Preschools are a great place to notice when something might not be right with a child’s language skills. One of the first warning signs of dyslexia is speech and language difficulties. To see more warning signs, visit this page. Here is a graphic from www.understood.org to help give you an idea of what dyslexia might look like at this age.
As a preschool teacher, there are many important phonological skills that are developed during this time. We know that early intervention is the most effective, and new research finds that intervention that occurs by or before first grade can actually close the reading gap. That’s why all the work you do in preschool is actually make neural connections for these students. To help you with your task, I’ve compiled a bunch of resources from around the web.
This resource has screening tools, a transitioning to kindergarten toolkit, skill building activities, games, tips for parents, and much more!
This website is from a early childhood teacher, consultant, and author. The site has plenty of early childhood activities, but this particular link has ideas for phonological awareness.
This link takes you to a site called This Reading Mama where she shares about writing with preschoolers and kindergartners.
This amazing site has tons of free printables for preschool, including seasonal activities and alphabet activities. It also has activities for elementary-aged children for those students who are ready to do more advanced skills.
This link is through ThisReadingMama. It has fantastic resources to help teach preschoolers. *It mentions letter of the week as a sequence for teaching the letters, but research doesn’t support this method. Click here to visit my page that explains how to organize your instruction of the alphabet.
This link is through The Measured Mom. It starts with the basic fill-in structure of letters in both capital and lowercase form, but also includes the pages with lines to help those students that are ready for lines. This link also describes HOW she teaches handwriting and the developmental structure of which letters she teachers first.
This site is from a former teacher, now stay-at-home-mom, Mom Inspired Life. She has tons of great ideas for helping children learn the alphabet in a fund, engaging, and kinesthetic way.
The Whole Child
Another very important part of working with preschoolers is developing the whole child. Not too long ago, that generally meant just adding the social and emotional parts into the curriculum. But with the changes in our culture and innovations in technology, preschool teachers need to be vigilant in helping develop a child’s sensory integration and visual perceptual skills.
With increased use of technology (televisions, ipads, phones, etc.) children are getting less and less time to do the things their bodies need to develop properly. This means that in elementary school, we are seeing more children with visual tracking problems, attention difficulties, impulse control problems, and poor handwriting. For the majority of children, these problems can be helped by providing the right types of activities during these developmental years.
Some really important activities for preschoolers to do can be generally remembered as “what we used to do when we were kids” – puzzles, crawling around, finger painting, playdough, hanging from the jungle gym, playing catch, etc. These activities provide lots of sensory input, as well as allowing the eyes to exercise and work in the ways that build strong muscles (needed for focusing on and tracking print for extended time).
Here is a website that has TONS of activities divided by the different skills. It’s meant for home therapy, which is great for schools because that means most everything you’ll need is a common household item!