If you're thinking about becoming CDA certified, you understand the value of helping children learn and grow. One of the areas you can be extremely effective is in early literacy. Even if you're working with children who aren’t quite ready to read independently, you can still take steps to help them establish a positive relationship with reading. Check out these ideas.
Set Up Your Classroom to Encourage Literacy
As an early childhood educator, you have the power to spark children's interest in early reading using the classroom environment. To create a reading-positive space, consider implementing some of the following ideas:
- Label Items — If you put labels on boxes and baskets of classroom items, you show children that words relate to real life objects. Demonstrating this connection is helpful in creating a foundation for early literacy.
- Have Children Wear Name Tags — Even if children can't read the name tags, wearing them helps to bring home the idea that everything (including the child) has a name, and those names can also be spelled out into words.
- Set Up Crafts with Letters — In your classroom crafting area, consider putting out some stencils of letters or providing art and décor magazines for children to use as inspiration or to create collages. This helps to expose children to different types of print and teaches them the many ways letters can look (environmental print). This will also allow children an opportunity to become familiar with the alphabet while crafting.
- Create a Reading Area — Set up an area where students can dive into books and be sure to make both the area and the books age appropriate. For instance, very young children may need durable board books with lots of fun colors and only 1-3 words per page, while older children might prefer picture books with 3-5 sentences per page. Also, be sure to bring the books to their level and make them accessible in a basket. You might also add a soft rug or cushions around the space as well for comfort. Even if children aren't actively reading, just looking at the pictures and turning the pages creates a positive impression of reading.
Take Literacy Courses While Becoming CDA Certified
As you work on becoming CDA certified, you may want to take courses that are specifically focused on early childhood literacy. Check out the following options:
- Reading to Young Children -- In this one-credit course, which is required to become CDA certified, you learn how to read to children. Everything from choosing age appropriate books to engaging your listeners is covered in this course.
- Great Ways to Promote Cognitive Development -- This one-credit course is offered in three different ways. You can take a course centered on infants, toddlers, or preschoolers. In all cases, you learn great strategies to promote cognitive development in ways that will help children become successful future readers and learners.
Becoming CDA certified is a great way to launch a fun and rewarding career. To get started, register with ProSolutions Training today. We offer the courses you need to become an effective early childhood educator. Contact us today to learn more.