the glue gun to stick them on.

Now, use the other clothes pin to make your butterfly. Use some scraps of felt you may have to make some wings. Make antenna out of the blue foam and glue it on.

Create a cocoon for your butterfly and caterpillar using a 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of brown foam. Just fold in in half and cut out the outline of the cocoon. Use your hot glue gun to seal around the edges of the cocoon. Use a black permanent marker to drawn lines on your cocoon. I used the picture in the book as a guide.

Cut out and laminate the food cards. The caterpillar will "eat" these by placing them in his mouth as you read the story.

Before telling the story to your group of children, place the butterfly in the cocoon so that when the caterpillar goes in, you can exchange it for the butterfly.

2)Fitness Cube and die. Children are movers and doers. This game is a great way to get all children participating in "get fit" activities. To play, children take turns rolling each cube. If they get a "3" and a "one foot hop", they would do a one foot hop three times.

To make the fitness cube, start by folding your cube into a cube. Fasten with packing tape on each end. Then, cut out the pictures of the children doing various activities. Glue them onto the cube. You may also like to add the words shown in the picture to add the extra literacy bit. If you have a younger group of children, I would use the packing tape to "laminate" the cube to prevent too much wear and tear.

To make the number cube, fold up and tape the box in the same way as before. Then stick the colour stickers (I got mine at Dollarama!) to the cube in the same way they would be shown on a die. Laminate in the same way as before, if needed.

3) Ribbon stick. Put on some music and see how children move around with the stick. Encourage them to twirl and make the ribbon dance.

- 1 Wooden Dowel (I used a 3/4 x 12in. wooden dowel)
- 1 Small square of all-purpose sand paper to sand the dowel
- Acrylic Paint (optional) to paint the dowel giving it extra pizzazz
- 1 Small Eye Screw
- Ribbon
- Hair dryer (optional)
- Clear coat (optional)

Sand the dowel. Using your small square of all-purpose sand paper lightly sand your dowel to smooth out any rough spots.

Attach Eye Screw. Attach eye screw to the top of the dowel. If you do this before you paint it gives you something to hold onto.

Paint the dowel. Paint the dowel with a sassy acrylic color using an even stroke from bottom to top and covering the entire circumference of the dowel as well as the top and bottom bases of the dowel. Paint dries in less than 20 minutes on a warm sunny day in a house with no air conditioning. You can use a hair dryer to speed up the drying process. One coat should be sufficient.

Optional Ribbon Sewing. Pull a small amount of the ribbon through the eye screw and do a quick stitch finish to. You can also tie it, but sewing might extend the longevity of the ribbon especially seeing how much flinging and twirling it's going to go through.

If you would like electronic copies of the make and take resources shown, please leave a comment for me with you email information. Thanks!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Exploring the 5 Senses

You can encourage healthy brain development by helping your child explore their five senses. A baby's brain is a work in progress. The outside world shapes development through experiences that a child's senses — vision, hearing, smell, touch and taste — absorb. Repeated experiences taken in by the five senses help build permanent, strong connections in the brain.

Early on, as the pathways in a child's brain are strengthened through repeated experiences, permanent connections are formed that structure the way a child learns. If a pathway is not used, it's eliminated based on the "use it or lose it" principle. Things you do a single time, either good or bad, are somewhat less likely to have an effect on brain development.

Try some of the suggested activities below many times to help your child build strong pathways and connections in their brain.


Your child uses their ears to take in information about the world around them. Developing the ability to listen carefully helps him or her get important information from you, caregivers, teachers, and coaches. Like other skills, learning to listen takes practice. Try the activities below to build strong brain connections.

Listening Games

Play a board game or card game with your child to see how good he is at listening. Listening is an important skill when you are playing games. Another effective activity would be to hide a ticking timer in a room and see if your child can find it.


Use your hands and make clapping patterns together. Lead the clap sequence and encourage your child to repeat it. Once you have each had a turn leading the clap sequences try doing the same thing using the bells.

Is it harder to repeat the bell sequence?
Do you like to listen to the bells?
Which sound is louder?

Example of a clapping sequence: Clap-slow, slow, fast, fast.


We mostly feel through our hands and feet. Did you know that feet have thousands of nerves that go right to the brain? Let your child feel with their feet; it is just as important as their hands. Your child learns about their environment through touch. They learn about their body and how to communicate with others. Participating in these types of activities improves their fine motor skills. These skills will help your child hold a pencil, tie their shoes, button their clothing and use scissors.

Painting With Your Feet

Roll up your child’s pant legs, and have them step in a pan with paint, to experience the feeling of paint between their toes. Ask your child how it feels.

Is it smooth or rough?
Is it cold or warm?
Is it sticky or soft?

Textured Dominoes

Everyone enjoys playing with dominoes. Encourage your child to use their fingers to feel the blocks and match them according to how they feel.


Your child will develop their taste preferences based on what they are fed early in life. It isn’t genetic– it's learned. Research concludes that teenagers and adults choose foods and beverages based on what they were fed as infants.

Fruit Salad

Make a fruit salad. Ask: Do you see different kinds of fruit in the bowl? Pick out different types of fruit and allow your child to take a bite of each one.

What do they taste like?
Have you had that fruit before?
Does it taste good?

Taste Buds

There are 4 main taste buds located on our tongues—sour, bitter, salty, sweet. Allow your child to try different kinds of food to see what tastes they prefer. Ask them:

What does it taste like? (sour, bitter, salty, or sweet)


Your newborn's eyes are physically capable of seeing at birth, but his brain isn't ready to process visual information, so things stay fuzzy for a while. Through their experiences, they will begin to connect meaning to the visual cues found in their environment. When your child plays games that involve sight they are developing early literacy skills. Sight games help them recognize objects, words, patterns, and consequences, as well as develop their memory.

Matching Games

Play a matching game with your child. They are using their eyes to play these games and improving their visual discrimination skills.

“I Spy” Book

Play a fun game of “I Spy” using an “I Spy” book. Talk about the different things you see on the different pages. You can also play this game using objects in your environment.


After birth, the sense of smell is one of the first things that bonds your child to you. Over time, certain scents become comforting because they are familiar, and this may be why your child may prefer that their security objects remain unwashed. They are attached to the scent of their blanket or bear.

Blindfolded Smell Test

Find some familiar scents like coffee, extracts used for baking, etc. Blindfold your child and place the scent under their nose.

What do they smell?
Do they know the smell?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Did you know that most brain growth happens by the time a child is three years old?

How many brain cells do we have at birth?

A baby is born with a lifetime supply of brain cells (billions of neurons).
From the time we are born, these brain cells begin to die. By the time we are adults, we have half the brain cells we did when we were born!

What happens then?

At birth, pathways (“synapses”) are formed to join one neuron to another so that information can travel around in the brain. It is as if we have “construction workers” building “roads” in our brains. This is called “brain wiring”.

How do the “construction workers” know when to build a “road”?

When a baby senses things (sees, hears, smells, touches, tastes), the construction workers say, “Hey guys, come on! We have to build a road over here!”

What makes the “roads” (synapses) strong and healthy?

REPETITION—when babies experience the same things over and over again, the “construction crews” pave the “roads” adding more layers with each repeated experience.
“Paved roads” make it much easier for information to find its way around in the brain.

Why start early?

90% of “road construction” is done by the time a child is three years old.
If they have a lot of “paved roads” by the time they are three, it will make learning easier later on (just like driving on a paved road is easier than driving on a bumpy, dusty dirt road.

Connection between a brain and a sponge?
A baby’s brain is like a sponge. It will soak up new skills as long as there are lots of opportunities.

Critical Periods of Brain Development

Binocular vision: Birth-3 years
Emotional control: 9 months-3 years
Habitual ways of responding: 6 months-3 years
Peer social skills: 3-6 years
Language: 7 months-4 years
Cognitive (Symbols): 1 year, 6 months-3 years
Cognitive (quantity): 4-6 years

SOURCE: Martha Kovack, Early Literacy Specialist, Simcoe County Ontario Early Years Centre

Monday, May 10, 2010

Kindergarten Readiness Indicators

Transitioning to Kindergarten: A Toolkit for Early Childhood Educators

Getting children prepared for Kindergarten doesn't happen overnight. It is a process that begins at birth. Here is a toolkit for ECEs that covers development of skills leading up to the Kindergarten program. Along with a checklist (which can be called upon in fall, winter and spring), there are many excellent parent resources on topics including Skill-Building Activities, Language Development,Learning and Thinking, Beginning Reading, Beginning Writing, Numbers and Counting, Physical Development, Social and Emotional Development, and What to Do If You Are Concerned About Your Child's Literacy Development.

Keeping Up With the Times

Keeping up with current research in early literacy can be challenging when you don't know where to look. Lately, early learning has been buzzing across Ontario with new documents popping up frequently. Not all are specific to early literacy, but here are some of the documents I am referring to with a brief explanation about what each of them are.

Early Learning for Every Child Today (2007)
This document was created to support curriculum and pedagogy in Ontario's early childhood settings, including child care centres, kindergarten classrooms, home child care, nursery schools, Ontario Early Years Centres and other family support programs, and early intervention services. It complements specific curricular and pedagogical approaches, early identification protocols and regulated reguirements now in place in Ontario early childhood settings. It features a continuum of developmental skills from birth to eight years old.

National Strategy for Early Literacy - The Role of Parents, Families and Caregivers in Young Children's Literacy Development: A Review of Programs and Research (2008)
This document reviews the current state of knowledge about the role of early learning and child care programs on early childhood literacy development. Using the information gathered, it recommends directions for future Canadian research to expand this base of knowledge.

National Strategy for Early Literacy - Report and Recommendations (2009)
This report defines and and identifies ways of measuring literacy. Then, it discusses the importance of early language and literacy environments, as well as the extent and impacts of low literacy in Canada. Systemic and individual barriers to sucessful literacy outcomes for Canada's children and youth are explored. The report concludes with suggestions for interventions on how to improve literacy across several settings.

With Our Best Future in Mind: Implemeting Early Learning in Ontario
This document is a plan of action regarding the implementation of Ontario's early learning vision.

Every Child, Every Opportunity: Curriculum and Pedagogy for the Early Learning Program (A Compendium report to 'With Our Best Future in Mind: Implementing Early Learning in Ontario'.
This document articulates a proposal for the curriculum and pedagogy for the Early Learning Program for four- and five-year-old children.

The Full-Day Early Learning-Kindergarten Program (draft version) (2010)
The Full-Day Early Learning-Kindergarten Program (Draft version) contains the learning expectations portion of the draft program document. This version will be updated with the introductory portion of the draft document shortly. The introductory portion will provide a broader context for the document, greater descriptions of play-based learning and the roles of the teacher-early childhood educator team. The complete draft document will be implemented in year one early learning sites beginning in September 2010.

The Kindergarten Program (revised) (2006)
Current Ontario Kindergarten Program

Friday, May 7, 2010

Getting Ready for Kindergarten Booklist

Last night I had the priviledge of attending a Kindergarten Parent Information Session at a local school. As a take along resource, I created a booklist of picture books that will help children prepare for school by familiarizing them with classroom routines, activities, common anxieties, and so on. In addition, reading in itself is a great acivity to help children prepare for school. Here is a list of some "Getting Ready for Kindergarten" books. I know that some of them seem repetitive (So and so goes to School), but if a certain child has a love of a certain character, finding a book about that character getting ready to go to school just might make their day and ease the transition a little more.

Mama, Don’t Go! by Rosemary Wells
Yoko loves kindergarten, but she doesn't want her mother to leave--until her new friend helps her realize that "mothers always come back."

Countdown to Kindergarten by Alison McGhee
Ten days before the start of kindergarten, a preschooler can not tie her shoes by herself and fears the worst.

The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing
Takeoff on the classic Clement C. Moore Christmas poem as excited kids prepare for the first day of kindergarten. 'Twas the night before kindergarten, and as they prepared, kids were excited, and a little bit scared. It's the first day of school. Join the kids as they prepare for kindergarten, packing school supplies, posing for pictures, and the hardest part of all-saying goodbye to Mom and Dad. But maybe it won't be so hard once they discover just how much fun kindergarten really is.

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
When Chester the raccoon is reluctant to go to kindergarten for the first time, his mother teaches him a secret way to carry her love with him.

Franklin Goes to School by Paulette Bourgeois
Franklin is nervous about starting his first day of school.

David Goes to School by David Shannon
David's activities in school include chewing gum, talking out of turn, and engaging in a food fight, causing his teacher to say over and over, "No, David!"

Spot Goes to School by Eric Hill
Spot starts school for the first time, and as the day goes on he finds himself having more and more fun. Flaps conceal part of the illustrations.

We Share Everything! by Robert Munsch
It's the first day of kindergarten and Amanda and Jeremiah have a problem. They both want to read the same books. They want to paint with the same paints. And they refuse to share. The teacher tells them, "Look. This is kindergarten. In kindergarten we share. We share everything." Everything? Amanda and Jeremiah decide to take their teacher at her word. But what can they share? They begin by switching their shoes, and end up wearing each other's outfits! Now Jeremiah is wearing Amanda's pink shoes, pants and shirt and Amanda is wearing Jeremiah's clothes. Together they show their teacher that sharing really can be fun!

Does anyone have any other recommendations that can be added for next year?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Welcome, welcome, everyone....

Welcome to the Early Literacy Connection. The purpose of this blog is to promote, strengthen, and support early literacy development amoung children from birth to age six.