spellings will appear. It may take a few years before many conventional spellings come. Some, such as the child’s own name and special phrases like “I love you,” may appear early and be memorized, but a true appreciation of conventional spelling comes later.

In addition to letting children experiment with writing themselves, make time to write down their personal dictations. Read back exactly what the child said, without correcting grammar or word choices. This shows that you value the child’s work and helps children begin to understand the connection between spoken and written language. If a child dictates in a language you do not understand, get the help of a parent volunteer as a transcriber and translator. Children can also act out their dictated stories.

Computer-Based Literacy

Ideally, classrooms would offer preschoolers access to an easy-to-use word processor, printer, software programs for print concepts, stories on CD-ROM, and interactive programs.

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