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Literacy and Mathematics

The development of early literacy is fostered through active engagement as children develop an understanding of how oral and written language support communication. Children develop language when they are provided opportunities to communicate their thinking, feelings and experiences; develop relationships with peers and adults; and when encouraged to explore their natural curiosities. Authentic opportunities to develop literacy are present in everyday activities such as playing, reading, storytelling, grocery shopping, attending to environmental print, and through dialogue. Providing children with relevant and engaging literacy experiences promote language development and positive attitudes towards language learning.

  • The main goals of English language arts education are to prepare students to:
    use oral language to communicate thoughts, feelings, experiences, ideas, opinions, values, beliefs, tradition and stories 
  • use reading and visual media (television, advertising, symbols, drama, drawings, sculptures and paintings) to access ideas, views and experiences of others
  • communicate thinking and knowledge through writing text and creating visual media
    (television, advertising, symbols, drama, drawings, sculptures and paintings)
  • commit themselves to lifelong learning and develop a love of language 
  • develop a greater world view while building intercultural awareness
  • become language literate adults, using the English language to contribute to society 

Alberta. Alberta Learning. Alberta Program of Studies for English Language Arts K-9. Edmonton: Alberta Education, 2000. Print. 

In Early Learning, we continually work towards meeting the important goals of English language arts education by providing opportunities for children to develop literacy in all aspects of the PreK / K program. Literacy development does not happen in isolation but through play, inquiry, routines, and authentic relationships children learn how to use language to make sense of their world.


Take advantage of every day opportunities to read, write and speak with your child:

  • Read and reread new and familiar, books with your child
  • Draw attention to familiar everyday printed words on packaging (eg. milk)
  • Make a shopping list together (eg. “What sound do you hear at the beginning or apple?”)
  • Notice letters on a walk (eg. “Looks at the S-T-O-P sign. What does it say?”)
  • Play “I Spy” (eg. “I spy a vegetable that starts with …..”)
  • Play rhyming games (eg. “Do you know a word that rhymes with bat?”)
  • Sing rhyming songs or rhymes (eg. Down by the Bay)
  • Write out your child’s story and reread it together
  • Encourage your child to draw and/or write their ideas
  • Look at family photos and retell the “story”
  • Talk with your child
  • Play with your child

Trehearne, M. (2000). Nelson Language Arts. [Scarborough, Ont.]: Nelson Thomson Learning.

Young children are naturally curious and develop a variety of mathematical ideas before they enter Kindergarten. Children make sense of their environment through observations and  interactions at home, in daycares, in preschools and in the community. Mathematics learning is embedded in everyday activities, such as playing, reading, beading, baking, storytelling and helping around the home. Activities can contribute to the development of number and spatial sense in children. Curiosity about mathematics is fostered when children are engaged in, and talking about, such activities as comparing quantities, searching for patterns, sorting objects,
ordering objects, creating designs and building with blocks. Positive early experiences in mathematics are as critical to child development as are early literacy experiences.

Alberta. Alberta Education. Alberta Program of Studies for Mathematics K-9. Edmonton: Alberta Education, 2007, Updated 2016. Print. 

The main goals of mathematics education are to prepare students to:

  • use mathematics to interpret our world
  • use mathematics to confidently to solve problems
  • use qualitative information (information that can be measured and expressed as an amount) to solve problems
  • use spatial information (information referring to the physical relationship between objects or people) to solve problems
  • communicate and reason mathematically
  • appreciate and value mathematics
  • commit themselves to lifelong learning
  • become mathematically literate adults, using mathematics to contribute to society

In Early Learning, we work towards meeting the important goals of mathematics education through allowing children to explore mathematical ideas in play and daily activities in the classroom. To ensure that children experience rich mathematics experiences, mathematics outcomes are connected to a variety of other subject areas. As such, children will have sustained periods of time where they participate in play that supports the development of mathematical concepts of spatial relationships, patterns, data analysis, logical reasoning, number, and operations – all supporting the development of numeracy


Let your child know that all students can be successful in mathematics. Take advantage of situations where math is used in real life:

  • Allow your child opportunities to sort at home – sorting cutlery or socks allows children the opportunity to focus on attributes
  • Allow your child to sequence their day. What will happen first? Second?
  • Ask your child what patterns they notice in the home
  • Talk to your child about money. Allow them to touch and use money. 

Ask your children to explain their thinking in mathematical situations.

  • Ask your child how they know for sure
  • Ask your child for different ways to solve the same problem
  • Ask your child to show their thinking

Discuss with your child how you use mathematics in daily life. Talk to your child about how mathematics is used in the world, in different careers and around the home.