Thursday, June 5, 2008

Everything Educational Thursday

This week's EET is all about the power of environmental print. This is something I talk about during Back to School Night with my Kindergarten parents. I use it A LOT in my classroom because it is so important in early reading and I am sure I already use it as a parent. So what is environmental print? It is the symbols, signs, numbers, and colors that your children see every single day. Think about those McDonald's Golden Arches. Most kids can spot them from a mile away. Most kids can read the name on their favorite cereal box before they can ever really read.

Prior, J., & Gerard, M.R. (2004). Environmental print in the classroom: Meaningful connections for learning to read. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

  • High-impact environmental print symbols are the first exposure young children have to the code system of written symbols.

  • Research indicates that children must construct a “cognitive anchor” for mapping sounds onto written code symbols. Environmental print can be this anchor.

  • Adult instruction is the key element to effectively using environmental print to teach beginning reading skills. When an adult draws attention to the letters and sounds in environmental print words, children are more likely to transfer this knowledge to decontextualized print (text without graphics).

I suggest using environmental print as a starting point for reading, writing and math, Use what is meaningful to your children. Use what they already know and see every single day. So recylce all those boxes form your kids favorite products and use them to make games and books for your children to enjoy!

Sharon MacDonald's website that has great ideas for using environmental print. I also use her Cd's in my class and they are lots of fun. I know I am a big dork but we have already started putting on my favorite kiddo Cd's on for car rides. We split the ride with some for Eliza and some for mommy.

Also check out Hubbard's Cupboard for environment print cards you can print and use in different activities!

Have Fun!


Anonymous said...

This is a great idea. I was planning on posting something about this as well.