HELP! Twins and alphabet!

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Teach'em, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. Teach'em

    Teach'em Companion

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    Apr 28, 2012

    Hi! I have a set of twins in my class this year. They are a boy and a girl and are very "street smart". They have common sense, can remember anything you tell them if they're interested in it, etc. I cannot, however get them to learn their letters! Both of them know very few letters (5 or less)...most of my students know 80-100% of all their letters now. I work with them one-on-one, together, small group, and whole group. Someone told me that twins learn slower than other children...is this true? I know it's not true for all, but do the majority of twins tend to learn slower? Also, they are the youngest students in my class (they turned 4 after school started, where the rest of my students were already 4).

    Thanks for any advice to help these little ones learn their letters!
     
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  3. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Apr 29, 2012

    I have written volumes on children and development as it relates to learning. I suggest you take a look at some of the old threads. In summary, PS children are not usually able to internalize abstract concepts. I base my curriculum upon the developmental levels that Piaget lists.
     
  4. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Apr 29, 2012

    Well, I would say that twins do not learn slower, at all. However, they may be somewhat developmentally behind their same age peers because of prematurity. If their ages are adjusted, I would guess they are at a similar level. My twins are 22 months old, my son knows the name of all of his letters, can identify numbers, and counts to 17. My daughter knows the name of 5 letters and is really amazing with spatial awareness. I would guess the twins in your class are just not ready to learn the letters and I would back off of it and not be too concerned. Play into their strengths and see where their interests lead.
     
  5. Teach'em

    Teach'em Companion

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    Apr 29, 2012

    Developmentally ready, or not, my district pushes for each pre-school student to know 26 of the 52 letters (upper and/or lowercase).

    I agree that they are not developmentally ready, but, of course the ones making the rules have no experience in education...much less pre-school!
     
  6. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Apr 29, 2012

    I would say that twins are not "learning slower" they are learning differently. They have many more opportunities than single children to learn the soico emotion lessons that any kindergarten would WISH the children were adept at, but the same kinder rooms forget to request that these skills take the fore ground in a skills inventory. I hear Blue's pain that the children may just not be ready. I hear your pain that the district isn't asking if they are ready...only that they learn.

    Perhaps there is a way to create false importance of the concept of letters for these two children among themselves. If you could get the letters into their little world they would teach it to themselves....much as they have taught themselves the street smart topics.

    Make a game out of it....a game you hope those two can play independently at home ...sans equipment.

    In the end though....please do not think the fault lies with these two. They are learning, they are learning a lot....they just aren't interested in learning the items that are listed on the inventory. Without losing your job....try to advocate for their successes....not make excuses for their perceived failure. The fault lies in the district....there are many more years of research for the sort of learning the twins are engaged in than there is for the high stakes testing induced checklists that your district is mandating.

    In the end....one must realize that no one can force a child to learn the alphabet....even if the district says to. By building the false importance of the alphabet into the inner world of these two they can help each other learn over the summer.

    Something like a journal that only they use to write to each other ....but other children write to their parents. Then they can tell secrets and/or try to convince mom to take them to WalMart rather than Safeway so they can ask for a toy....or something THEY will think is important enough to use the letters. See.....their little society has already functioned just fine without the grown up conventions of letters. We see they will need it....but they don't. Make it cool for THEM to use the letters WITHIN their little society.
     
  7. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Apr 29, 2012

    My sister refused to learn her ABC's until my dad made a game of it. He made flashcards with people that were in her life to teach them to her...A is for Aunt Ann, B is for Barney, C is for Craig...you get it. She learned them in no time. Then he did the same thing with sight words. He used them in silly sentences about those people. Aunt Ann ate five large pizzas. Five would have been the sight word. She learned 250 words before kindergarten. This was the same little girl that wouldn't learn her ABC's. She did it in less than a month. The sillier the sentence, the faster she learned it.
     
  8. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Apr 29, 2012

    Onr of the things Marie Clay says to help with kids that are seriously struggling with letters is to "overteach" the first few letters they are learning. Show them the same letters in lots of fonts and only repeat the same letters for an extended amount of time. Try tracing them in sand, skywriting in the air, do a letter hunt (like a word search, but with just letters), hide the letters around the room, writing them on sand paper, raingbow write, etc... until they know those letters backwards and forwards, then add just one or two and make sure they don't look too similar.
     
  9. Teach'em

    Teach'em Companion

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    Apr 30, 2012

    Thanks for the insight/tips, everyone! It's hard finding the right balance to keep them interested, engaged, and eager to learn without causing them to become frustrated. I know at some point it will all "click" for them. We are a centers-based program, so they are surrounded by letters everywhere they go. I love the idea of relating the letters to them specifically and people in their lives...that sounds like something they would love!
     
  10. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Apr 30, 2012

    My mom took a polariod camera and took pictures of objects and things that meant something to her...that was before digital...now it would be easier...start with classmates and teachers. Those can be used by other children...then maybe cartoon characters and book characters.
     

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