Our center feels that a literacy-rich classroom is important. In my upbringing, reading and literacy was highly stressed and something our family did together for fun. I can remember my mom taking my brother and I to the library with a wagon which we would fill to the brim. We would spend a week with these book reading and re-reading the text. I think this began and fostered my love of writing and reading! As I grew older, I began to encourage and (hopefully!) instil the love of learning to my children in my classroom.
We use the ECERS (Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale) and the NAEYC guidelines as a guide to how we present writing and literacy in the classroom. Each center in our classroom has writing materials of some kind. Some materials we have include:
- magna doodles
- chalk boards
- marker boards
- different sizes of paper
- small stenos
- small notebooks
- colored pencils
Those are just some ideas! Our literacy-rich classroom includes books, labels on the children’s cubbies, labels on the shelves, writing to caption pictures, children’s writing, and group writing pieces. As a result of our classroom, children’s interests, and teacher guidance, we have children who were interested in writing and reading.
In the past, we had created a word wall creating each letter and putting words that correspond with that letter underneath. Although may children used it, it also became distracting for children who believed that each letter needed a word below it. We then moved to a word wall which was located in group. We just put the words that we used frequently in our tree project (leaves, bark, Oak, roots, etc) in columns on our back wall. The children used this much more frequently! They started to label their sketches, create their own dictionary (we created one for our classroom one year), and identify letters or letter sounds.