Summer Book Study: Concepts Of Print

I am excited to about our summer book study with our friend Abby from Kindergarten Chaos. The summer book study has become a tradition for us. We love going on this journey together and learning and growing so we can be the best teachers possible. Since this journey focuses on teaching reading and will include much about the science of reading (SOR), this will be a JUDGEMENT FREE journey. No shaming. Just teachers learning together!

Our book this summer is Know Better, Do Better. We chose this book because it focuses on the foundations of reading so it seemed like the perfect book for summer!

Chapter 2: Concepts Of Print

Here are my takeaways from chapter 2:

One of the things that this chapter taught me is that we can’t take concepts of print for granted. I think we do a really good job with concepts of print at the beginning of the year but I know I tend to slack off as the year progresses. Another thing this chapter highlighted for me was that concepts of print aren’t just the front cover, back cover, and author and illustrator. There are so many more things we can be teaching with concepts of print!

One of the things that really struck me was the story of the student at the beginning of the chapter. How many of our students have never held a book? I think we would be surprised if we knew the true answer. I loved the teacher’s response: she started using the think-aloud/modeling approach to concepts of print. She TALKED about pages, turning left to right, and that the object was a book. I will definitely be much more explicit about these types of think-alouds when we’re reading books.

Here is some additional and powerful research about the importance of concepts of print:

A strong foundation in early literacy skills including direct instruction in Concepts of Print can ensure reading success in later years. (C.Johnson, 2015). Early-onset of Concepts of Print skills correlated to stronger reading ability in later years. Tizard (1988) stated that CoP awareness at the age of 4 was a strong predictor of reading achievement at ages 7 and 11.

What are concepts of print?

Concepts of print include:

  • how to hold a book
  • front and back cover
  • title
  • author/illustrator
  • page numbers (although so many books don’t have them and the curriculums say “look at page…” but there’s no number. So annoying LOL)
  • we read top to bottom, left to right
  • tracking print left to right
  • capital letters, punctuation
  • how to read punctuation (full stop and breath for a period, etc)
  • vocabulary
  • text structure

And so many more.

How to teach concepts of print

We’ve already discussed the importance of think-alouds. Another way that we reinforce tracking of print and directionality is in our daily morning message. We use this daily practice to talk about reading top to bottom and left to right.

This video of our morning meeting shows this in action (the message part begins about 6 minutes into the video).

Another concepts of print lesson is identifying words, numbers, sentences, letters, etc.

Here are some other ideas:

  • use sticky notes to label the parts of the book, author, illustrator, etc
  • have students write and draw and share about their writing
  • Read a shared reading book or poem daily and track the print! We do this every day in our classroom! We have free books and poems you can download here:

Now we want to hear your thoughts on concepts of print! Leave your thoughts in the comments and join us on Facebook for even more discussions!

To teach concepts of print, we use our Read It Up creations!

For more information, check out these posts:

Make sure to visit Kindergarten Chaos and read Abby’s thoughts on chapter 2!

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