Thinking About Children's Experiences
It is our responsibility to discover what children already know, to help them make connections to what they have learned at home and continue to grow as literacy learners.As you think about children's literacy experiences, keep in mind:
- For some children, literacy activities at school extend the kinds of learning and development that have been taking place at home. For others, activities that take place in school are very different from their home and neighborhood cultures.
- In some cases, when children have been labeled "at risk," discussions on how best to teach literacy have translated into structured academic programs.These settings have often become "at-risk landscapes."rigidly segregating children by gender, race, and ability and providing low-quality language and literacy instruction (review, drill, and practice).
Contrary to these practices, the best way to meet the challenge of educating children from various backgrounds is to provide them with opportunities for activities that encourage self-discovery and exploration, direct instruction, and time to think and explore, and include a wide variety of materials. Programs that include these components are likely to benefit children from all cultures and economic grroups.