Six Skills of Early Literacy with Miss Tricia

Posted on our Social Media, every Wednesday morning in September at 10:30 AM

Skill #1: Letter Knowledge

Our first video in the series talks about letter knowledge and how to practice the skill at home! To view the resources mentioned, visit

Letter knowledge is knowing that the same letter can look different, as well as knowing that each letter makes a sound. When putting the letter sounds together, children are able to “sound out” the full word. This is a foundational skill needed for reading full words and sentences.

Skill #2: Vocabulary

Our second video in the series talks about vocabulary and how to practice the skill at home! To view the resources mentioned, visit

Vocabulary can be described in its most basic sense as “learning new words.” Words and their meanings are a foundation for literacy development and reading comprehension. It’s kind of like the old adage, “You have to learn to walk before you can run.”

Skill #3: Phonological Awareness

Our third video in the series talks about phonological awareness and how to practice the skill at home! To view the resources mentioned, visit

Phonological awareness is the awareness of speech sounds, such as rhyming and syllables.

Skill #4: Print Motivation and Print Awareness

Our fourth video in the series talks about print motivation & print awareness, and how to practice these skills at home! To view resources mentioned, visit

Print motivation is a child's interest in and enjoyment of books and reading. Print awareness is the understanding that print and oral language carries meaning.

Sphero BOLT Lending Kits

Sphero BOLT is an educational robot ball designed for ages 8 and up. The robot works in conjunction with the free Sphero Edu app, where you can drive the robot, create programs, and even write your own code.

We’re excited to offer Sphero BOLT kits for checkout at Winona Public Library! Here’s what you’ll find in each kit:

♦  A quick-start guide
♦  A Sphero BOLT robot
♦  A charging cradle and USB charging cord -- USB wall adapter not included
♦  A protractor
♦  A silicone sleeve for the robot

Are you interested in checking out a BOLT kit? Fill out this request form, and we will contact you. Checkout time is four weeks, with no renewals allowed. Limit one kit per household.

These kits are available as part of Tecreation @ WPL, a new makerspace program made possible with funding from a grant from the Minnesota Department of Education using federal funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Library Services and Technology Act [LS 00-20-0024-20].

We are looking forward to hosting in-person Tecreation programs in the future, and we’re committed to bringing these experiences to youth across Winona. Stay tuned!

About Sphero Edu

♦  For more information about using Sphero BOLT at home, check out Sphero’s At-Home Guide.

♦  You can find examples of coding activities on the Sphero Edu website, or by downloading the Sphero Edu app on your device. There are activities for a wide range of skill levels, so if you’re at all interested, go ahead and request a kit!
♦  Check your device’s compatibility with Sphero Edu before requesting. The robot type is Sphero Bolt 2018.

Robot care tips

If you check out a kit, you are responsible for any lost or damaged parts. The robot is designed for use by kids, but be nice to it! Here are some dos and don’ts:

♦  Take care of the robot for the next person. Don’t throw, drop, or kick the robot, and don’t try to take the robot apart.

♦  Keep the robot in sight when you are using it. We don’t want it to get lost or damaged.

♦  Use the robot indoors only. It works best on surfaces that are mostly smooth and flat. If you’re using it on a shiny floor, you may want to use the silicone sleeve so the robot can get traction.

♦  If the robot gets dirty, wipe it clean with soapy water. Do not use harsh chemicals on the robot.

♦  When you are finished charging the robot, take it off the charger. Disconnect the charger when you are not using it.

♦  If the robot breaks, contact the library right away. Email us at, or call youth services at 452-4592.