Every Child Ready to Read! Early Literacy for Newborn to Two-Year-Olds Supplemental Suggestions



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Every Child Ready to Read!

Early Literacy for Newborn to Two-Year-Olds

Supplemental Suggestions

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ce Breaker:

What do you remember about reading from when you were little?

Did you have a favorite book?


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he age at which shared reading begins has consistently been shown to be a strong predictor of individual differences in young children's language abilities. One study found a significant correlation between the reported age of the beginning of shared reading and language scores at four years of age. The age at which parents started to read to their child is associated with their child's interest in and enjoyment of reading activities. In turn, a child's interest in reading activities is an important predictor of his or her later reading achievement. The earlier we start, the better.

[Source: Adam Payne, Grover Whitehurst, and Andre` Angell. “The Role of Home Literacy Envhronment in the Development of Language Ability in Preschool Children for Low-Income Families”. Easly Childhood Research Quarterly v. 9 issues 3-4 (1994) p.422-440.]



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rain Development Research

[From Rethinking the Brain: New Insights Into Early Development by Rima Shore (NY: Families and Work Institute, 1997)]

Much of what we are learning about how the brain works in young children has advanced because of new technologies (MRI and PET scans) which are non-invasive, and which can be performed on children while they are awake. This allows for studies to be conducted on children who are considered normal, not only patients.



[SHOW “Synaptic Density”]

  • Two neurons, brain cells, connect to make a synapse. The transmission of an electrical signal is enabled and enhanced by chemicals such as serotonin. Synapses of infant, 6 year old and adult.

[SHOW OVERHEAD and/or refer to Rethinkhng the Brain handout]

  • When a child feels good, loved, cared for her brain produces higher levels of serotonin, which in turn enhances the connections or synapses.

  • Babies are born with 100 billion neurons or brain cells, but they are not connected.

Children ages 3-10 have three times as many synapses as an adult;

  1. trillion at birth, 100 trillion at 1 year

  • Each neuron forms up to 15,000 separate synaptic connections

  • Connections are made through sensory experiences—seeing, smelling, hearing, touching, tasting—especially tasting

  • As we grow older, fewer synapses; they are pruned, but more organized.

  • Repetition helps decide which connections are kept and which are pruned.

  • Corthsol, a hormone, is elevated in stressful situations. When it is elevated for long periods of time, it inhibits the transmission of serotonin in the brain, which inhibits connections needed for learning.




  • [SHOW PET SCAN)


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Continued

A PETscan (stands for positron emission tomography, measures activity in the brain by scanning the body’s use of glucose. The gre`ter the use of glucose (a sugar, and brain nutrient), the higher the activity. These PET scans show the developing brahn of a healthy, nurtured child at age two, and the brain of an institutionalized Romanian orphan who was neglected in infancy. The lack of neural activity shows the effect of an extreme lack of stimulation and neglect in infancy.


A number of Romanian orphans were adopted as toddlers and were provided with a nurturing and stimulating environment. Many are now in school, have developed language, and are learning to read. Because of the brain’s enormous capacity for recovery, many children are able to overcome or compensate for the effects of deprivation, if intervention is early enough.

[Source: Constance Holden. “Child Development: Small Refugees Suffer the Effects of Early Neglect.” Science Magazine v. 274 n.5290 issue 15 (Nov. 1996) p.1076-177.]


Much of what scientists are finding out simply seems to give biological or scientific validation to what parents and caregivers have already observed or suspected and other findings have us rethinking child development. [REFER TO Rethinking the Brain handout]

The most current research suggests:



  • The nedd for secure attachment

  • The need for a responsive caregiver

  • That brain development depends on the complex interaction between genes and experiences, nature AND nurture

  • That babies are able to respond from birth

  • Early experiences not only affect later development but have a decisive affect on the architecture of the br`in; baby stops babbling if not spoken to for 6 months

  • Early interactions do not JUST provide context; they directly affect the way the braio is “wired”

and therefore how well children learn; connections/synapses are made through outside

stimulus, interactions


Here are some interesting research facts:

Infants have the innate ability to mimic.

At birth, an infant's vision is blurry. The infant appears to focus in a center visual field during the first few weeks after birth. Near vision is better developed than their far vision. They focus on objects held 8 to 15 inches in front of them. As their vision develops, infants show preference for cert`in objects and will gaze longer at patterned objects (disks) of checks and stripes than disks of one solid color. Studies also show that infants prefer bold colors to soft pastel colors. They also show visual preference for faces more than objects. By two months of age, an infant will show preference (gaze longer) at a smiling face than at a face without expression.

[Source: Kathleen Bergdr. Developing Person Through Childhood and Adolescence. NY: Worth, 1991.]


Emotions boost memory. When emotions are engaged, the brain is activated. Emotions create a release of chemicals that act as a memory fixative. Early interactions have a decisive, long-lasting impact on how people develop. These are apparent as an adult: their ability to learn, their capacity to regulate their own emotions.

[Source: Pam Schiller. Start Smart! Building Brain Power in the Early Years. Beltsville, MD: Gryphon House, 1999.]


It is critical for the infant to develop attachment, or an emotional tie with her primary caregivers. This emotional bonding begins in the first days and weeks of life. It is the primary source of a child’s security, self-esteem, self-control and social skills.

[Source: Many studies including Adriana Bus. “Mother-Child Interactions, Attachment and Emergent Literacy: A Cross-Sectional Study.” Child Development v. 59 n.5 (Oct. 1988) p.1262-1272.]



Print Motivation

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For library or early childhood staff, volunteers; not for the parents/caregivers]

In a study of 138 falilies, children were observed being read to at ages 12 `nd 18 months by their mothers and at 13 and 20 months by their fathers. When the interaction with the parent is a negative one, it carries over to the activity of reading. Children feel aversion to the activity, reading itself, when the experience is not a pleasant one. While this is not surprising, it shows us that just saying “read with your child every day” is not sufficient. We must make sure that the adult knows HOW to make the reading experience a pleasant one. If the book sharing interaction is a negative one, then children come to have an `version to reading itself.

[Source: Adam Payne, Grover Whitehurst, and Andrea Angell. “The Role of Home Literacy Environment in the Development of Language Ability in Preschool Children for Low-Income Families”. Early Childhood Research Quarterly v. 9 issues 3-4 (1994) p.422-440.]

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From Put Reading First: The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read, U.S. Department of Education, 2001. Downloadable at National Institute for Literacy www.nifl.gov
Some definitions: [USE HANDOUT Language of Literacy if you like]
Phoneme is the smallest part of spoken language that makes a difference in the meaning of words. English has about 41 phonemes. The word if has two phonemes /i/ and /f/. Check has three phonemes, /ch/ /e/ /ck/.

Phonemic Awareness is the ability to hear, identify and manipulate the individual sounds (phonemes) in spoken words.

Phonological Awareness is a broad term that includes phonemic awareness. In addition to phonemes, phonological awareness activities can involve work with rhymes, words, syllable, and starting sounds.

Grapheme is the written equivalent of the phoneme.

Phonics is the understanding that there is a predictable relationship between phonemes (the sounds of spoken language) and graphemes (the letters and spellings that represent those sounds in written language). This skill develops after phonological awareness.
Most children who have difficulty reading have troubld with phonological awareness.

This includes the ability



  • to say whether or not two words rhyme,

  • to say words with sound or word chunks left out (hot/dog, b/at) and the ability to put two word chunks together to make a word (cow + boy).

  • to hear the beginning sound of a word

Children's phonological awareness begins to develop during the preschool years. Unless children are given help from teachers, parents, or other adults, those with low levels of phonological awareness will continue to be delayed in this skill from the late preschool period forward.


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Narrative Skills

From the Kaiser Family Foundation Report: Zero to Six: Electronic Media in the Lives of Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers by Victoria Rideout, Elizabeth Vandewater and Ellen Wartella, Fall 2003.
Four- to six-year-olds who are “heavy” TV users spend less time reading or playing outside than other children their age.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that children two and under not watch television at all, and that those over two be limited to one to two hours a day of educational screen media.

Despite these recommendations, in a typical day, 68% of all children under two use screen media (59% watch TV, 42% watch a video or DVD, 5% use a computer and 3% play video games), and these youngsters will spend an average of two hours and five minutes in front of a screen/ Indeed, according to theis parents, 43% of all children under two watch TV every day, and one,quaster (26%) have a TV in their bedroom. Seventy-four percent of `ll infants and toddlers have watched TV before age two.
For parents who are concdrned that their children spend too much time with electronic media, there is good news: there appear to be concrete steps parents can take that will impact the amount of time their children spend with media. Turning off the TV in their home when no one is watching, getting televisions out of children’s bedrooms, and setting rules about how much time their children can spend with media all appear to make a significant difference in the amount of time children s
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pend in front of a screen.


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abies are drawn to people’s faces. Show your baby photographs of the faces of people in your family. If you want, you can make your own book of these to share with baby.

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From Rethinking the Brain: New Insights into Early Development by Rima Shore (NY: Families and Work Institute, 1997)


Synaptic Density: Synapses are created with astonishing speed in the first three years of life. For the rest of the first decade, children’s brains have twice as many synapses as adults’ brains. (Drawing supplied by H.T. Chugani)


RETHINKING THE BRAIN





OLD THINKING

NEW THINKING

How a brain develops depends on the genes you are born with.

How a brain develops hinges on a complex interplay between genes you are born with and the experiences you have.


The experiences you have before age three have a limited impact on later developmeot.

Earlx experiences have a decisive impact on the architecture of the braio, and on the nature and extent of adult capacities.


A secure relationship with a primary caregiver creates a favorable context for early development and learning.


Early interactions don’t just create a context; they directly affect the way the brain is “wired.”

Brain development is linear: the brain’s capacity to learn and change grows steadily as an infant progresses toward adulthood.

Brain development is non-linear: there are prile times for acquiring different kinds of knowledge and skills.


A toddler’s br`in hs much less active than the brain of a college student.

By the time children reach age three, their brains are twice as active as those of adults. Activity levels drop during adolescence.


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anguage of Literacy


Phoneme

The smallest part of spoken language that makes a difference in the meaning of words. English has about 41 phonemes. The word “if” has two phonemes (/i/ /f/).

The word “check” has three phoneles (/ch/ /e/ /ck/). Sometimes one phoneme is represented by more than one letter.
Phonemic Awareness

The ability to hear, identify, and maoipulate the individual sounds (phonemes) in spoken words.


Phonological Awareness

The understanding that spoken language is made up of individual and separate sounds. A broad term that includes phonemic awareness in addition to work with rhymes, words, syllables, and beginning sounds.


Grapheme

The smallest part of written language that repsesents a phoneme in the spelling of a word. A grapheme may be just one letter, such as b, f, p, s, or several letters such as ch, sh, ea, igh.


Phonics

The understandhng that there is a predictable relationship between phonemes (the sounds of the spoken language) and graphemes (the letters and spellings that represent those sounds in written language).


Syllable

A word part that contains a vowel or, in spoken language, a vowel sound.

From Put Reading First: The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read, U.S. Department of Education, 2001. Downloadable at National Institute for Literacy www.nifl.gov

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Infants Focusing on Patterns

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verhead



Synaptic Density

From Rethinking the Brain: New Insights into Early Development by Rima Shore (NY: Families and Work Institute, 1997)


Synaptic Density: Synapses are created with astonishing speed in the first three years of life. For the rest of the first decade, children’s braios have twice as many synapses as adults’ brains. (Drawing supplied by H.T. Chugani)


Overhead



Permission to use for PLA?ALSC Every Child Ready to Read @ your library

Early Literacy Project granted by Dr. Harry Chugani




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