ECLC: Inspiring the Next Generation of Readers & Writers
While you might know that students in Lower School engage in “writer’s workshops” designed by Columbia University’s Teacher College, what you might not know is that inspiring students to become expert readers, writers, and inquirers starts as early as Pre-Kindergarten at Graland. For this reason, ECLC’s Pre-K educators attended a three-day virtual workshop with the Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University last winter, where they gained valuable insights and tools to help students launch their literacy journey.
According to Pre-K Teacher Lisa Flannery, “The course at Columbia University’s Teachers College was designed to teach Pre-Kindergarten teachers how to include various books that foster literacy and social skills like fairness, differing opinions, kindness, empathy, acceptance, and tolerance in their curriculum. For children to make rich connections to text, they must first begin to see themselves in the stories they hear, then want to share their own experiences through language and emergent writing.”
Mrs. Flannery also shared that while inspiring writing at the Pre-K level is not conventional, it is emergent. “Children in Pre-Kindergarten begin to imitate the act of writing by creating drawings, scribbles, letter-like forms, letter strings, and phonetic spelling to communicate their thoughts and record their ideas,” Mrs. Flannery said. “No matter what phase of emergent writing our students are in, we meet them where they are and acknowledge them as authors and illustrators.”
At the end of the training, Graland’s Pre-K educators walked away with new knowledge about the importance of rich literary work and what the writing and storytelling process looks like for four and five-year-old children. “Storytellers are future writers,” Mrs. Flannery said. “Our children are already ready to be writers and share their stories of how they see the world through their drawings, pre-emergent writing skills, and language.”
This month, Pre-K students have been practicing their literacy skills by working on writing capital lowercase letters, producing word lists for the letters they are learning using multi-sensory approaches, and creating class books that contain their own writings and illustrations. Keep up the great work, ECLC!
Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.