Thinking and reading about this topic for class. Thinking about what more I should be doing for my kids. Thinking about what more I should be doing for the babies that I have temporarily at the library. Lots of thinking definitely leads to information overload and information anxiety. Perhaps infobesity? Amidst all of this thinking, I took a break to just be a regular mom. Waking the kids up in the morning, I came up with some goofy reference to Maurice Sendak’s “The Night Kitchen”. Something about milk for the morning cake, and some bit about wishing we could have cake for breakfast. “Please Mom, can we read Mickey RIGHT NOW?”, pleaded the almost 3 year old. It was 6:00 in the morning. Okay. We started reading and he interrupted to say, “Mom? I know something. Mickey sounds like McDonald’s”. Oh, my sweet smart boy.You are right! They both sound the same at the beginning, don’t they? You’re full of phonological awareness this morning!
Floating on the early morning early lit experience, we had another reading time right after breakfast. I had checked out “Uh Oh” by Rachel Isadora specifically to read with the almost 1 year old (tomorrow!).Each page has an illustration and one descriptive word. The next page shows the after and says “uh oh”. . She loves to say uh-oh these days. She seemed to enjoy it, and after a couple of times through, she waited expectantly every time I turned the page. We thought it was cute that she seemed to undertand the pattern of the story. Before naptime is designated reading time, so we picked a couple out and included “Uh Oh” again to keep her occupied while I read to her brother. She started turning pages and…you guessed it…saying uh oh. But wait, that’s not all. After she tired of that book, she picked up another and started flipping pages and saying uh oh. Now she thinks every book is supposed to say it! We gave lots of encouragement and did lots of clapping. Watching this unfold I was thinking, print motivation? Yes! Narrative skills? Yes! Print awareness? Yes!
(We got so much enjoyment out of these experiences, I decided to use “Uh Oh” for Lapsit that week. A hit there too.)
In the next days, the new 5 year old came home to tell us that they read “Pete the Cat-I Love My White Shoes” in kindergarten and that there was a song. Let’s check it out. Many repeated views have ensued and lots of rockin’ out has been done.
Innumerable instancesof environmental print. Street name tiles on corners, sticks that can be turned into “Xs” and “Hs” and “Ts and “Ls”. After a full day of hiking and scootering, we came home to pretend to relax. Without prompting, the 5 year old said, “Let’s draw some pictures of what we did. I’m going to draw the path and all of us walking. And the parking lot”.Narrative skills through “writing”. I told him that was a great idea and that he could do a couple different drawings and attach them together like a book. Wow! He’s waiting to think of something good to spend a lot of time on.
I feel like I’mbragging , and maybe I kind of am. I’m just so amazed by what has been absorbed and comes out so naturally. I always try to stress that early literacy can be found in everyday activities. To me, this is the proof.