Saturday, November 3, 2012

Letter Recognition Ideas!

It's almost the end of the first quarter for me and I have been assessing up a storm!  I am so lucky this quarter to get a sub for two half-days to have time to pull kids and assess, thanks to our new principal this year.  This is an absolute first for me and it's such a big stress reliever!  I am used to having to stop my guided reading table during centers to have a structured time to pull kids for individual assessments, which of course drives me CRAZY because of all of the lost learning time.

If you are like me, you may have a couple of ELL or low babies that are still struggling with letter (especially lowercase) recognition or letter sound recognition.  I want to make sure to get these kiddos get going as fast as possible, so I just purchased  Babbling Abby's Kindergarten RTI: Letter Recognition and Identification pack from Teachers Pay Teachers.  This puppy is so easy to put together, which I so "just cut, color, glue, laminate" business here! My plan is to have our kindergarten interventionist use it with my bottom two kiddos three times per week.  All you have to do is slip the copies into page protectors and pop into a binder!  I don't have a picture of my binder yet but just go to her TPT store and take a look.

Here are some of the other ways that I work on letters with my struggling learners:
*Raised/textured and regular ABC flashcards.

*Play "Slap A Letter" using an alphabet chart (use fly-swatters or just hands). The teacher just calls out a letter and all of the students in the small group slap it. I use an alphabet picture chart that I purchased from Lakeshore Learning, but any ABC chart would do.

*ABC Play-Doh Mats (I just posted these on TPT) .  The kids love doing these during centers!  They really add a good hands-on element for your more energetic/busy learners. ;)

*ABC Rainbow Writing- I like to use Crayola Slick Stix instead of plain crayons with these sheets to add more interest/a new tool to the mix. Click on the picture to view my product on TpT!

*Alphafriends- This year my school district has switched to HM Journeys for our reading curriculum.  My kids really have glommed on to the Alphafriends characters and accompanying songs, so each week we add the Alphafriend of the week's song lyrics to our poetry notebooks.  I found this great resource with all of the Alphafriend song lyrics already typed out!  I have my students go through and read the song and trace the letters of the week with a highlighter.  For example, this week we will be doing the Andy Apple song, so the students will highlight all of the capital and lowercase "A"'s.  I also have the students count how many letters they found for one-to-one correspondence practice.

*Sound and Letter Sorts- using pictures, magnetic letters, little figures, etc.  Anything you have like this is great practice for your struggling students.  I inherited these fun letter sorting mats from an old teacher friend and they are fun to use while introducing centers at the beginning of the year.

*Lots and lots of exposure to alphabet books.  Although I usually phase out ABC book read-alouds with the whole class within the first four to six weeks of school, I keep the books available for read-to-self time, and use them small group time with my lower groups.  Favorites include: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, The Alphabet Adventure and Alphabet Rescue, Dr. Seuss's ABC, Naughty Little Monkeys, A My Name is Alice, Alphabears, etc.

What am I missing?? If you have great ABC recognition ideas that you'd love to share, please comment below!

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