[Michlib-l] Every Child Ready to Read in Michigan Newsletter - May 2016

Reish, Karren (MDE) ReishK at michigan.gov
Thu May 26 16:54:21 EDT 2016

Please see the Every Child Ready to Read newsletter for May on Fun with Letters for Parents and Children below. A link is posted on the Every Child Ready to Read in Michigan section of www.michigan.gov/youthlibraryservices<http://www.michigan.gov/youthlibraryservices> as well.

Karren Reish
Library Grants Coordinator
Library of Michigan
reishk at michigan.gov<mailto:reishk at michigan.gov>
Fun with Letters for Parents and Children

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Every Child Ready to Read in Michigan
May 2016

[Every Child Ready to Read]


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Fun with Letters for Parents and Children

One of the Every Child Ready to Read Workshops that you can present to a group of parents who are accompanied by their children is Fun with Letters for Parents and Children. Here is a brief look at the workshop.

For the workshop you will be using the following books: alphabet books; musical CD's with songs about letter names and sounds; letter puzzles (I recommend those made by Melissa and Doug); and magnetic or foam letters (Lakeshore Learning has some nice magnetic letters, both giant magnetic upper and lower case letters.)

In this workshop (as every other workshop), you will explain the five simple practices: Talking; Singing, Reading, Writing, and Playing. Then you sing an easy song that will include the names of the children that are in attendance. Example (Sung to Bingo): There is a child that I know best, and Rocky is his name oh. R-o-c-k-y, R-o-c-k-y, R-o-c-k-y, And Rocky is his name oh.

This workshop emphasizes not only learning the names of the 26 letters, but also learning which names go with which letter shapes, both uppercase and lowercase.


For this practice, you explain what environmental print is and have children identify certain letters. You can even play the "I Spy" game and have children find objects that begin with a certain letter in the room.


Next, sing the alphabet song. Remember to sing the letters "L,M,N,O,P" a little slower, so they think it is not just one letter. Another way to sing the alphabet song that will less confusing to young children when you get to above letters is to sing the song to the tune of "Mary Had A Little Lamb."  Try it! While singing the song, display your magnetic or foam letters at the same time.


Present some SIMPLE alphabet books that are not confusing to children who are just learning their letters. One of the alphabet Golden Books has just been re-released and it would be a good choice. Either way, choose a book that shows one letter per page and that depicts one object per page. Golden Book: My ABC Book by Art Seiden. ISBN: 978-0-448-48215-6.


Encourage parents to start with uppercase letters first, and then proceed to lowercase letters. The parent should start by using their child's first name. Explain that they can print their child's name in large letters, and have their child trace over them. You can also explain how families can make a simple alphabet book, or if time permits, have the families make an alphabet book during the workshop. Here are other examples you can share: using chalk to write letters on a chalkboard or sidewalk; making letters out of cardboard, putting the letter under a piece of paper, and coloring over the letter with caryons, watching the letter appear; writing letters in shaving cream; having the child help handwrite a letter to a friend or relative.


For Play, the manual recommends playing the Letter Day Game. Here is how it is suggested you have the parents play this game with their children.

Tell your child that today is the letter ____ day. For example, the "mmm" sound. Tell your child that you both are going to look for things that begin with "mmm." The child has to think of or find words that have the same sound on his or her own. Again, use picture books, things around the house, or things you and your child can see anywhere. Praise your child's success. Give him or her a little help if needed. For example, if your child is having a hard time, you might say "Well, here's a bird. Bird starts with the 'buh' sound." "What else can you think of that starts with the 'buh' sound?"

For more information and materials, go to www.michigan.gov/youthlibraryservices in the Every Child Ready to Read section.

--- Sue


In 2015, the Association for Library Service to Children revised the Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries. The document can be found online at the ASLC website. The first article listed under "Programming Skills" is that children's librarians should "Design, promote, present, and evaluate a variety of programs for children, with consideration of developmental stages....."

A great site to explore developmental stages for children ages one to three can be found here:


Under each age you can click on the following categories and get lots of great information for that child's age. Categories are: Approaches to Learning, Creative Arts; Language, Literacy, Mathematics, Physical Health, Science, and Social and Emotional Growth. For example, you can click on Literacy and find what is appropriate for that age child in relation to phonological awareness, book knowledge and appreciation, print awareness and concepts, alphabet knowledge, and writing. Under Creative Arts, you can find examples of art activities you could do with that age child at the end of a storytime program.

New Book of the Month

More-igami. By Dori Kleber. Candlewick Press, 2016.

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6819-8. $15.99.

One of the important reasons to share picture books with children (Or the "Read," in ECRR's five practices of Talk, Read, Sing, Write & Play) is the exposure to new vocabulary. For every 1,000 words that a parent speaks, only approximately nine of them are "rare" or "unusual" words. Picture books introduce children to three times as many "rare" words as speech they hear from an adult or on television etc.

This book introduces the concept of "origami" in a way that even young children can understand. And, the characters are very diverse: the main character, Joey, is African American; Joey learns how to do origami from one of his classmates' Japanese American parent; and he is given an opportunity to practice origami on napkins at his favorite restaurant by the Mexican American owner. After sharing the book, you can proceed with an origami art extension. At the back of the book are very clear directions on how to make an origami ladybug. Though children may need some help from their parents, they can still make some folds and decorate the ladybug.
Web Site of the Month

Daycare Resource Connection<http://links.govdelivery.com:80/track?type=click&enid=ZWFzPTEmbWFpbGluZ2lkPTIwMTYwNTI2LjU5NTQzMTQxJm1lc3NhZ2VpZD1NREItUFJELUJVTC0yMDE2MDUyNi41OTU0MzE0MSZkYXRhYmFzZWlkPTEwMDEmc2VyaWFsPTE3MzA4Nzc1JmVtYWlsaWQ9cmVpc2hrQG1pY2hpZ2FuLmdvdiZ1c2VyaWQ9cmVpc2hrQG1pY2hpZ2FuLmdvdiZmbD0mZXh0cmE9TXVsdGl2YXJpYXRlSWQ9JiYm&&&101&&&http://daycareresource.com/flannelstories37642.html>

One of the important skills that preschool children need to develop before reaching school is narrative skills. Narrative skills allows for expressive language, and includes a child being able to describe things, tell events and retell stories. In a storytime setting, after telling a story, you might consider sharing a felt board or magnetic board version of the same story. Children can then retell the story. Here is a great site for patterns. Some are very easy to reproduce. For example, Pete the Cat: Rocking in His School Shoes, is done completely in color so you can print off the patterns and use them immediately. There are many other familiar stories including: The Very Busy Spider; I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean; Dear Zoo; Where's Spot?; There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly; Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?; The Very Hungry Caterpillar; and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.



[Sue McCleaf Nespeca]Sue McCleaf Nespeca is an early literacy & children's literature specialist heading Kit Lit Plus Consulting. She is a trainer for the Every Child Ready to Read Project and The Very Ready Reading Program. In addition to her M.L.S., she has a M.Ed in Early Childhood with a specialty in early literacy.

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