Literacy is one of the most important foundations for success at school and in life, Literacy and numeracy development begins well before children start school. Young children learn from their experiences and their contact with the people around them who care for them. Children learn to use symbols, combining their oral language, pictures, print, and play into a coherent mixed medium and creating and communicating meanings in a variety of ways. The best type of activities to support early literacy and numeracy development are those that are familiar and use every day situations. Talking to children, reading books with them, singing songs and playing games all have important roles in supporting children’s early literacy and numeracy. (Commission for children and young people and child guardian, 2011)
Establishing a quality learning environment is an essential component that contributes to the success of any program. It involves the physical environment as well as establishing routines and building positive and sustainable relationships. When we spend time setting up routines and structures at the beginning of the year, the rest of the program follows. The teacher has an important role in establishing an environment where children are free to learn. In setting up supportive environment there should be physical fulfillment with furniture and space, material and equipment and activities and tasks, also there should be long term planning, short term planning and weekly daily planning from teacher’s side. (As indicated by ACT public school, 2010)
The ability to read and write does not develop naturally, without careful planning and instruction. In this critical year kindergarten teachers need to capitalize on every opportunity for enhancing children’s literacy development. Children need regular and active interactions with print. Experiences in these early years begin to define the assumptions and expectations about becoming literate and give children the motivation to work toward learning to read and write. From these experiences children learn that reading and writing are valuable tools that will help them do many things in life.
Classrooms that provide children with regular opportunities to express themselves without feeling too constrained for correct spelling and proper handwriting, also help children understand that writing has real purpose Teachers can organize situations that both demonstrate the writing process and get children actively involved in it. (Margaret B. Puckett, Janet K. Black, 2000)
- Commission for children and young people and child guardian, 2011 early literary and numeracy for children in care, [online] http://www.ccypcg.qld.gov.au/about/news/2010/February/Early-literary-and-numeracy-for-children-in-care.html (accessed 18/05/2011)
- ACT public school, 2010, Early Years Literacy and Numeracy Development, [online] http://www.det.act.gov.au/pv_obj_cache/pv_obj_id_0D25F99B44DAC709EEFF471822090C3E1C440900/filename/Early_Years_Literacy_and_Numeracy_Development_Package_2010.pdf (accessed 18/05/2011)
- Margaret B. Puckett, Janet K. Black, 2000, authentic assessment of the young child: celebrating development and learning, Prentice-Hall Order Processing Center publishers, Des Moines, page No 338