Monday, November 17, 2014

Letter Recognition for Early Learners

Letter Recognition for Early Learners

Hey, Folks!  Brittany here from Precious Steps Preschool.

The first marking period is over and I don't know about you, but I am pleasantly surprised with the reports I received on my own four little learners.  It really couldn't have gone better.  One thing that I expected was confirmed, and that is that my youngest, Annie, who is in Pre-K, can't recognize all of her letters.  If you're a parent with a young child who has gotten the same report, don't fret!  It's totally age appropriate because teachers don't expect parents to teach this to children prior to the start of Pre-K.  Most schools do a "Letter of the Week" such as my children's school.  Since the conference was after the first 9 weeks of school and Annie could recognize 9/26 letters, she was right on target, but a little reinforcement at home will never hurt!

Here are some activities I put together to help teach letter recognition at home (or in the classroom!)  The fact that her three older sisters were doing the "stations" along with her really helped keep her interested and focused.

For starters, this is Annie's "Letter of the Week Journal".  I had one for all of my kids.  Each week, you teach a different letter.  Then at the end of the week, give them magazines and have them tear out pictures of words that begin with that letter.  If they can't find a picture, they can draw one.  Have them glue in the pictures they've torn out with a glue stick.  This gets really cute to see where their imagination takes them!

For our next station, we have Perler Beads.  If you don't have these at home, RUN, don't walk, to your nearest Michael's and buy as many buckets as your hands can carry!  These keep children (and adults) of ANY age entertained for hours!  I also frequently use them to make favors for birthday party themes that are difficult to find in the stores.  Most recently I made Creepers for my little brother's Minecraft Birthday Party.  In this activity, I had the kids make letters out of the beads.  Because my children are obviously genius over-achievers, Aurora even used all blue beads to make her letter 'B'.  We're also talking free accessories here, People!  Since her middle name is Belle, we ironed it to be put on a keychain to hang from her bookbag!

Next up, never take for granted the power of good ol' fashioned lined paper!  For this station, I simply wrote the capital letters on one line and the lowercase letters on two lines beneath, and allowed them to trace and fill in the blank lines trying to copy the letters.  This is Annie working on her letter As.  For the older kids who already know how to write all their letters, they worked on spacing and size-appropriate lowercase letters and staying within the lines.

Do you know what this is?  I like to call it "Nostalgia in a Bowl".  I will never forget the birthday party my mom threw for me as 6-year-old.  That party was truly the inspiration for me wanting to become the event planner that I am today!  Because my birthday is January 13th, for this particular party, she had us do an activity where we made Valentine's for our parents for the upcoming holiday.  We cut out red hearts and added white doilies and a Polaroid (Gosh, we're old!) pictures of ourselves and then spelled out I Love You with Alphabet Pasta!  The best part of using this in every possible way that you can think of is that it is frequently on sale for 10/$10!

This is Aurora spelling out her sight words.  Pad isn't typically known as an official "sight word" but they were the first three letters she found that could spell a word, so we went with it!  As the time went on, she spelled out longer and longer words.  Her grand finale was spelling her full name, Aurora Belle Croyle.  (Yes, her name was specifically chosen with consideration for having her initials be ABC.)  Haha!

Hard at work with the Alphabet Pasta!

This is my step-daughter, Terra.
She skipped spelling out her name and decided to 
spell out a shopping list for me instead!

Annie singing her ABCs and following along by pointing to the letters above our chalkboard!

Finally, this was the vindication for all of the night's events!  Aniston decided to sing her ABCs and point along to each letter above our chalkboard to help her recognize which letter was which.  She stopped when she got to 'K' and shouted, "Mommy, I never knew how to write that letter before but look, look! (As she wrote it down on her lined paper!)

Pearler Beads - $12.99
Sharpies - $1.99
ABC Pasta - $1
Knowing that you made a difference in your child's learning experience in one sitting = Priceless!

Hey!  Thanks for stopping by!  You can read my Preschool related posts on the 18th of every month right here on The Primary Pack!

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Have a Happy Thanksgiving and remember to mark your calendar to meet me back here on the 18th of December for some super cute Christmas activities!

Love & Smiles,

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