Virtual Instruction to Support Pre-K Students: Growing Literacy Skills Through Play

Wed, May 20, 11am-3pm Eastern Standard Time
Thurs, May 21, 11am-3pm Eastern Standard Time
Institute will be offered live, over Zoom.

Grade: Pre-K
Featuring: Casey Maxwell and Kimberly Fox
Payment: Purchase orders for this institute can be made out to: Teachers College Reading and Writing Project Network, 525 W 120th Street, Box 77, New York, NY 10027

This virtual institute will emphasize the role of play and writing in virtual Pre-K classrooms. Presenters will help you see how you can weave support for literacy development into your children’s days, including suggestions for how to support parents in infusing literacy development experiences into play time. You’ll learn how to make the work you do to support literacy be as energetic, fun, and helpful as possible in a virtual setting.

As part of this, you will learn how to plan for ways in which your read alouds can be a cornerstone of your virtual instruction. You’ll hear about the latest and greatest books, but more than that, you’ll hear ways to bring these books into play.

Play is critical for our youngsters’ language and social skills development. You’ll get support thinking through how a choice time curriculum might evolve across the year, moving from solo play and work with materials to more child-driven dramatic and fantasy play. You’ll learn about the role conversation plays in strengthening collaborative play, and get ideas for how to make this work more student-run. Presenters will role play brief minilessons you might bring into your choice time, and they’ll help you think through ways you might plan choice time minilessons for your own class, even when teaching virtually.

At TCRWP, we’ve built upon an approach that Elizabeth Sulzby developed (and Marie Clay endorsed) for helping kids to approximate-read some of the books that we’ve read aloud repeatedly. You’ll hear the ways in which this allows kids to role play their way into being the readers they long to become. As kids pretend-read the books they are coming to know by heart, you can assess their concepts of print and knowledge of story, and help them to rely on both in order to relive Harry the Dirty Dog and The Three Little Pigs. You’ll learn about the classroom library’s role in students’ literacy development, through work with stories and informational books, and consider ways and times across the day that students might engage in formal and less formal, unstructured work with books, both in print and digital formats.

You’ll also have a chance to learn about how shared reading and book making can be used to support the development of meaning-making, language skills, and phonological awareness. Presenters will coach you as you plan and practice a series of virtual shared reading lessons, focusing on different skills across the sessions. You’ll consider ways to enrich your children’s vocabulary through this work.

You’ll get practical nuts and bolts help in making your writing center, and other places and spaces in your physical classroom, work for very young children as they begin to put pen to paper. A major part of this will involve expanding the definition of authorship, so that our youngest students can see themselves as composers of messages they want to send into the world. You’ll hear how drawing, oral storytelling, photographing, videotaping, conventional pen to paper work, and even play can all support authorship. Your presenters will introduce you to progressions for language use and qualities of good writing, and then coach you as you study student writing samples and plan for next steps for your young writers, regardless of what the child is composing and which platform they are using.




This institute will be offered online, in real-time via Zoom, and will not be recorded for later distribution. We will accept attendees until the institute has reached capacity.