The Block Center is where the preschoolers learn basic mathematical skills and concepts. The children learn about shapes and sizes as they are building. The Block Center is also a great area to incorporate literacy. Grasping, stacking, and carrying blocks helps children to develop eye/hand coordination. You can incorporate literacy into your Block Center by adding a variety of literacy props:
• Literacy Writing Materials to include:
o Pencils, crayons, markers, placed in small baskets.
o Paper of all shapes, sizes and colors: lined, unlined, graph, post it, notecards and rolls of adding machine paper.
o Clipboard with pencils and paper for children to draw their own blueprint.
o House plans and actual blueprints of houses or buildings. Magazines for children to look at the pictures, giving them ideas on what they would like to design.
o A great activity in the Block Area would be for the child to design their own house, make a blue print and build it from their plan.
Books about construction, building roads, machinery, trucks, should be placed in the center for the children to look at. Books can give the children ideas about what to build, beautiful pictures of trucks, tractors, and other different machinery.
• Great books to enhance your Block Area:
o How A House is Built by Gail Gibbons
o Building a House by Byron Barton
o C is For Construction: Big Trucks and Diggers From A to Z by Caterpillar
o The Construction Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta
o Tonka Construction Zone by Charles Hofer
o B is for Bulldozer: A Construction ABC by June Sobel
o Digger Man by Andrea Zimmerman
o Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by V. Burton
How To Create A High-Quality Preschool Classroom, an EBook by Sue Widney
I have been in Early Childhood Education with San Diego Unified School District since 1971. I started as a preschool teacher, and then Lead Teacher. In 1975, I was promoted to a Center Administrator until 2003 when I retired from the district. I was chairman of the Literacy Committee from 1999-2003. I helped organize and present numerous literacy workshops on topics concerning pre-literacy skills. These workshops included topics on Shared Reading, Read Aloud and Print Rich Environment. The second series of workshops involved integrating literacy throughout the program. I also trained various Early Child Development Centers teachers in a developmentally appropriate emergent literacy program. One of my sites was recognized by the San Diego Unified School District Board of Education’s Schools of Success for the successful emergent literacy program at that site. I have written an EBook called, "How To Create A High-Quality Preschool Classroom". My book is gives teachers skills and resources in developing a classroom that is developmentally appropriate and literacy based. I am very excited about the book because I am so passionate about quality education for all preschoolers.