Early Education Literacy Workshop @ Teachers College Columbia University

November is fading imperceptibly into December, with no change in the gloomily and bitterly cold weather. Fortunately, there is always something keeping your spirits high.

Quill & Ink attended this month's Tea and Coffee workshop hosted by the Hollingworth Center at Teachers College, Columbia University, an internationally renowned research center in early childhood education. Today's workshop featured "Home, School, & Playful Literacies: Encouraging Young Lifelong Readers & Writers", presented by Heather Pinedo-Burns, Ed.D., Director of Hollingworth Preschool.

Parents often ask “How do I help my child with developing their pre-literacy skills?”, and “How can I help my child become more comfortable with writing?” Dr. Pinedo-Burns believes that literacy is all around us in our everyday world and experiences and best fostered through authentic opportunities for engagement. In the workshop, participants explored the philosophical stances Hollingworth Preschool espouses to encourage positive lifelong relationships with literacy, and specific strategies parents and educators can use to offer young children vital, organic, early experiences in literacy. From how to encourage a love of reading, to how to provide spontaneous opportunities for writing, to her favorite books and materials, Dr. Pinedo-Burns offered participants a balanced perspective on literacy theories and successful strategies for the young child.

Below are Quill & Ink's notes to be shared with our beloved customers. 

  • Vital early childhood literacy experiences must be authentic, engaging, and enjoyable.
  • A sense of wonder about books
  • Read with your child, read to your child. READ.
  • Showcasing reading - so they have opportunities to re-read the books. 
  • Reading is social - encourage kids to read together and discuss. 
  • Invitations to browse
  • Opportunities to connect with literature and text
  • Child directed play with books
  • Print rich authentic experiences with text
  • Read anything, read everything - subway posters, recipes, grocery lists, to do lists, street signs, maps, brochures, and food boxes.
  • Positing children as readers
  • Playing with literacy-pretend play
  • MIT brain study - benefits of reciprocal conversation. Back-and-forth exchanges boost children’s brain response to language. 
  • Letter play - magnetic letters, alphabet cards, Montessori Phonetic blocks.
  • Homemade literacy materials - e.g. word family cards, alphabet flash cards, story stones 
  • Authentic writing experiences -  e.g. write and mail postcards/letters to relatives
  • Planned opportunities  - e.g. library checkout
  • Opportunities to write: the writing desk
  • Selection of writing utensils - easy to grab Stabilo Woody 3-in-1, Faber-Castell grip colored pencils
  • Supporting connections - literature inspired music by Emily Arrow

Two book recommendations that Quill & Ink thinks are interesting:  

Hope you enjoyed our sharing!