Emergent Literacy: Preparing for reading & writing

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When you think about children reading and writing, you probably think in terms of letter recognition and decoding, word comprehension, and maybe the fine motor skills required to handle a pencil. It’s probably less likely that directionality and spatial awareness come to mind.

But when we think about it, we realize that our writing occurs from top to bottom and from left to right. That the straight and curvy lines that make up letters must be written in a certain direction to be understood. That, in fact, the direction in which a letter faces can be what distinguishes it from another letter. Take a lowercase b and a lowercase d, for example. The only difference between them is the direction in which the curvy line faces…and many a child has arrived in the 3rd grade still unable to differentiate between the two.

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