Monthly in-depth, dynamic, ethnographic video recordings of preschool teaching practices were gathered in state-funded preschool programs in Michigan. We identified and coded teaching practices used by lead teachers during three parts of the daily routine using the Essential Instructional Practices in Early Literacy - Prekindergarten (MAISA-GELN, 2016). Using a mixed methods approach, the findings indicate that morning message time may be one of the most literacy rich times of the day. Preschool teachers engaged in literacy promoting strategies more during morning message time than even during small group time or read alouds. Co-occurrences of literacy strategies were also found most often when teachers engaged in activities around letter names/sounds/letter formation and having extended conversation with children. Teachers however, spent very little time devoted to interacting with children around writing activities or playing with sounds inside of words.
Jill Claxton works as the Director of Evaluation for the Research, Evaluation and Development Department (RED) at the HighScope Educational Research Foundation. Her professional interests include early childhood program assessment, observational assessment of child development and technology use with young children. Her email address is .
Tomoko Wakabayashi is a faculty member in the Human Development and Child Studies Department at Oakland University. Her professional interests include identifying early learning factors related to school readiness and success, educational equity, and trauma-informed environments and practices. Her email address is .
Dr. Katherine Homant is a Lecturer in the Human Development and Child Studies Department at Oakland University. She is interested in early literacy practices in GSRP programs, parent-child interactions, and kindergarten readiness. She can be reached at .
Beth Hardin works as a Project Coordinator in the Research, Evaluation and Development Department (RED) at the HighScope Educational Research Foundation. Her professional interests include early childhood adult-child interactions and learning environments. Her email address is .
Dr. Shun Takai is an Associate Professor and Interim Chair of the Department of Engineering Technology at Northern Illinois University. He is interested in product life-cycle engineering that involves customer needs analysis using hierarchical clustering and concurrent design of product, process, and production. He can be reached at .
Claxton, Jill B.; Wakabayashi, Tomoko; Homant, Katherine; Hardin, Beth; and Takai, Shun
"The Magic of the Morning Message: Literacy Strategies Used in Preschool Classrooms,"
Michigan Reading Journal: Vol. 54:
3, Article 7.