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Literacy for Young Children

Literacy for Young Children

2nd Edition

Terry Salinger

Nov 1996, Paperback, 336 pages
ISBN13: 9780024052728
ISBN10: 0024052728
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For one-semester, junior/graduate-level courses in Early Childhood Reading/Language Arts or Developmental Reading/Literacy.

Drawing upon the author's own research and work with teachers, this text combines theory, a strong research base, and practical applications for literary instruction in pre-kindergarten through grade three classes. It emphasizes what children do as they explore reading, writing, speaking, and listening and how teachers can strengthen children's natural exploration of literacy behaviors. The text is designed to stimulate extensive personal reflection, additional reading in the professional literature, field experiences, and discussion among students.

1. Understanding and Applying Research on Literacy Development.
Two Theories. Two Instructional Approaches. Two Processes: Which Comes First. Different Views of Children's Learning: Current Research. Kidwatching. Important Findings. Instructional Implications: Emergent Literacy. New Terms. Summary. Questions and Tasks for Independent or Collaborative Work.

2. Classrooms for Literary Growth.
Teachers as KidWatchers, Decision Makers, and Researchers. Literacy Workshops. Physical Concerns for a Workshop Approach. Interpersonal Components. Getting Started With A Literacy Workshop Approach. Planning Students Activities. Activities for the Literacy Workshop. Integrated Curriculum in Emergent Literacy Classrooms. Summary. Questions and Tasks for Independent or Collaborative Work.

3. Assessment of Literacy.
The Debate About Assessment. Classroom-Based Assessment. Finding Time for Assessment. Observating, Interviewing, and Conferencing, With Students. Running Records and Story Retellings. Creating Student Portfolios. The South Brunswick Literacy Portfolio. Grading in A Classroom-Based Assessment Approach. Summary. Questions and Tasks for Independent or Collaborative Work.

4. Fostering the Home-School Connection.
Building Home-School Links. Building the Home-School Connection. Initial Communication with Parents. Welcoming Parents and Caregivers. Offering Explanations. Finding the Right Level: Support, Involvement, and Participation. Communicating With the Home. Homework. Reading and Writing with Children. Reporting on Progress. Summary. Questions and Tasks for Independent and Collaborative Work.

5. Culturally-Sensitive Instruction.
The Demographic Imperative. Linguistic Factors. Cultural Factors. Social Factors. Responding to Diversity with Sensitivity and Celebration. First Core Component: Respect. Second Core Component: Awareness of Language. Summary. Questions and Tasks for Independent or Collaborative Work.

6. Making Progress with Communication Skills.
A Brief Discussion of Language Acquisition. Playing with Language. Thinking about Language. Learning About Concepts. Encouraging Language Growth. Learning English as a Second Language. Pragmatics. Contextualized and Decontextualized Language. Learning the Language of School. Instructional Activities for Listening and Speaking. Rhymes, Poems, Jingles and Finger Plays. Conversations and Discussions. Experiences with Books and Other Graphic Stimuli. Directed Listening-Thinking Activity. Movement Activities, Dramatics, and Improvisation. Instructional Implications: Grammar and Sentence Structure. Appropriate Strategies. Summary. Questions and Tasks for Independent or Collaborative Work..

7. Awareness of Print.
What Children Learn About Print Production. Principles of Print Production. Practice Leads to Fluency. Children's Concepts of Words. Invented Spelling. What Children Learn About Reading. Learning about Talking and Thinking about Literacy. Summary. Questions and Tasks for Independent or Collaborative Work.

8. The Beginnings of Literacy (Preschool and Kindergarten).
Helping Children Refine their Emerging Literacy Skills. Share Literacy Experiences. Storybook Reading. Big Books. Language Experience Approach. Guidelines for Preschool and Kindergarten LEA. Writing in Preschool and Kindergarten Classes. Drawing and Writing. Keeping a Journal. Writing to Communicate. The Social Nature of Writing. And Since We're Thinking about Spelling. What Can Teachers Expect. Progression Beyond Labels and Captions. Palying with Ideas and Conventions. Summary. Questions and Tasks for Independent or Collaborative Work.

9. Moving Toward Literacy.
Expanding the Model of Emergent Literacy Instruction. Effective Instruction. Assessing Children's Knowledge, Skills, and Strategies. Creating Groups for Instruction. Supportive Reading Groups. Various Types of Reading.Transition to Silent Reading. What Students Must Learn to Do. Literacy Stratgies. Cueing Systems. Word Analysis Strategies. Structural and Morphemic Analysis. Context Clues. Vocabulary Growth. Language Experience in Early Primary Grades. Writing in Early Primary Classes. The Writing Process. Helping Children Achieve During this Stage. Responding to Students' Writing. Procedures to Encourage Children's Independence. Help for Children When They Need It. Summary. Questions and Tasks for Independent and Collaborative Work.

10. Independence and Collaboration in the Literacy Workshop.
Fostering Independence. Guided Reading Sessions. Fostering Thoughtful Writing. Opportunities to Share Writing. Teaching the Conventions of Writing. Summary. Questions and Tasks for Independent and Collaborative Work.

11. Children's Literature.
An Overview of Children's Literature. Developing a Literature-Based Literacy Program. Summary. Questions and Activities.

Appendix A: Useful References for Early Childhood Teachers.

Appendix B: Checklists, Record-Keeping Forms, and Questions for Classroom Use.

Appendix C: Home-School Support.

Appendix D: Terminology and Concepts about Phonetic and Structural Analysis.



  • provides a distinct definition of teachers as researchers and discussion makers.
  • outlines a specific instruction model the reading/writing workshop.
  • features vignettes written by or about classroom teachers.
  • makes reference throughout to the outstanding early childhood program in place in South Brunswick, New Jersey schools and includes pictures of classroom in the Cambridge School.
  • contains many samples of children's writing — each analyzed to detail significant features and students' development.
  • offers a developmental/integrated approach — with discussions on reading and writing development across developmental periods, not in separate chapters.
    • presents information on classrooms that support literacy learning for children from pre-kindergarten through grade three.

  • adds a chapter on assessment that describes how teachers can develop classroom-based portfolio assessment that extends beyond classroom use for accountability purposes.
  • contains a chapter on parent/home support that details different levels of parent/home support with suggestions on how to encourage home involvement and a discussion on report cards and conferences with parents.
  • features a chapter on culturally sensitive curriculum that extends the notion of “multicultural education” to broader issues of respect as a cornerstone of instruction — illustrated with reference to methods for teaching “peacemaking.”
  • discusses what children themselves discover about language and literacy and suggests ways teachers can help young learners expand their discoveries toward greater and greater understanding.
  • contains new chapter on how children's literature can be used as a core of the instructional program to tie instructional strategies together for active, exciting learning.
  • features chapter-end activities that challenge students and groups of students to think more deeply about children, classrooms, and instruction. Encourages students:
    • to keep a log of their ideas, reactions, and questions throughout their reading and to share those logs with others.

    • to visit schools and discuss their experiences and observations with fellow students.

  • contains several substantive appendices, e.g.:
    • sample letters to parents.

    • forms for use in practical experiences.

    • diagnostic assessment information.

    • reference material on teaching phonics.

    • lists ofchildren's books arranged categorically.

    • a fullbibliography with suggested additional readings to encourage in-depth study.