Ladders to Literacy: A Kindergarten Activity Book / Edition 2

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Help the children in your school or district become successful early readers with the second edition of this field-tested, activity-based curriculum, an effective way to supplement children's instruction without giving up current language arts programming. This book gives teachers more than 60 culturally sensitive, developmentally appropriate activities that were tested for 10 years under research and practical conditions. Activities are organized into three sections emphasizing key elements of reading success: print awareness, metalinguistic skills, and oral language skills. Modifications are included for children with disabilities, and the early literacy activities for children and parents help strengthen the home–school literacy link.

Revised in response to ongoing field testing and research, the new edition of this popular activity book retains the first edition's focus on preacademic language and literacy skills and gives teachers practical updates and timely new material. Teachers will get

  • a new, two-part literacy assessment

  • a sample record sheet for tracking children's progress

  • 11 new activities

  • more explicit teaching instructions

  • helpful Tips for Teachers

  • updated research

With the fun, proven activities in this book, kindergarten teachers will equip children with the emergent literacy skills they'll need to succeed in school.

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Editorial Reviews

Laura Justice

"An exemplary resource for guiding high-quality literacy instruction in kindergarten programs. It provides a theoretically sound, scientifically based, and comprehensive approach to differentiate literacy instruction for general learners as well as those who are struggling."
Professor of Literacy, Rutgers University - Lesley M. Morrow
"Kindergarten teachers are always looking for excellent ideas for their programs. [In] the second edition of Ladders to Literacy . . . both new and experienced teachers will find a wealth of material to draw on that will be productive for their children as well as enjoyable."
Director, Texas Center for Reading and Language Arts, The University of Texas, Austin - Sharon Vaughn
"An essential resource for teachers with activities that allow them to create ladders to success for all of their students . . . This book is worn from use in the classrooms of teachers with whom I work."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557668325
  • Publisher: Brookes Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/1/2005
  • Format: Spiral Bound
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 337
  • Sales rank: 1,527,874
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Rollanda E. O'Connor, Ph.D., is a reading specialist and an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh and has a doctoral degree in special education from the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. O'Connor taught reading in special and general education classrooms for 16 years, directed an in-service consortium for general and special educators on strategies for educating children with disabilities in general education classes, and conducted research to develop literacy skills for young children with disabilities. Dr. O'Connor's research has focused on two themes: the feasibility and effectiveness of incorporating phonological awareness instruction into programs for children at risk for reading difficulties in general education classes and factors that influence accessibility of reading instruction. She has taught teachers to use activities designed to improve the reading development of their children during large- and small-group instruction. The factors identified in these studies have been incorporated in the activities in Ladders to Literacy.

Angela Notari Syverson, Ph.D., is Senior Researcher at the Washington Research Institute in Seattle. Her work focuses on early literacy and language assessment and intervention. She has authored books and journal publications in these areas and is co-author of Ladders to Literacy: A Preschool Activity Book (Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., 1998), an early literacy curriculum developed for use in inclusive education environments. Dr. Notari Syverson's educational background includes degrees in psychology and communication disorders from the University of Geneva, Switzerland, and a doctorate in early childhood special education from the University of Oregon in Eugene. Her professional experience involves working with children who have a variety of communication disorders and developmental delays and their families both in the United States of America and in Switzerland. She has directed federal research, demonstration, and training projects in the area of early language and literacy at the Washington Research Institute and the University of Washington, Seattle. Dr. Notari-Syverson's current research interests are adult–child interactions, assessment, and intervention in multicultural and multilinguistic contexts. She has lived and worked in different countries and is fluent in three languages.

Patricia Vadasy, Ph.D., is Senior Researcher at Washington Research Institute in Seattle, Washington, where she conducts research on early reading instruction. She is most interested in research that may help children at risk for reading disabilities and children who are English language learners. Patricia and her colleagues have developed programs that paraeducator tutors can effectively use to supplement reading instruction for beginning readers.

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Read an Excerpt

Excerpted from Chapter 3 of Ladders to Literacy: A Kindergarten Activity Book, Second Edition, by Rollanda E. O'Connor, Ph.D., Angela Notari-Syverson, Ph.D., & Patricia F. Vadasy, Ph.D.

Copyright © 2005 by Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

The collection of activities in Ladders to Literacy is intended to provide the grist for developing concepts about literacy and preparing for reading and writing instruction in ways that are developmentally appropriate and sensitive to the diversity in kindergarten classrooms. By promoting abilities known to influence later reading development (e.g., phonemic awareness, letter knowledge), we can increase the likelihood that children will experience a successful transition to first grade and beyond. Within each of the sections to follow, activities have been sequenced loosely by difficulty, with the easiest activities listed first. It is not necessary to complete all of the activities in one area before proceeding to another; rather, activities can be selected to enhance ongoing classroom routines and special events. Moreover, combining activities across areas can strengthen children's understanding of linkages between spoken and written language. Because the three areas are interrelated, teachers will want to include activities across areas in their daily and weekly planning.


Although the activities lend themselves to teaching a range of early literacy and language skills, each activity has been assigned to one primary area: print awareness, phonological awareness, or oral language. Given the range of ages and abilities in inclusive and special education settings, teachers often need to address multiple educational goals within a single activity. Within the primary area (e.g., print awareness), we provide recommendations for how children with different needs can be taught concepts and behaviors that are appropriate to their individual levels. For each level of support, we suggest teaching strategies to facilitate these individual goals.


Each activity includes a main purpose statement with a list of behaviors the activity facilitates, a description of the activity materials and procedures, related behaviors and concepts, suggestions for specific child objectives or levels of participation and adult assistance for achieving these objectives, adaptations for specific disabilities or special needs, and ideas for home activities and parent involvement. Each is described in more detail next.

Main Purpose

The main purpose describes the major goals of the activity and how these goals promote the use of literacy and language.

Materials and Description of the Activity

Suggestions are provided for organizing materials, setting up the activity, and encouraging children to participate.

Adult–Child Interactive Behaviors

The Adult–Child Interactive Behaviors section describes how having adults and children participate in the same activity helps children who are functioning at different levels learn new concepts and behaviors that are appropriate to their individual needs and characteristics. The level of demand is followed by the behaviors that the adult can expect to elicit from a child with advanced skills (high demand), average skills (medium demand), or low skills (low demand). The more the adult can ask of the child reasonably (the higher the demand), the less support (scaffolding) the child typically needs, although children will need varying levels of adult assistance across different tasks and activities. As a result, levels of demand may vary from one activity to another (high to low for the purposes of this book). For each level of task demand, we suggest specific faci

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Table of Contents

About the Authors
Foreword Joseph R. Jenkins

I: Theoretical Framework for Early Literacy

  1. The Development of Early Literacy
  2. The Role of Scaffolding
  3. Implementing Ladders to Literacy
  4. Measuring Early Literacy Skills
II: Print Awareness
Shared Storybook Reading with Finger Pointing
Snack/Lunch/Treat Menu
Letters and Sounds
Following Recipes
Morning/Afternoon Message and News
I Found . . .
Fill in the Blanks
Making Books
Cumulative Letter Knowledge
Sorting Objects
Pocket Children
Science Projects
Long Jump
Writing Words
My First Journal
Classroom Post Office
Landscapes and Maps
Bend It Back
The Transition to Reading Words
Segment-to-SpellIII: Phonological Awareness
Rhythmic Activities
Listening to Songs
Clap the Syllables
Sound Isolation
Blending Stretched Sounds
Nursery Rhymes
Rhyming Pictures
Rhyming Triplets
Stop on a First Sound—Stretched Segmenting
Stop on a First Sound—Iteration
Pretend Play with Miniature Toys
First Sound Song
Guess the Word (Blending)
I'm Thinking of a...(Blending by Category)
Word to Word Matching Game: First Sound/Last Sound
Sing a First Sound
First Sound and Last Sound Bingo
Segmenting with Onset-Rime Boxes
Stop on a Last Sound
Segmenting into Three Phonemes
Where Is It?
Onset-Rime with First LetterIV: Oral Language
Show and Tell
Food Talk
Power Words
Enacting Storybooks
What Did You Hear?
Feeling Objects
From This to That
Treasure Boxes
Book Review/Story Grammar
Book Buddy
Movie Reviews
Foreign Languages: Let's Say it Another Way!
Special Words
My Dream
Let's Find Out! Bibliography
Appendix A: Blank Forms
Appendix B: Early Literacy Activities for Children and Parents & Parents' Guide to Literacy Activities
Appendix C: Glossary
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