Thank you guardians. You have probably already gotten a thank you note from your child. (If you have not I implore that you ask you child about it before you continue reading this message.)
The reason why I am thankful started when we were about to read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory during circle time. I simply asked if anyone knew of this book and one student stood up and said that not only had he read the book, he and his father had adopted the book and original movie as their book/movie. He talked about how the both of them had watched and read “Charlie” ever since my student could remember. The both of them “play Willy Wonka” a lot. In fact we also found out that my student’s first memory of writing was of him writing and sending a letter to Willy Wonka asking if he and his dad could go to the factory. I can’t tell you parents how proud I was to hear that and I asked if there were any other students who had a family movie or had written a letter before. The answers and stories I got were amazing.
These accounts have helped my students more than most can imagine. First of all by having a family book, movie, TV show, ect.. from early on, children learn how to make a connection and communicate before they even know the meaning of the words. They make a connection with people (ex. father and son having a commonality due to a book).They also communicate by having a common interest as well. Connecting and communicating are an integral part of developing literacy. The reader has to connect with the characters and understand the communication going on in the story. The family interactions with books and media give children a head start into understanding literacy. Hearing about writing letters at an early age is just as beneficial. By having the guardians allow their young children to attempt to write, the children have a advantage in developing literacy, an excitement to practice writing any way they can, and the will to try/fail when it comes to forming words. My advice to guardians is to allow your children (who are trying to write) to mess up. Try to not correct them early on when writing unless they ask you for help. Mistakes are all right at this age. In fact I do not correct the spelling in my students journals because the point of journals is to experiment with expressing themselves on paper. They will learn how to spell correctly through time. Also encourage free writing at home as early as possible.
Lastly I want to encourage the guardians to keeping bonding and encouraging their children to read/write. Thank You.
References: - i already know how to read by Prisca Martens (This is a very good book that includes an unfortunate example of what can happen if teachers do not encourage and appreciate free writing in chapter 5.)
- Children’s Language by Judith Wells Lindfors (This is very good as well.)