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January 3, 2012
Leaders act decisively in the absence of certainty.
The book Growing with Nature: Supporting Whole-Child Learning in Outdoor Classrooms that is included in our Environments Tool Kit, provides strategies for promoting language and literacy, science, socio-emotional development, math, body competence, creative arts, and visual/spatial development in nature. In demonstrating how literacy can flourish outdoors, the book observes...
"When children are first learning to read, they seem to use all of their visual ability to essentially 'photograph' words, seeing print as a whole. They next begin to understand that words can be broken into parts (letters or graphemes) and that those parts represent spoken sounds (phonemes). As children figure out the process of connecting letters to sounds, experiences in outdoor classrooms can support their understanding of these whole-to-part relationships, which occur in abundance in nature. Experiences in the natural world can also facilitate letter discrimination, which is an important step in developing both reading and writing fluency. Encouraging children to recognize patterns and shapes in nature is an especially effective early reading and writing activity. It is interesting to note, as Ellen Galinsky does in her book Mind in the Making, that all the world's languages have an amazing regularity in the number of times that intersections (like Ts, Ls and Xs) are present in the shape of letters. Fascinatingly, those shapes with intersections occur at the same rate in natural scenes as they do in written language. So, an activity like taking young children on an outdoors 'shape walk' not only helps them to see patterns in the natural world, it also helps with later letter recognition. Providing natural materials such as twigs and logs (that contain many naturally occurring shapes) is also a great way to help children think about the alphabet."
Are you looking for the best information available on a particular topic? Do you want to avoid hours of searching for what you need? If so, Exchange Tool Kits are for you. Exchange has packaged its most popular early childhood resources into a variety of Tool Kits that provide significant savings off single copy pricing.
- Teaching Young Children
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