Assignment Two LIBR 262A

For this posting we will be looking at tools that are useful in helping to promote early literacy. I have chosen a variety of items to look at, which include The Department of Education’s website tools for parents on “Helping their Child Become a Leader”, the Get Ready to Read Screening Tool, the Match It Bingo game, the Touch and Feel learning cards and the article by Reading is Fundamental titled, Getting the Most out of Picture Books. These tools are all very different from one another however they have one goal in mind and that is to promote early literacy in children ages 0-4.

"Helping Your Child Become a Reader" CoverThe United States Department of Education’s website has thousands of tools for parents, teachers and librarians to utilize in the learning development of children.  The item I chose to review is an online booklet that is titled, “Helping your Child Become a Reader”, from ages infancy to 6. The booklet is available to be printed out in its entirety or simply a few pages at a time depending on the age of your child. Sections in the booklet include topics such as, becoming a reader, activities, a reading check list and Typical Language Accomplishments for Children, Birth to Age 6. According to the booklet, “This booklet gives you information about how you can use your language skills to build your child’s skills. It offers suggestions about how you can:”


  • Talk with and listen to your child.
  • Read together with her.
  • Help your child learn about books and print.
  • Encourage your child’s early writing efforts.
  • Help your child learn to read if his first language is not English.
  • Prepare your child for success in school.

This booklet has so much information and is presented in an easy to use manner. I think this booklet is a must have for all parents. It does not cost anything to print the booklet from the website or you also have the option of ordering a copy. I think this would be an excellent example of literature that could be handed out at story times, parent nights at school or sent home in new baby kit from the hospital.

The next item I will examine is an article located on the Get Ready to Read Organization website. Their website is much like the Department of Education’s website in that it has wealth of information and many items you can use for free. The article I will focus on is titled, “Getting the Most Out of Picture Books by Reading is Fundamental. The article addresses topics such as, bringing books to life, seeing the world and building reading skills. One section that I especially enjoyed is entitled, “Hook Kids in with Illustrations”. The section discusses that yes we all judge books by their cover especially children! The section goes on to talk about how important it is to let the children choose books to read and conduct “picture walks through books to help them discuss what they see before they read. I love doing picture walks with children. Not only does it give them an introduction to the book it helps them point to things and name things and just get excited about the book before one word is read. Below is a link to a list of books recommended by Reading is Fundamental.

The next item is also from the Get Ready to Read website. The item is called the Get Ready To Read Screening Tool. The tool according to the website, “is a reliable, research-based series of questions for children in the year before they enter kindergarten, to determine whether they have the early literacy skills they need to become readers. The screening tool is part of a flexible program, not a curriculum, which complements most early literacy and early reading programs. Educators can use the screening tool and activities as a part of a regular classroom program.”

The tool is aimed at children 3-5 years old but I think some two year olds would be able to be screened using the tool as well. The early literacy skills that this tool looks at are:

  • Print knowledge refers to a child’s understanding of books, printed letters, and words.
  • Linguistic awareness refers to a child’s understanding of how words and language works.
  • Emergent writing refers to a child’s first efforts to create and use print in a meaningful way.

The tool has a series of questions based on the child’s age. The test is on the computer and they ask that you sit with your child why they work through the screening. The screening takes about 15 minutes and they recommend only testing your child twice a year. After the screening is complete the parent, or teacher can print out the results as well as a wealth of information pertaining to the child strengths and weaknesses. The parent or teacher then can use the sites free skill building activities to address the child’s needs. There are countless numbers of activities and book lists to help the adult proceed with enhancing the young child’s learning. I also have provided a link to a list of 100 picture books everyone should know.

The next two items I want to discuss are learning toys that can help in a child’s early literacy while having fun! The first item is called The Touch and Feel learning cards. I have seen several card sets similar to this one. This particular set I found on the Fat Brain Toys website. The website is packed with learning toys and are high quality and can withstand over and over again use. The cards can be purchased either in the ABC version or the 123 version. Both come in a sturdy storage box and contain 13 double sided cards. The cards are tactile flash cards that are designed to. “Jump start counting and language skills with darling graphics on educational cards that teach. Each double-sided learning card has a different texture to help children identify what they see. The back of each card is filled with interactive activities for a parent and child to explore together.”

The cards are oversized so little hands can easily use them and have an age range of 2-5yrs. Each card features:

  • Vibrant sensory learning
  • Brilliant attractive graphics with wide variety of textures that delight
  • Counting & language tools for young children


I think these cards are a must have for libraries,educators and parents. Kids love being able hold things in their hands and touch and feel. These cards offer all of these things and are a learning tool as well. I plan on purchasing a set of these cards for a special 2 year old who I know is going to love them.


Another learning toy I discovered on the Fat Brain site is the Match It! Bingo Picture Game. The game is intended to aid in word recognition and makes it fun. The age range for this learning game is 3 and up. But again I think a younger child could use the cards with an adult and then progress later to actually playing the game. A toy that grows with the child is always one I look for!  Each player must “match the picture word cards to the large Bingo cards. The words printed below the pictures help young learners begin to identify simple words. When that becomes too easy, just flip the cards over to the word-only side. Then children must listen carefully to the letters and sounds to find the right Bingo space.”

Other specifics of the game include:

  • Develops word recognition, early phonics skills
  • 4 Bingo Cards each with 9 objects pictured
  • 36 double-sided picture and word cards
  • Includes several variations for play

 All of the tools I have discussed are easy to use and will not only help any parent, teacher or librarian promote early literacy they will be doing so in a way that is fun for the child. Below is a list of information regarding each tool and where to find it.

Helping Your Child Become a Reader

Childlike drawing of a mother holding and reading to a small child.

U.S. Department of Education
Margaret Spellings

First published in September 2000. Revised 2002 and 2005.

This booklet is in the public domain. Authorization to reproduce it in whole or in part for educational purposes is granted. While permission to reprint this publication is not necessary, the citation should be:

U.S. Department of Education
Office of Communications and Outreach
Helping Your Child Become a Reader
Washington, D.C., 2005

To order copies of this publication in English or Spanish write to:

ED Pubs
Education Publications Center
U.S. Department of Education
P.O. Box 1398
Jessup, MD 20794-1398

or fax your request to: 301-470-1244

or email your request to:

or call in your request toll-free: 1-877-433-7827 (1-877-4ED-PUBS). If 877 is not yet available in your area, call 1-800-872-5327 (1-800-USA-LEARN). Those who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a teletypewriter (TTY), should call 1-800-437-0833.

or order on-line at:

This publication is also available on the Department’s Web site at:

Getting the Most Out of Picture Books
By Reading Is Fundamental/

Get Ready to Read Screening Tool

Touch & Feel Cards

Match It! Bingo – Picture Word






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s