Walking around the elementary school and ELAC (Early Learning and Activities Center) building, we never fail to see children reading books! Our school buildings are equipped with two libraries with a wide selection of books and every classroom has its own library. Because our book collection is enormous, the hallways also serve as ‘libraries,’ which provide our students with easy access to a wide variety of books.
Promoting reading is an important part of our Literacy program, but there are many more. Please take a look at some examples of our Literacy support for elementary and kindergarten students at Canadian Academy.
When we say ‘Literacy,’ we consider these four essential elements: Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening, and Media Literacy.
In our elementary school, students get to practice their listening and speaking skills during morning meetings, which include multiple aspects - paying attention to the speaker, asking questions for clarification, and using words with confidence.
Our kindergarten students learn how to make connections between sounds and letters through Phonics lessons. Every time they learn a new sound and letter, they can enjoy reading more and more books, which they are able to select from our vast collection.
Writing is something that takes time to learn, and it is open-ended. That is why our elementary teachers design writing tasks to ensure students can practice writing step by step. For instance, this month, the grade 2 students have been writing a book about a topic of their choice, such as Disneyland and soccer. They spend sufficient time before actually starting to write: they set a writing purpose, brainstorm, and organize ideas with graphic organizers, to name a few. Through these steps, the students practice becoming good writers.
Regarding Media Literacy, we focus on children’s ability to use age-appropriate media with curiosity and critical perspective. At the same time, we foster their skills to create media to achieve different purposes. For more details, please refer to our previous article about the use of technology at Canadian Academy.
Finally, what can families do to support their children’s Literacy at home? As you may have heard over and over before, we recommend that families read books with their children and talk about the books together. For example, ask your children questions:
What would you do if you were this character?
If you can add 10 more pages to the book, what would the story be?
What do you think the character is feeling at the beginning of the story? How about at the end?
And then share your ideas or responses to the questions too. These discussions help build children’s vocabulary, knowledge, creativity, imagination, compassion, and curiosity.
If you have any questions about our Literacy program or how to support your child at home, please reach out. We are more than happy to help you!