What is it?

Concepts of print is the foundational knowledge about the way print works in our environment, more specifically, the way print operates within books. This knowledge is not innate and is only learned when a child begins to interact with print in their environment. More recently, researchers have found that educators should “view the child as learning continuously about reading from the first exposure to print as an infant” (McKenna and Stahl, 2009 p. 75). Concepts of print include directionality, concept of word, the Alphabetic Principle, concept of story, and basic skills such as turning the page from left to right and holding a book right side up, with the spine to the left.

Directionality: knowledge that we read words from left to right, top to bottom. We also use the “return sweep” which is when we approach the end of a line, we start the next line down at the left of the page.

Concept of word: knowledge that there is space between words, words have a beginning and an end and have first letters, middle letters, and end letters.

Alphabetic Principle: the knowledge that a word is comprised of letters, and each letter(s) represents a sound when we say that word. In addition, it is the knowledge that different combinations of letters make different words.

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