Growing Readers Early Literacy Curriculum

The Growing Readers Early Literacy Curriculum for children 3-6 years of age is a comprehensive set of detailed plans for teacher-led small-group activities. The activities are focused (about 15-20 minutes each), engaging and enjoyable.

Although literacy occurs throughout the day as children talk, play, problem solve and represent their ideas and experiences, Growing Readers focuses on small-group instruction to ensure that every child receives planned and equal exposure to teaching and learning on the same literacy topics. Teachers then continue to work with children on the same topics throughout the day, both individually and in other group settings.

Four Critical Components of Early Literacy

The Growing Readers small-group activities actively engage young children in literacy instruction in the four critical components of early literacy: comprehension, including vocabulary building, prediction, connection and retelling; phonological awareness, including rhyming, alliteration (beginning phoneme substitution) and segmentation; alphabetic principle, including name recognition, name writing, letter recognition and letter-sound correspondence; and concepts about print, including identifying book parts, orienting books for reading, distinguishing between pictures and words and understanding the direction of text.

Growing Readers focuses on these four particular aspects of literacy because there is converging evidence that young children’s knowledge of these early literacy concepts predict their later reading achievement.

Numbers Plus Math Curriculum

Numbers Plus is a set of 120 developmentally based sequenced activities for children 3-6 years of age, each addressing 1 or more of 5 content areas that are aligned with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics content standards and California Preschool Foundations and Curriculum Frameworks: Number Sense and Operations: Geometry, Measurement, Algebra and Data Analysis. The activities are designed for small-group and large-group/circle times.

Teachers also extend the learning in all areas of the classroom and into other parts of the daily routine (such as meals and snacks, outside play, work or choice times, child planning and review times, transitions and greeting or message board time). Built into each activity is a sequence that alerts teachers to what children at different developmental and ability levels may do and say, with corresponding teaching strategies to individualize and scaffold learning.

Families can support the classroom activities by engaging in simple math experiences at home that use the Numbers Plus content standards.