Getting started on creating a print rich environment in your preschool classroom

Promote literacy in your classroom with a print rich environment

After you have been around the field of early childhood education for a time you will start to hear the words print rich environment. A print rich environment can be simply defined as a classroom where by young children are given many different opportunities to interact with many different forms of print. One way, among many, to introduce preschoolers to the reading and writing process is by giving them many opportunities to view print at home or at school in ways that are meaningful to them.

Using Labels

In this classroom, the teacher has created simple labels to identify furniture and other items that the children use in their daily routine.

You will notice that each of the words are in lower case letters. Since the words stand alone and are not a part of a sentence, we want to present the word in lower case form.

As children interact with the materials, furniture, and each other in the classroom, they will see the printed words often. By having the words placed strategically next to or on an item that the word represents, children will be given greater opportunity to associate the words to the objects.

Displaying Names of Children

Another important part of creating the print rich environment, is to display the names of each child. Notice that because a name is a formal word, the first letter is now capitalized and all other letters are in lower case.

More ways to Build a Print Rich Environment

Placing words on bulletin boards is another way to build a print rich environment. Words that are used as titles, names, days of the week, months of the year, and so forth should start with a capital letter followed by lower case letters.

Posters are another way to add to your print rich environment.

Placing Words at Eye Level

Where possible, try to place the words on objects that children use and interact with frequently and keep the words at the child’s eye level. But do not over label – a label on every chair, toy, book, or corner in your classroom is not necessary.

Other Tips

A print rich environment has many components and can be built a little at a time. To learn more about what else you can do to promote literacy in your classroom, you may enjoy reading this article!

Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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