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Supporting Children's Literacy Development Through Teacher-Facilitated Play

Sun, April 11, 2:30 to 4:00pm EDT (2:30 to 4:00pm EDT), SIG Sessions, SIG-Early Education and Child Development Paper and Symposium Sessions


Contemporary kindergarten programs endorse play-based pedagogy to support children’s academic learning. While research specifically recommends teacher-facilitated play to promote literacy, educators remain uncertain how to collaborate with children to guide play towards explicit academic goals. Therefore, the current study sought to identify and examine how educators are successfully supporting kindergarten children’s literacy learning through teacher-facilitated play. Observational and interview data from 31 kindergarten classrooms revealed four main approaches by which educators and children leveraged literacy learning in play. Each approach varies by degree of teacher-facilitation as well as the focus and breadth of literacy instruction. Results illustrate a range of classroom practices and discuss opportunities for educators to support early literacy development through a spectrum of teacher-facilitated play.