Wednesday, July 22, 2009


This blog is set up especially for preschool teachers. Its focus is not dry information but tons of practical, fun ideas. I hope it will also spark conversations about emergent literacy in the preschool environment. I welcome your comments and ideas. Let's get a dialogue going!

Part 1:

Let's start with one of my favorite topics: reading aloud to children. Today, more than ever, this essential must be an everyday thing. I'm concerned that the admonition "read aloud to children" has lost much of its meaning, with parents and with teachers. Instead of sitting down with children just to have an "academic" experience with a book, find a way every time you read aloud to be a commercial for how great reading is. I like to talk in terms of experiencing a book together.

The most effective read alouds in preschool must always start with a purpose of pleasure. Use funny voices, pick great stories, and let the words work their magic. Think aloud about what questions are raised in your mind, re-read when you make a mistake (and don't we all) to get it right, and use the secret words "Let's see what happens next" to draw children back to the read aloud before you get too far astray.

Part 2:

I want to hear about what is most difficult for you in teaching emergent literacy to young children. I'll try to address as many of these questions and postings as I can (once a week) when I visit the blog. As each of you read our interaction here and gain new information (my goal every time you visit!), look for a place you can jump in and contribute. The more, the merrier (and more beneficial to us all)!

One last tidbit:

If you haven't read Mem Fox's new picture book, Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes , search it out at your local bookstore, online ( or at the library. It's terrific! And, if you want to see Mem performing a little song to go along with it, visit:!