Thursday, October 28, 2010

Embedding Literacy

I'm wrapping up facilitating a very fast paced and intense course on language and literacy. Because of this, I have been engaged in a lot of thinking and reflecting about embedding language and literacy into daily lesson plans and routines.

I'd like to take a moment to share an idea that illustrates how a parent has embedded language and literacy into her child's day.

I drive through 3 school zones and countless bus stops on my way to work each morning. I often see parents waiting with their children at the bus stops.

One mom and her son (who appears to be 5 or 6 years old) used to wait for the bus each day in the manner that you would typically see....the boy had his backpack on, mom was next to him and they stood on the corner waiting for the bus.

For the past few weeks, as I have driven by, I have noticed that she now brings a camp chair (one of those canvas chairs that folds up and has a sleeve that it fits can buy them at Wal Mart for about $10) and a book to the bus stop.

Now, each morning her son sits on her lap as she is reading a story to him.

Wow! So maybe they wait 5-10 minutes for the bus each day. That means her son is getting and extra 25-50 minutes of literacy and language experiences a week. If you multiply that times 36 weeks in a school year that is between 900-1800 minutes a year (or an extra 15-30 hours).

I think this is just so cool! She has figured out how to take a "waiting" period and has turned it into a language and literacy experience.

Sometimes we go nuts trying to figure out when to fit everything "in." This mom has found a way to give her child more literacy and language experiences within a routine that already exists.

How many other ways could we, as teachers or parents also do this? I bet the ways are quite creative and the number is countless!