Category Archives: Emergent Literacy

Labels, Labels Everywhere!

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Raising a Writer

room labelLast night, Z came into my office and snatched a post-it and ran out of the room. Later after the kids were in bad, I found this on my bedroom door. After having a good laugh, I went and opened a new package of post-it notes and wrote him a note on the top one and left it along with a pen on the built in shelf on the headboard of his bed.dsc03734

This morning I found labels on several things, and I encouraged him to keep doing it.

Why? wow, I am so thankful that I am not scrubbing these marks of the walls right now I just want to dance, and I will go and buy a whole box of post-it notes to keep him happy if I have to!

One of the ways that I have learned that parents can create a ‘print rich environment’ is to label things so that your kids can see the labels and then learn the words for things. I did label things when my oldest was learning to read, but that was 10 years ago. The difference is that this time, Z did it on his own. I know he would have loved if I had labeled things for him, but it is just so much more meaningful this way. And, I should have known that he would crave this kind of input, since he learned to read all of our family’s names from the chore chart in the halway when he was 3.

Here are some of the other labels he made:

Z's Bed

B's Dresser

Jeep

I am putting this in with my “Raising a Writer” series, because I think that this (writing things down) is really one of the first steps after books. If a child learns to love the printed word, and feels confident in his/her ability to read, write, and understand it, then they will really blossom and there will not be that intimidation and fear of making mistakes. They will already know that they can do it, and that if they don’t get it right the first time they can go back and fix it and it is no big deal.

Some other ways to create a ‘print rich environment’ for early readers:

  • Make sure there are lots of books available and that your kids can reach them.
  • Create a reading center with a comfy chair in a well lit area.
  • Have paper and writing utensils available and let them write letters. They can ‘write’ using pictures if they still are not writing letters.