Teaching letters

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Grammy Teacher, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Aug 11, 2010

    How do you work on letters? I have always had success going through the entire alphabet, one letter a week, beginning with A, but the new issues of Weekly Reader are showing ONLY lower case letters and just in random order. What do you do???
     
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  3. gigi

    gigi Groupie

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    Aug 12, 2010

    Hi Grammy! When I taught preschool I too went through the alphabet one letter a week in order. When I moved to K I did random order, i.e. C during December, Christmas, candy cane, etc. I haven't seen the new Weekly Reader yet so I didn't know they were showing only lower case.
     
  4. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Aug 12, 2010

    There are so many arguments on what is the best way to teach letters. Since my reading program starts with M, I start with M. The hard part is that the writing program starts with F.
     
  5. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    Aug 12, 2010

    We teach the letters in context from day one, which means we teach all letters all the time, you can read more about it here. I taught pre-k for 18 years, the last two years as an early childhood specialist for a public school district. All of our students are at-risk (low-income/ELL). When they are taught letters in context most learn all the letters and sounds by December and will begin to read naturally.
    Of course, there is much more to literacy development than just letters, it's a whole series of best practices; you can see an explanation of each best practice we use here.

    Teaching letters in context is research based:
    • Removing letters from their meaningful context removes the meaning and purpose from the letter.
    • Children who are taught letters in isolation have difficulty placing that information into literacy activities (Wood and McLeMore, 2001).
    • It is more meaningful to introduce letters as they become meaningful to the students.
     
  6. brejohnson88

    brejohnson88 Comrade

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    Aug 12, 2010

    We did teaching letters in random order, I dont know where we got our resource though. We used the apha tales program and it was great. However, I agree with Vanna and we should incouporate all the letters all the time instead of just only focusing on a certian letter one week or only using the letters they are familiar with so far.
     
  7. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Aug 12, 2010

    There are many ways to teach letters, as Jaime stated. I know that it works well when I teach in order, and teach all the letters all the time. I've decided to go with teaching in order, uppercase and lowercase and adding some focus on the letters introduced weekly from the new issues of Weekly Reader. Their first letter is m, which works well with Aa because we can work on phonics and spelling ""am."
     
  8. brejohnson88

    brejohnson88 Comrade

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    Aug 13, 2010

    Good luck Grammy :) I havnt decided how Im going to teach it yet :/
     
  9. gigi

    gigi Groupie

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    Aug 13, 2010

    Jamie you use Handwriting Without Tears?
     
  10. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Aug 13, 2010

    Yes Gigi and I love the program.
     
  11. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Aug 13, 2010

    The teachers in our public school here teach HWT. I like the program itself, but I don't like that they teach the kids to write their names in all caps! I teach them the "correct way."
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 13, 2010

    I suspect Weekly Reader starts with M because it's an easy sound to show and to identify: the kids can see exactly how it's made (lips together, right out front), and since it's a continuant sound rather than a stop (p, b, k, t, d, hard g are stops) it can be stretched easily so kids have time to get it.
     
  13. gigi

    gigi Groupie

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    Aug 14, 2010

    I use Handwriting Without Tears also and love it. I agree with Grammie, I also teach the children to use lowercase, only capitalize the first letter of their name. Just makes sense to me.
     
  14. Emilyrsps

    Emilyrsps Rookie

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    Sep 5, 2010

    I agree with working with all the letters all of the time. Yet, I do have a "spotlight" letter each week. I like to introduce the letters in context of what we are reading/studying! For example last week our letter "spotlight" was R. We read "The Kissing Hand" and it features a raccoon as the main character!

    Mailbox Books has an excellent resource called "Storytime from A to Z".
     
  15. gigi

    gigi Groupie

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    Sep 6, 2010

    Love that book Emily.
     
  16. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Sep 6, 2010

    I'll have to look that up.

    I teach all caps for the names to beg. with and by January most have switched themselves over to lower case.
     
  17. MorahMe

    MorahMe Habitué

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    Sep 6, 2010

    We're using McGraw Hill's Beginning to Read, Write, and Listen, so we don't go in order. I'm not sure yet how I like the program, I've never done a full year of it, as I was "let go" in the middle of the year the last school I was at that used it.
     
  18. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Sep 7, 2010

    I worked in a program that went in order, but I found myself plannig activities jsut to go with the letter that didn't necessarily have much to do with the theme we were using everywhere else. I don't generally focus on one particular letter when given the choice, but use them throughout... but when I'm focusing on one or two, I like to choose one that goes with our theme... so A during apples, P for pumpkins, H for Halloween, S for snow... etc. It seems to work better for my kids.
     

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