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Print Awareness Chapter 3

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Print Awareness
Chapter 3
Amber Van Vooren
What is Print Awareness?
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A student with print awareness understands and knows
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Elements of print awareness include
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the forms and functions of print
that print is a type of communication
printed words stand for spoken words
Functions of print (i.e. print is used for different purposes)
Conventions of print (i.e. text is read from left to right)
Book conventions (i.e. books have a title and an author)
Print awareness is “a child’s earliest introduction to
literacy”
Why teach/be mindful of print
awareness?
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Print awareness is the foundation of a student’s reading
and writing ability. Without it, he/she is less likely to
become a successful reader.
Generally print awareness does not develop on its own. It
emerges through the guidance of an adult who regularly
points out conventions and features of print.
A child’s awareness of print has been used to predict
his/her future success in all areas of reading.
When to focus on Print
Awareness
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Generally these skills are learned in preschool and
kindergarten. It is essential that during these years, print
awareness is taught explicitly and is a main goal of
curriculum.
Formally assess print awareness during kindergarten three
times a year (fall, winter, spring).
Informally assess students in kindergarten during
instruction to determine students who may need added
instruction.
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Increase the introduction of print awareness skills for advanced
students.
Decrease the pace for struggling students. Increase instructional
time and monitor closely within the first 6 months of school.
How to Teach and Assess Print
Awareness
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How to teach
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Use print referencing: using
verbal and nonverbal cues
to direct a student’s
attention to conventions of
print
Use big books or other
books where print is a main
feature
Explicitly point out the
references you are teaching.
Teach only 3-5 references
during one lesson to ensure
student enjoyment of text.
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How to assess
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Use formal screening or
diagnostic tests
Informally assess through
observation
Informally assess by asking
students to point to or show
aspects such as parts of a
book, where to start
reading, a word and a space,
and how many words in a
sentence.
Assess in a quiet,
comfortable environment.
Some things to Keep in Mind
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How to promote print
awareness
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Create a print-rich
environment
Provide plenty of readaloud experiences
Use print-referencing
cues in shared storybook
reading
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Components of a print
awareness lesson
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Talking about books (ex.
cover, title, author,
illustrator)
Text Directionality
Concept of a word
Continuous questioning
to ensure students
understanding of the
references/concept taught
Conclusion
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Print awareness is a critical skill in developing a
student’s reading abilities.
Since it does not develop on its own, print
awareness needs to be an essential part of earlyliteracy instruction.
Provide verbal and nonverbal cues to direct
students’ attention to conventions of print.
Provide a print rich environment that exposes
students to various types and uses of print.
Read aloud and involve your students in
discussions about print concepts.
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