MILROY - Milroy pre-schoolers think it's just fun and games, but they are actually learning while they play in the literacy centers.
The four- and five-year-olds scatter to various centers, giving teacher Melissa Lyngen time to work with kids one-on-one. She's used the centers both of the years she's taught at Milroy.
A big tub is filled with "grass" and plastic toy crabs.
Photo by Jodelle Greiner
Kyra Carrasco, left, and Bella Brand make entries in their journals at a literacy center for preschoolers at Milroy Public School. Other literacy centers include online computer games, Letter Go Fish, and digging for plastic crabs in a tub of “grass.”
"Each crab has a letter they can find," Lyngen said.
This game is a favorite of Alec Zwach and Amber Hensch.
"Because you have to dig in the grass to find crabs," said Zwach.
"You have to find them and (can) play with them if you want," Hensch said.
The kids can use two computers to play Dr. Seuss' ABC or Starfall, an online game that "helps them learn letters and sounds," Lyngen said.
Some kids sit at a table playing Letter Go Fish. Instead of a regular deck of cards, the kids have laminated pieces of construction paper, each with a different letter, and it's played just like regular Go Fish, where they ask each other for a letter and have to pick up a card if the other player doesn't have it.
Jocelyn Jenniges likes this game best.
"We go around in a circle and we get to choose what people we want," she said.
Journaling takes place at another table.
"They draw pictures, draw letters, a few can write words by sounding them out," Lyngen said. "They come up and tell me what's in it so I can write a description of it and write a date.
"Books we always have as a center," Lyngen said. "They make up stories or look at the pictures."
In addition to the kids having fun and learning letters, "we want them to learn cooperation, and social interaction," Lyngen said. "Responsibility for themselves to decide which center to go to. They can't always ask me what's going on.
"I personally think it's good for most ages," said Lyngen.