Alphabet Adventures

Alphabet Adventures ~ A Meaningful Journey

Today Lillah Martin (Early Literacy Helping Teacher) and I went on an ‘Alphabet Adventure’ with over 80 Surrey teachers. This is the first of a series of workshops focusing on emphasizing ‘play’ as an important part of classrooms.

Somewhere along the line, the word ‘play’ was replaced with ‘work’.  There seems to be pressure for teachers to teach students how to ‘read’ at an earlier age. The focus on letter names and sounds, as well as words, has changed.  It is far too common to see students sitting at desks completing worksheets rather than playfully discovering the joys of sound-symbol relationships.

Our students need to be curious, engaged and have a love of learning that will support literacy development for a lifetime.  Research supports that students know about, and participate in, the functions of literacy long before they learn about alphabet letters and sounds.

Early learning experiences must provide a balance of play–based learning and explicit instruction.  An effective program is structured in such a way to respect the learning processes for all students and to help them reach their full potential.

Our role as a teacher is to fill the students’ lives with engaging, interactive and developmentally appropriate experiences that are both playful and purposeful.  It is time to put the ‘purposeful play’ back into our classrooms.  There are so many possible ways to fill our young learners’ literate lives with engaging, interactive and developmentally appropriate experiences with letters and words.  Many of the ideas presented at the workshop are located on the ‘Alphabet Adventures’ page.

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