The experience I have had with the Minnesota Reading Corps has changed my teaching in many ways. The different methods of literacy instruction introduced by the Minnesota Reading Corps program has allowed me to expand how I teach writing, reading, and language arts for preschoolers. I feel these new added skills has refined how I communicate and interact with my students, whether it is a simple conversation, the singing of song or nursery rhymes at every transition, or reading a story. I have transformed my classroom into a literacy rich environment by labeling items throughout, making writing materials more available, strategically placing theme based books, introducing the Word Wall and The What Is It Bag; all which enhance the enrichment of vocabulary. I now have a better understanding of children and literacy.
I have seen first hand the impact that the Minnesota Reading Corps involvement has had in our preschool program. Many children come into a preschool environment not knowing any letter names or sounds. Since we have introduced the MRC to our classrooms, many children are leaving preschool knowing all letter names and sounds, and the concepts of rhyming and alliteration. Some children are even reading. A boy in my class began his preschool experience struggling to recognize letters. With one-on-one interventions with the Minnesota Reading Corps member, Leah, and daily literacy activities in the classroom, he began to recite the letter names. In the spring, one day he was looking around the room, noticing all the words posted on the walls and objects. He looked at the word, “table” and said with excitement, “Hey, that word says table and that is a table!” This boy started to sound out words and began to read. When children receive hands on experiences and individual guidance, they can achieve. Each year I am seeing more success stories and I am proud of how far we have come in teaching children beginning literacy skills and helping families to guide their children toward reading.
For more information about the Minnesota Reading Corps or becoming a member, visit their website.