7.03.2011

Beginnings.

'The beginning is the most important part of the work.' - Plato

A few weeks ago, a group of bloggers (including me!) began a book study of the new Fountas and Pinnell book, Literacy Beginnings: A Pre-Kindergarten Handbook. When Vanessa from Pre-K Pages asked me to participate, I was unsure at first. The books subtitle after all is ‘A Pre-Kindergarten Handbook’ and I teach kindergarten. What would this book have to offer me? Well, five chapters in, I’m so grateful I decided to join the party.

If you teach kindergarten, or even first grade, why would this book be valuable for you? Here are a few reasons I’ve realized so far (I reserve the right to come up with more as I go deeper into the book):

  1. I do teach Pre-K. Depending on what type of area you teach in, many of your students haven’t attended a formal preschool. Usually, close to half my sprouts fall into this category. They’ve either attended an in home daycare (not a preschool) or simply been home with a family member (awesome, but also not a preschool). It’s not unusual for many kindergartners to march in the first day not knowing a single letter, number, their name, or how to hold a pencil. Welcome to Pre-K inside your kindergarten classroom!
  2. If you can’t walk, you can’t run. If you can’t run, you’ll never fly. Just like anything, the foundation of literacy is the most critical base of knowledge our youngest learners will build upon. As a teacher of young children, having a deep understanding the stages of literacy development will only help your planning and delivery of instruction.
  3. Confirmation is key. Who doesn’t love knowing what they feel in their gut is right for kids (play, play, PLAY!) is the right way to go. Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell are highly regarded as the experts on literacy instruction. Read the book. Know you’re on the right path.
  4. Everyone can use more tools in their toolbox. The book is packed with ideas and activities to add to your repertoire. Containing countless songs, rhymes, poems, and book lists, you will not come away empty handed. It’s also filled with pages of student work examples and reproducible pages for you to use right away in your classroom. It’s worth the price of admission.

So there you have it. I truly believe any kindergarten teacher can feel confident in spending their hard earned cash on this resource… and I’m only about a quarter way into the book. I’ll be hosting a few chapters in the next few weeks and I can’t wait to read the rest of the book and see what my fellow blogger friends have to share with us. It's never too late to sign on.  Buy the book. Join the party. We’re having fun over the summer learning about literacy. I promise you won’t be disappointed.


8 comments:

The Book Maven said...

Great reasons...as literacy teachers we can never have too many resources. Especially those teachers who are laying the foundation for life-long literate learners.

quiltmom said...

My is coming in the post as I write this- I wondered too whether it might be useful for a K teacher. I work in a school where we offer full day k because my students come from limited experiences and some are considered at risk. Thanks for the confirmation that it is the right choice.
Regards from Western Canada,
Anna

Jennifer Knopf said...

You have inspired me to buy the book! Many of my kiddos come to me without pre-k too - I can always use more ideas to work with them! I teach full day kindergarten and although our district has free half-day pre-k it does not come with transportation. So the families without reliable transportation (usually those kids most in need of pre-k) don't get to attend! Thanks for taking the time to write about this book from the kindergarten teacher's pov!
http://herdingkats.blogspot.com

pennies for luck said...

I definitely need to read this! Thank you for listing these wonderful reasons. Definitely persuasive!

Keri Tate said...

I'm a certified teacher who runs an in-home day care that happens to be a preschool as well. I have a classroom and a studio for the children, and I provide a preschool curriculum. I have 4 students leaving for kindergarten this fall. Each of them has been experiencing a literacy rich environment since they were very small. Two of them are independent readers and all them love books! We paint, play outside, and have free play, but we also have lots of rich literacy and numeracy experiences each day. Just in a different setting and in a smaller group. Please remember that in-home day care can (not always, but can) be a wonderful preschool experience. And you convinced me to order the book last week. I really love your blog! Thanks so much.

Mr. A. said...

@Keri - No doubt you are correct. I do know many in home day cares provide a rich literary environment! Thanks for reminding me and enjoying my blog. :)

I'm the Mami said...

Great post! Do you think this book would be helpful for parents as well? My girls are way younger than preschool age, but we are book lovers in this household (my 21 month old loves the letter "E"... that is the only one she knows : ) ) I'm trying to find new ideas everyday to be sure my girls are ready for school when the day comes, and that their days are filled with fun and deceptively educational activites.

I put the book on my wishlist for now, would like to have it soon!

Mr. A. said...

@I'm the Mami - Absolutely! You will get SO much out of it and enrich your children's lives even more than you wordy are!