Preschool Literacy

Department:  Lower School

PreK-3 Literacy
The PreK-3 learning environment provides a balanced approach to literacy, which helps children see themselves as readers, writers, listeners, and speakers. Rich literature, environmental print, oral language with explicit instruction focused on phonological and phonemic awareness skills, and opportunities to draw and write are implemented within the daily routines. PreK-3 children are introduced to all of the capital letters of the alphabet and their sounds. Children are encouraged to learn many rhymes and chants through the nursery songs and rhymes developed by the Waterford Institute. Exploring  thematic topics strengthens skills as the children listen attentively, share their ideas, learn how symbols are used as representations to communicate ideas, and strive to make sense of meaning and print in their environment. As part of the PreK/Kindergarten outdoor classroom, children make choices among labeled areas of interest and verbalize plans for where they'd like to play. Opportunities for writing labels, making signs, observational drawing, and dictating stories about their adventures in the outdoor classroom are available. These experiences strengthen their understanding and love of language.

PreK-4 Literacy
The goal of PreK-4 literacy is to help children see themselves as readers, writers, listeners, and speakers. Careful listening and taking turns to talk is the beginning. The balanced literacy program provides experiences for children to listen to interesting language, learn new vocabulary and print in context of thematic topics, and receive direct instruction of reading and writing in small groups. Quality children's literature, books, rhymes, chants, environmental print, and focused attention on phonological and phonemic awareness skills are implemented within the daily routines. PreK-4 children are introduced to capital and lowercase letters and sounds of the alphabet. Additional alphabet and phonological skills are explicitly taught based on student readiness. As part of the PreK/Kindergarten outdoor classroom, children make choices  among labeled areas of interest and verbalize plans for where they'd like to play. Opportunities for writing labels, making signs, observational drawing, and dictating stories about their adventures in the outdoor classroom are available. These experiences strengthen their understanding and love of language.