Today we have our first guest post on TeachingRocks.ca!

The following post is written by Reena Kumar, a phenomenal teacher who specializes in primary education and has spent the last few years teaching grade 1 and a grade 1/2 split!  She brings her expertise in primary education with this post on “Concepts  About Print”, which includes a sample “Morning Message” routine!  Thanks so much, Reena!

Concepts about print

  • Concepts about print are the conventions used in reading and written language, they are conventions ‘about’ the written language, not the language itself.
  • Concepts of print (for English) include such things as :
    • Knowing that letters make words and words make sentences.
    • Spatial and visual items such as spaces between letters symbolize separate words.
    • Directional knowledge such as how to hold a book, which way to turn the pages, moving from left to right, sweeping down and back to the next line.
    • Understanding beginning/middle/ first/last kinds of words and how they relate to reading.

For Junior/Senior Kindergarten (Children ages 3-5)

Routine daily activity: Morning message

  • The morning message is a routine activity built into the daily schedule that gives children an opportunity to practice various concepts of print (as well as communicating a special message to the children). Since this activity would be done daily, it would allow for a gradual shift from teacher modeling towards student practice.
  • The teacher should start off by writing simple daily messages that follow a predictable pattern. This predictability will also strengthen sight word acquisition and the understanding that print carries a message.
  • The teacher should use a pointer/magic wand to clearly point to each word as it is being read, and encourage the children to read along.
  • Before reading the teacher should ask and model where to start reading, which way to move, how to move to the next line etc. Introducing and practicing directional words on a daily basis.
  • After the message has been read the students can be asked to do various activities with the message that reinforce the teaching point of the day.
    • For example :
      • Who can put a green dot in the place where we start reading from ? Circle a word, circle a letter, circle the letter ‘b’ etc..
      • The questions can gradually increase in complexity as the students master certain concepts of print.

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