they don't know letters!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by aek471, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. aek471

    aek471 Rookie

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    Sep 26, 2007

    This might be a question for all the special education teachers out there! I have a few students in my classroom who do not know their letters. No matter how many times we go over them and how many times I show them, they just don't seem to remember. Any tips on getting kids to recognize and remember letters? We're moving on quickly to letter sounds and sight words and these kids are getting left behind. Any ideas for activities and/or games would be very helpful! Thanks!
     
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  3. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    Sep 26, 2007

    I have the same problem. I have one student who knows now 5 letters (not sounds), and two others that know most. I have been printing off the alphabet books and chants from readinga-z. You have to be a member to use it. :( He reads the book with me (a large amount of picture clues with words that begin with the specific letter). He reads it to a partner, and then takes it home. The alphabet chant is a cute chant using the letter. He colors the target letter on the paper.
    I have not yet, but want to make a cd with the names of the letters on it using the free program, audacity. This way he can just listen to a track with names of letters while fliping through his ring of cards.
    He learns two letters a week. I have started with the letters in his name because he is the most familiar with them.
    For centers (his are completely differentiated because the other work is too challenging), he makes a tactile letter. He adds feathers, beads etc. overtop the letter on a piece of paper.
    We also have a LOT of leap pad reading materials in our school. (from a grant) The giant pad has the alphabet. When you press a letter it says the letter outloud to you. You can even type in 3 letter words and it will read the word to you. He practices sight words this way. He is still on the first 5 sight words but practices until mastery. There is also a leap pad desk, that you actually have to press the letters and "write" it on a section. I haven't used it yet, but I think it will work well!

    Words of advice- make sure you make them trace the letters, write them on paper, write in air. SAY them , tell you the sound and have a lot of practice and exposure. Identifying the letters in a poem etc/ can be done independently, using the leap pads can as well.
    I hope this helps! I have been racking my brain since day one as well!!!!!!!
     
  4. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    Sep 26, 2007

    also.... I was an ABA therapist in college (working with kids with autism) There is an ABA technique called discrete trials... I think that is what it is called.

    You will introduce a letter card. (Ex: g)
    Say, "touch g"
    repeat 3 times (then mastery)
    introduce a distractor letter (ex: h)
    Say, "touch g"
    move cards in a different order
    Say "touch g"
    etc. You keep doing this until you have mastery of all letters. You shouldn't put more that 2 distractors out at a time.
    This is another thing to try... but you might want them to say the letter as they touch it or trace and say it when they touch it.
     
  5. aek471

    aek471 Rookie

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    Sep 26, 2007

    Thank you so much! I will definitely use some of your suggestions. Much appreciated!
     
  6. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Sep 26, 2007

    I'm not in kinder all day so I'm not completely sure how it is all being done. But from what I see, the teacher introduces the letter throughout the day, touching and saying, then at handwriting time, shows them how to write the letter, forms it with blocks (handwriting for tears) and has the child keep practicing it. We review previous letters each day both verbally and in handwriting. Books are introduced and words are pointed out. As more letters are introduced, they are able to take on more skills with them. There may need to be more steps than that since my students are not phonetic learners.
     
  7. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Sep 26, 2007

    What grade is this?

    I have second grade and this year most of my kids know the alphabet. Last year though, I had four who did not know all the letters and sounds. I had to work with small groups on the alphabet before getting into word attack and comprehension skills.
     
  8. Buttons

    Buttons Rookie

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    Sep 26, 2007

    Look up Letterland. Its a program from the UK that teaches letters and letter sounds by relating them to characters. For example, c is "Clever Cat." To make her letter you pet her head and around to her chin. It also has a lot of cute explanations for r controlled vowels, and diagraphs that kids can use as mneumonic devices. My first graders love it. :3)
     
  9. aek471

    aek471 Rookie

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    Sep 27, 2007

    This is first grade.
     
  10. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 27, 2007

    How did they not get retained in kinder or first without knowing sounds let alone letters. By 2nd grade, they should be reading.
     
  11. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Sep 27, 2007

    Amen!

    I have no idea how, but it happens every year.
     
  12. aek471

    aek471 Rookie

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    Sep 27, 2007

    Unfortunately one of these kids was retained in 1st! He's a repeat, and the kindergarten teacher tried to fail another one, but the administration made her go on to 1st. Gee thanks!
     
  13. lovetoteach1/2

    lovetoteach1/2 Rookie

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    Sep 27, 2007

    I too have students in first and second grade who do not know their letter sounds, let alone read, when they arrive in my class. Some have never been to school. Also we have a large student "turn over"
    Like the posts above, the more of the 5 senses you can use the better.
    Squirt non scented (A MUST...NO SMELL) shaving cream in a pile on the table, have them spread it so it's still 1/2-1/4" thick. Say, "give me a "s", and have them write that letter in the shaving cream, "give me an "a" etc. Add a little water to make a very clean desk top. (you will need many paper towels for this, but the kids love it)
    Do it with pudding on a hard plastic plate, when done they can eat the pudding.
    Make the letters out of m and m's (it seem like they learn a lot when they get to eat it too!)
    :)
     

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