Monday, April 16, 2012

Preschool: Letter Lessons

Early literacy is one of my favorite things to work on with my little friends.  Since our current class ranges in ages from 2-and-a-half to 4-and-a-half, we have an equally wide range of alphabet comprehension and early reading/writing.  I was inspired to do an alphabet matching wheel by this blog posted on Pinterest:

I love that in this lesson the children identify the picture, sound out the first letter, and match it with the corresponding clothespin.  That was a little ambitious for most of my friends, however, so I modified it a little:
My version is a cardboard scrap with the capital letters on one side and the lower cases on the other.
My friends are generally well-versed in capital letters, so the most basic version of the lesson consists of simply matching the capital letters on the clothespins to the capital letter side of the board.  However, this version can be made more challenging by focusing on the lowercase side of the board or mismatching the upper and lower cases to show how capitals correspond with their lower cases.  

Since the lower case letters do not often appear with their upper case counterparts, I originally made this letter lesson for matching them up:
I was particularly proud of this lesson, as it was the first original lesson I made for this class.  I attached the cards to clothespins to work on fine motor muscle development.  Originally, the cards were pinned to a big cardboard piece, not unlike the smaller scale alphabet lesson above, except that I only put out a few letter pairs at a time since they are index card-sized, which is a little large.  This became unwieldy, and the lesson was too difficult for most of the children to complete on their own, so I'm working on a modification of the lesson presentation.  I'll repost this lesson when I've worked out the modification.  
Inspired by this post on Pinterest, I also made a huge die for letter recognition practice.  We roll the die, identify the letter and its sound, and do another practice such as think of a word that starts with the letter and act out the word, write the letter on the chalkboard, or find something in the room that starts with the letter. 

I love that link, because it allows you to make your own customized die like the sight-words die I made below:

Also pictured is a sensory break cube inspired by this one from (where else?) Pinterest:

Source: via Frances on Pinterest

The sight word die is for working with my older friends; you can see how well loved it is.  We haven't done as much work with this as I'd like; I need to introduce sight words in a format other than the die first and come back to it.  The sensory break cube is a popular one at Circle Time, though it is not directly related to teaching literacy.

We also work on a lot of fine motor muscle development to get our fingers ready for writing, but that's another post for another day!

Here's a nonsensical Kid Quote for you today:
Three-year-old, on her week-long beach trip: "I'm never going to come back but I'm coming back soon!"

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