Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Negotiating Critical Literacies With Young Children

            Are reading books, preparing lesson plans, and doing activities are most important things for children’s literacy? I think those are important, however, sometimes children learn literacy from themselves as they have critical thinking. When I read Chapter 3 of the book, Negotiating Critical Literacies With Young Children, I was surprised and smiled because I could see that the children were learning real thing from the real world. The chapter 3 was about there is a boy, Curtis and he wanted to go French Café which was just for older students who were attending in French class at his school. Therefore, he decided to agreements from his classmates, Junior Kindergarteners, and Senior Kindergarteners for going the café next year. He and his classmates started to make petition letter and Speaker’s Corner tape. In this part, I realized that the teacher just did not help them go to the café; however, she supported children’s ideas.
           “Children need opportunities to learn the relationship between the circulation of knowledge through language use and the power associated with certain forms of language (p. 96).” We often observe that young children say, “It’s mind” even thought things are not belonged to them. As children have a concern about French café, they will learn problem solving, consequences, collectivism, how to change their social position with reasonable ways, and how to address their feeling about things that they thought it was not fair. Children will create opportunities for changing and when it works, they will get full sense of accomplishment. Having this kind of real experience is very important for children’s literacy because they will learn interaction, communication and more professional language skills. Before the children had this issue, they might had no idea what the word, “petition” means but as they do that, they learned what it is with full of understanding.
           As I mentioned above, in my opinion, like the book, teacher would better step back from children and just observe what they are going to do. If they seem they need some helps, teachers can support children’s idea.

Maria , V. (2004). Negotiating critical literacies with young children. (1 ed., p. 96). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Early Technoliteracies

Today, lots of schools and teachers use technology in their school for literacy. With using technology, children learn many things in easy and effective ways. They can write, watch, read, draw, paint, and even speak. For writing, if children have some mistakes in their grammar or spelling, the computer automatically fixes it. For watching, children can watch anything they want and for reading, children just select which book they want to read and just click the title. In drawing and painting parts, I observed that my nephew had a great art game CD and when he clicked any color he want to use and click wherever he want to put, then the section was filled in the color he chose. How awesome is that! Because when I was a preschooler, I did not have that kind of technology, I was kind of surprised even though I have technology recently. Children also can talk to computer with their avatar. As the time has been changed, children’s learning style also will be changed. Children are learning their literacy in more understandable and accessible ways with just clicking. Technology provides useful information to children.
I agree with the technology is one of the biggest and important part for children to learn literacy. However, I am sometimes concerned if children focus and obsess on technology too much, it would be worse than that they do not have technology. Therefore, teachers, caregivers, and parents should manage their children to use technology in appropriate ways with relevant time. Also, teachers and parents should not forget about real materials and environments have more authentic meaning for children sometimes. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sociodramatic Play and Literacy

          We often can observe that children do pretend play in their school a lot. In my opinion, sociodramatic play is one of the most important activities in children’s school life because it has lots of influences for children’s language and literacy. Sometime, sociodramatic play affects children’s real life so teachers, caregivers, and parents should not ignore it in children’s daily routine.
           As children do sociodramatic play, they will have new experiences more and they will explore their ideas and thoughts in creative and spontaneous ways. Pretend play is also important because it is one of the ways that children can express themselves freely. If the child wants to be a doctor, he may want to do doctor in his pretend play. Furthermore, with this play, children may consider what they want to be in the future and this activity gives encouragement for children. Children also can learn several relationships such as teachers and students, doctors and nurses, employee and employer, mom and dad, and so on. Lastly, children’s language and vocabulary skills will be really developed. The might learn new vocabulary from their peers or situations.

           To sum up, because pretend play helps children develop social, emotional, physical, and cognitive skills, teachers should provide more opportunities to children to have more experiences.