If, as Owocki and many others have found through research, play is such an effective vehicle for literacy learning, let's start listening to the children and using play to teach. This book provides a clear path for teachers to begin or expand that work.
Gretchen Owocki lets other teachers in on one of the best-kept secrets of early childhood education: play is a virtual goldmine for facilitating literacy learning. When children play in a purposefully designed, literacy-rich environment, teachers can discover and capitalize on some truly important, highly teachable moments.
Literacy Through Play is a resource for preschool and primary teachers who are looking for proven methods for preparing young children to become confident and flexible readers and writers. Owocki begins the book by establishing the theoretical rationale for the importance of play in literacy development, then outlines what teachers can do to set up a developmentally appropriate environment. She takes us inside two classrooms that use play in smart ways, offering proven ideas for:
- developing the play environment
- teaching literacy through play
- assessing children's literacy knowledge as they play
- implementing developmentally appropriate practices
- collaborating with families.
If the current political firestorm over reading, phonics, and spelling has caused you to question whether children can develop the foundation for conventional reading, writing, and spelling in a developmentally appropriate classroom, this book will assuage your concerns. If the "back to basics" movement has led you to disbelieve these classrooms are teaching the "basics," this book will not only confirm that they are, it will also give you useable ideas for teaching them in developmentally appropriate ways.