STEM preschool language and literacy language literacy is a social experience and requires symbolic processing. Mastering language involves not just education of language but literacy and understanding. The relationship between thought and word is “not a thing, but a process, a continual movement back and forth from thought to word and from word to thought” (Vygotsky, 1962, p. 125).
A Learning Bee Academy’s STEM PreK classroom has a schedule that allows for students to discover stations created by the teacher based on the month’s theme. Each week the stations are alternated so they are always different. These stations will derive questions during learning time.
STEM in Early Childhood Education happens alongside language learning.
Language and STEM learning both happen through experience—and they complement each other. We allow students to develop ideas through dramatic, play, journaling and story- telling. We believe the more touches a child experiences in a particular STEM area of literacy that child will hold on to that education and thrive throughout their educational career.
STEM preschool language and literacy is rooted in an ongoing cycle of wondering, noticing, testing, and revising theories. Children generate ideas about the rules of language and then adjust them over time based on feedback and further experience. “My growed” eventually becomes “I grew.”
There are many ways A Learning Bee Academy facilitates language and literacy in our PreK classes. The biggest is allowing the children to talk and our teachers practicing good listening skills and responding to the students in a way that further develops their thoughts. The beginnings of literacy is language. Understanding what words mean comes before being able to understand what words say or how they are spelled. We also work with our students to be able to recognize letters of the alphabet and start the basics of handwriting.
Language and literacy development come naturally in a STEM PreK environment. We read aloud numerous times every day to be able to cover a variety of subjects. After reading a book, there is a question and answer time where the children have the opportunity to both answer comprehension questions about the book and ask questions about aspects of the story. Our book selection includes a variety of subjects and levels. We have picture books where children can make up their own story and books with words that our teachers will read to the children. Our teachers often read books just above the average understanding level to help continue to develop the students’ vocabulary.
Much of our learning is accompanied by music. Musicallows a rhythm to take hold and children to begin to develop basic learning skills without realizing it. We also sing nursery rhymes and recite poems to again engrain the rhythm of language into the students.
STEM preschool language and literacy is the basis of all learning. While we don’t push or expect our students to be able to fully read when they leave our academy, we provide an environment that offers and encourages the opportunities to learn what language is, how it is spoken, how it is developed, and how it applies to all areas of life.