March 7, 2012

Resources & Recommendations: Early Literacy

Assignment 3
Storytime Standouts: Great Books and Resources for Childhood Literacy (

This website, developed by educator Carolyn Hart, is dedicated to “raising children that love to read”. The site’s primary goal is to introduce children to a wide variety of books for every reading level while exploring the role books play in supporting early literacy. It has an impressive database of recommendations for books at all reading levels. The database can be browsed by theme, title, author etc. while the recommendations (from board books to chapter books) are made with early literacy in mind. Topics include everything from alphabet recognition to phonics, while themes include social issues such as bullying, multiculturalism and the environment. In addition to recommendations, the site also provides tips for caregivers and parents, as well as free “printables” on nursery rhymes, the alphabet and phonics, making it is a truly comprehensive source for parents and educators concerned with emergent literacy.

Zero To Three: Early Experiences Matter

Zero to Three is a website run by the National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families. Among the site’s copious tools and articles on everything from “Public Policy” to “Care and Education”, is a tab devoted to “Behavior and Development”. All parents have to do is click on the section entitled “Early Literacy and Language - Tips and Tools” under this tab to access a wealth of information on early literacy. Zero to Three provides free access to downloadable booklets and articles on getting a child ready to read, tips for choosing books for toddlers and infants, information on why reading to infants is critical for language acquisition and other related topics. Perhaps even more importantly, the site also provides parents with activities and links to even more resources. The site is geared primarily for parents at all levels of education and is both thorough and accessible. Though not as specialized a site as Storytime Standouts, Zero to Three makes the case for the importance of early literacy and provides parents and caregivers with basic tools to start their child on the path to reading.

The Sesame Street Website 

The official Sesame Street website has so many resources, games and videos for kids and their parents that it almost makes it a one stop shop. Games, such as “In the Nick of Rhyme” with Super Grover, Murray Monster’s “Word on the Street” and Abby’s “Fairy Treasure Hunt” make letter recognition, vocabulary acquisition and word matching / site words fun and stress-free, while a nice collection of printable activity sheets make it possible for kids to practice their reading skills off-line as well as on. There is also a link for parents and teachers embedded in the PBS Kids site that takes adults to a site full of parent resources, tips and learning activities to do with their child or in the classroom. The Sesame Street website is not specialized – it covers everything from science and math to reading and everyday concerns, like starting pre-school or going to the doctor – but even though it does not focus on early literacy to the exclusion of other skills, the array of reading readiness tools provided in the comforting context of the show and it’s characters makes it a truly valuable resource for kids and their parents.

Classic Nursery Rhymes sung by Susie Tallman and Friends
See Review dated March 1, 2012. Tag: assignment 3

Eric Carl Animal Flash Cards
See Review Dated March 7, 2012. Tag: assignment 3

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