early learning

Early Learning - SING

In my recent reading of Land of Cranes by local author Aida Salazar,  I came across a passage where a mother wants to teach children in a detention center. Someone commented  but they have no pen or paper!  Never mind that. They have their voices. They would learn through song just as the enslaved learned about a path to freedom by Follow[ing] the Drinking Gourd. 

Singing helps children hear the sounds that make up words.  

 

EARLY LEARNING TIPS 
 

  • Sing the A-B-C song, nursery rhymes, funny songs or any songs you like. 
  • Clap to the rhythm. 
  • Clap to mark the number of syllables.  
    See video
     
  • Sing songs in any language.  
    See video
     
  • Singing is a powerful way to connect you and your child to the world’s cultures.


     

EARLY LEARNING ACTIVITIES

Download kid friendly music from HOOPLA

 

  • Sing as you do everyday things together, such as making breakfast or going to the store. 
  • Sing “If you’re happy and you know it, wash your hands” while scrubbing for the recommended 20 seconds. 

Is there a favorite song you remember from your childhood?

Early Learning - TALK

All children, no matter how young, listen to people talk. It is how they learn new words and begin to understand the world around them.

EARLY LEARNING TIPS 

  • Talk with your child as you go about your day: making food, walking around the neighborhood, getting ready for bed, any time. 
  • You can add to their vocabulary when you respond to what your child says. If your toddler says “truck,” you can say, “We saw a big green truck today.” 

  • You can respond to babbling or even silence.

  • Use new words. If your child says “banana,” you can say, “Do you want a banana? That’s very healthy food.” 

  • Talk in the language most comfortable for you. Babies’ growing brains can easily learn more than one language.  

 

EARLY LITERACY ACTIVITIES  

from DEMCO

  • Ask “what if” questions as you walk outside. What if it never got dark? What if there were no birds? 
  • Go for a walk with your child and point to all of the circles that you see.
  • Point to an object and ask your child to say the name for it and a word that rhymes with it.
  • Cut out pictures from magazines and have your child practice matching the pictures to the letter sound you say. “B, b-b-b-b-b.”
  • Ask your child to compare objects around the house. Which is smaller? Which is longer?
  • Tell your child a story about something funny that happened to you when you were young.
  • Emphasize the beginning sounds in words. “Let’s eat a p-pp-peach!”
  • After your child tells a story, ask questions to get more details.

 

 

DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES

The National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has prepared resources to track developmental milestones.

The most important time for a child’s development is the first 5 years of life. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s development, learning, or behavior, reach out to Help Me Grow. Getting support is crucial to ensure your child reaches their optimal development.

Early Learning - READ

 

EARLY LEARNING TIPS 

  • Read with your child every day.

    It's not important what you read. The time you spend together will help your children develop a love of reading.  
    Talk about the story as you read.  If you're waiting for your holds to be ready for pick up at the library, a magazine, photo album or brochures will do.
  • Talk about the pictures or make up your own story. 

  • It’s okay to read just a little bit of a book.  Try board books, the pages are sturdy so you don't have to worry about your baby ripping any pages. We want children to play with their books.

  •  You don’t even have to read. You can just talk about the pictures.  

  • You are your child's first teacher,  let them see you like reading too.   

  • Words are everywhere: on store fronts, bus stops, and cereal boxes. Show these words to your child. 

 

EARLY LITERACY ACTIVITIES  

(from Demco

  • September 1st is World Primate Day. Read about monkeys 

  • Sit with your child on your lap and point to the words in a simple picture book as you read them.  

  • Read a wordless picture book together, such as Journey by Aaron Becker. Have your child make up the words to the story. 

  • When you’re reading a story together, pause when something is about to happen and say, “I wonder what’s going to happen next.” Give your child time to think and respond. 

  • Read together, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin  or any other book with repetitive text. Repetition is key when mastering new skills.

     

     

 

GET A LIBRARY CARD 

September is library card sign up month. Get your child their own card  https://oaklandlibrary.org/using-library/library-cards 
Any California resident is eligible to get an Oakland Public Library card. 

Check out recommended reads for babies, toddlers and preschoolers.

ENJOY STORYTIME ONLINE

Watch OPL Staff share storytime on YouTube 

 

What books does your child enjoy? 

Focus on Early Learning

When I went to library school in 2008, I knew I wanted to be a Children’s Librarian because I wanted to share the joy of reading. As my career develops my focus on early learning and parent engagement is clear, thus I was super excited to hear Pamela Paul’s recent interview on KQED Forum discussing her new book, co-written with her colleague Maria Russo, "How to Raise a Reader." Pamela shares family literacy tips on creating read-aloud routines, "championing genre fiction" and nurturing a love of books in kids of all age.

My favorite five family literacy tips for raising a reader:

  • You are your child's first teacher- model behavior you want them to develop (as indicated in the image above)
  • Never treat reading like a chore
  • Read to your baby, your toddler, your tween, your teen
  • All reading matters...including comic books
  • Always carry a book when you know you'll be waiting e.g. supermarket, doctor's appointment, restaurants

 FREE community resources you can access that promote early learning include:

In my role as an outreach librarian, I present storytime once a month at the rec centers noted above.

  • The OUSD Play Group near Grand Lake Theater is a great option Friday mornings (before Oakland libraries open).
    Fridays, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm -  September 27 - December 13, 2019
    Lakeview Campus Portable A, 746 Grand Avenue Oakland, CA 94610
  • VROOM provides learning tips via text you can share with your young child (ren). Available in English or Español
  • Kidappolis by LitLab is a mobile app that encourages parents to use screen time as an interactive early learning opportunity. Try “Kidappolis: School Edition for FREE using the code “demo
  • Help Me Grow is a resource network which collaborates with agencies, families, and providers across Alameda County to help ensure children ages birth – 5 years reach their optimal development. If you have concerns about your child’s developmental milestones, give them a call 888 - 510 - 1211. Their staff is multilingual. 

What are your favorite family literacy activities? Please share your positive experiences in the comments section.

Early Learning Backpacks

In September 2018,  OPL’s West and Eastmont branches began a pilot program offering an exciting and fun way for kids ages 3-5 to boost their language skills and school readiness.  The First 5 Alameda County funded early learning backpacks available during family storytime and play café are a huge hit. Early literacy specialists understand parents are a child’s first and best teacher.These backpacks are designed to provide opportunities for rich interactions, fun, and learning by providing materials and books for families to use together. 

The backpacks are not part of our traditional collection. Families can simply choose a backpack, sign it out on a clipboard, and enjoy the rich contents inside to explore math, science, literacy and/or social skills at home. The following week families can exchange the backpack for one of the other 30 themed backpacks. The backpacks are see-through and full of educational activities, toys and books in English, Spanish, Chinese and/or Arabic. A child doesn’t need to know that each backpack’s contents were painstakingly put together by experts at First 5 Alameda and are meticulously connected to California kindergarten readiness standards. Children are drawn to the joy of engineering a bridge, examining bugs, taking care of a baby doll, or reading a book about a garden. Many families come back week after week because their child is excited to choose their next backpack. It has become an important part of their weekly routine and something special they do with each other.

Some caregivers ask for advice such as “Which Science backpack will teach my child the life cycle of a butterfly?” or “Which Social Skills backpack will help my child learn how to resolve conflicts with their friends?” Working in partnership with First 5 Alameda children’s librarians meet quarterly to engage with the materials and how they relate to aspects of the California Preschool Curriculum Framework to help make better recommendations. It is a joy to see the pride and excitement in a child’s step as they leave the library with their choice for the week snugly on their back and knowing that it is a tool to help them build the skills they need to be successful in kindergarten and beyond.

~ Celia, West Oakland Children's Librarian

Five Key Areas of School Readiness for Children include:

  • Promoting physical well-being and gross and fine motor development
  • Promoting social, emotional and self-regulation skills
  • Developing approaches to learning (awareness of how one learns best)
  • Fostering literacy and language development
  • Instilling cognitive development and general problem solving skills