• active reading: strategies readers need to help them understand the text and remain engaged
  • environmental print: print found in the everyday world, such as store and traffic signs, logos, menus, calendars, price tags, and so on
  • print awareness: the understanding that print is organized in a particular way (e.g., it is made up of letters, words, and spaces between words; it is read from left to right, and top to bottom; it carries a message)


Before watching this video, read the text below. When instructed, watch the video from the beginning to end.

Reading and writing are lifelong skills, necessary for success in school and beyond. Through reading and writing we learn about the world, connect with others, and contribute opinions and ideas. Adults play an important role in developing children’s skills in reading and writing and ultimately, in fostering their contributions to society. Educators can best develop these skills in young children by teaching through books and conversation, creating opportunities for children to build on what they have read by making connections across the curriculum, and integrating reading and writing into daily activities and routines.

In this 45-minute, self-paced tutorial, you will explore best practices in building an active community of readers and writers. Three short videos will show seasoned educators using best practices in action. After watching each video, you’ll review and reflect on what you’ve seen and heard.

During this tutorial, you will:

  • Examine best practices for supporting young children’s development of reading and writing skills.
  • Explore how to use books, other print materials, and conversation to teach reading and writing skills.
  • Discover how to create opportunities for children to build on knowledge gained from reading across the curriculum.
  • Identify how to integrate reading and writing in different ways throughout the learning day.
  • Apply new knowledge to current practices.

First, do a self-assessment to discover what your strengths are and to identify specific skills you'd like to work on.

  1. Download and print the Self-Assessment (PDF).
  2. Complete the first half now, before you begin the training.
  3. Save the sheet with your answers. At the end of the training, you'll complete the second half, compare your "before" and "after" responses, and find out how far you've progressed.

Watch an overview of Building a Community of Readers and Writers featuring Eleonora Villegas-Reimers, Associate Professor of Education at Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts.

Download and print the Learning Log (PDF). Use it during the tutorial to answer questions, reflect upon the materials presented, and jot down ideas and insights about how to apply what you have learned to your own learning environment.

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