Tuesday, October 2, 2012
10 Letter and Sound recognition strategies for little ones!
Letter name and Sound recognition is one of the key objectives of Pre-k and K instruction. We spend a majority of our day working on letters, including letters in every activity and talking about letters (and numbers for that fact!) Here are some strategies I use to help my little kiddos remember those letter and sounds! 1. I seperate my letters and sounds: When I want the children to focus on sounds I only use the sound, I say "this letter says a,a,a holding up or pointing to the letter a. this gives the child one thing to focus on versus trying to connect the letter name and the sound. 2. I follow my sound instruction with a practice sheet or activity: This helps the children solidify the letter sounds they have just worked on. 3. I only work on a few letters at a time: Overwhelming the kiddos with all 26 sounds at one time does not help them learn, breaking up the alphabet into small chunks helps the children to concentrate on the important letters first and then onto the next set when finished. 4. I teach with letter manipulatives: Whether I am teaching the sound or the letter name I use letter magnets, letter tiles or letter printouts to help my kinesthetic and visual students learn. 5. I have the children write the letter on the board: When I am teaching the letter name and formation I allow each student to come up to the board and practice the correct strokes before trying on their own. 6. I follow my letter name instruction with tracing practice: To solidify the proper strokes for a letter I follow my instruction with a worksheet or cutting activity that practices the given letter. 7. I play sound and letter name bingo: I use the same cards for both sound and letter names, however I do not mix them both in one game. I try to play one or the other 2-3 times per week for a few minutes. The brain starts to make the connections without direct instruction to connect the sound with the letter name. 8. I work in small groups depending on ability: I break my kiddos into groups of 4 and work on letters depending on where they are. For instance right now I have a group that is solely working on letter sound identification, another group decoding CVC words and a third group blending, reading CVC words and working on sight words. 9. I keep sight words seperate from sound/letter name instruction: I have found that sight words can confuse some kiddos who do not have a good handle on letters. I make sure to work with these kiddos on mastering letters before introducing sight words. I do introduce sight words to any kiddos who need it through small groups. 10. Read, Read, Read: I believe reading to my kiddos either through books or pocket chart stories helps children connect the sound with the letter. I hope you find these strategies helpful in your persuit of teaching young brains, remember to keep it light, fun and with as much movement as possible. Combining visual, audio and kinesthetic learning strategies will imporve the outcome of your kiddos year! Till next time, Christine