ABC…it’s easy as 1,2,3…you know you’re singing along. Oh but wait a minute, for some students it’s just not that easy. It takes multiple exposures to the letters of the alphabet to gain mastery. And yet learning the alphabet and the corresponding letter sounds is the foundation for reading. It’s SO important for kids to learn their letters and sounds early on.
I’ll be sharing a few ideas about how I teach the alphabet in my class and what types of activities I use for a variety of learners.
My students complete lots of visual discrimination activities…
Make sure students are really looking at the letters. How are they the same? How are they different? This is crucial at the beginning of the school year.
I teach the letters in their names first…
Students always seem to learn the letters in their names first, followed by the letters o and x. I think it’s because they have ownership over those letters! This is a great start to teaching letters. At the beginning of the year I write students names on sentence strips and then cut them up to create puzzles.
I teach the letter names and sounds simultaneously…
My students do practice a letter a week as review and to practice letter formation, but I do teach ALL letters and sounds from day one in class.
Students need to be exposed to letters in multiple ways…
At the beginning of the year we do tons of letter matching activities.
I also feel that it’s important to incorporate movement into our daily activities. I’ve used Zoophonics with my students for many years and have had great success with that. If you are not familiar with Zoophonics, there is an animal assigned to each letter of the alphabet along with a movement. I also teach students the ASL sign for each letter, just so they can get their bodies moving.
I try to make learning interactive and fun!
After all they are five year olds! I try to incorporate as many games as possible.
Or use a variety of hands on materials.
You can find most of the materials pictured in my newly revised A to Z Letter Recognition unit.
I just added these fun and FREE letter matching mats to my TpT store.
Click the picture above to be taken to my store to download.