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A, B, C's...

Posted by on Apr. 29, 2013 at 12:51 PM
  • 8 Replies

What's the best method to teach my DD letter recognintion?  She knows most of them but some she has more problems with than others.  She has been in Pre-K since May and there are about six she has trouble remembering what they are?  What would you recommend?

by on Apr. 29, 2013 at 12:51 PM
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by Silver Member on Apr. 29, 2013 at 2:34 PM
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Flash cards, Star fall, Leap Frog...

I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Stay at Home Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosy, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it anywhere near my children. Now for the controversial stuff: we have traditional gender roles, we're Catholic, I'm Libertarian, he's Republican, we're both conservative, and we own guns (now there's no need to ask, lol).             Aimee

by Gold Member on Apr. 29, 2013 at 2:56 PM

We love Leap Frog.....Talking Letters Factory.  My DD learned ALL letters and their sounds by the time she was 19 mos with this DVD.  It is also on Netflix.  Pre-School Pre Series has a good one as well.  She loved that one for number and shapes.  Good luck!!

by Group Admin on Apr. 29, 2013 at 3:14 PM
1 mom liked this

 Make it about life or part of life.  While driving have her find the letters on signs.  Have her find them in your cook book while you're making dinner.  Point them out while you read her bedtime story. 

Have her start making the letters.  Draw them in the dirt with a stick.  Draw them in whipped cream or pudding on a cookie sheet.  Cut cookies into the letter shapes.  Pour some finger paint into a ziploc bag (no mess) and have her draw them in the paint.

Make sticks in the shape of the letters.  Bend pipe cleaners into letters.

by on Apr. 29, 2013 at 4:59 PM

 how does your daughter learn? you can teach them by flashcard for visual and by saying what they are audio and by letting her draw them with her finger or trace over them hands on doing all three ways and being consistant each day will help!

by on Apr. 29, 2013 at 10:41 PM

Growing Readers: Early Alphabet Learning and the Name Game

Is your preschool aged child ready to start learning the letters of the alphabet? If so, where do you begin? What is the right order to teach the letters? Do you begin with the letter A and go in ABC order?   Should we do a letter of the week program?  My answer is to begin with what you know!

There is some research, shared on Reading Rockets, where they concluded that there is no perfect order for letter instruction: "It may be reasonable to begin with a "personally relevant" letter (first letter of the name)." Start with what you know,  your child's first name.

Learning to identify letters of the alphabet is a beginning step in teaching phonics and reading. However, before your child is ready to learn phonics she first needs to learn some phonemic awareness. Beginning with your child's first name, and the letters in it, you can introduce your child to not only letter identification but also phonemic awareness, phonics, letter formation (writing), and early reading skills while playing "The Name Game".

There are several levels of phonemic awareness:

  1. Rhythm and rhyme
  2. Parts of a word
  3. Sequence of sounds
  4. Separation of sounds
  5. Manipulation of sounds

The Name Game teaches:

  • letter versus word (early reading skills)
  • capital verses lower case letters (alphabet)
  • letter identification (alphabet)
  • letter/sound connection (phonics)
  • letter formation (writing)
  • first letter and last letter (early reading skills)
  • counting (math)
  • reading left to right (early reading skills)
  • syllables (phonemic awareness)
The name game is not accomplished in one sitting. It is a collection  of activities that you do with your child over days, weeks, even months. You will do the activities multiple times. Do one or two activities at a time, based on your child's interest and what they are ready to learn. Below is a list of ideas, you may come up with more! Once your child knows all of the letters in her own name you can do the name game activities with other names that are important to your child like brothers and sisters, cousins and friends. Kids like to know how to read and write each other's names.

Write or print your child's name clearly on a piece of card stock. If you are typing and printing it think about how you want the letters (particularly the letters a and g) to look. Comic Sans MS and Chalkboard are good fonts that look like "printing" and do not have a type set a and g. Here's my example:

Letter Identification:

Tell your child, "This is your name. Your name starts with the letter J". Point to the letter J. Jackson begins with the letter "J".  "J is for Jackson."

Point to each letter as you say them J-A-C-K-S-O-N, then sweep your finger under the whole word and say, "Jackson".
Do this in other places you see his name as well.
Look for the first letter of his name in other places. Soon he may begin to notice the letter J. "Look!" he may point out on a sign, "I see J is for Jackson!"
Look for and point out his first letter in books.
Continue for the rest of the letters in his name.

Capital versus lower case letters:

Point out that the first letter of his name is a capital or big letter, and the rest of the letters are lower case or little letters.

Syllables and phonemic awareness:

Practice clapping your child's name, with one clap for each syllable. "Let's clap your name: Jack/son. Your name has two claps."

Letter versus word; Reading left to right; Counting:

Write or type the name again on card stock but leave double spaces between letters. Show them the name. Tell them that their name is a word and it is made up of letters. Tell them,"I'm going to cut up the word into letters. Lets's say the letters as I cut them."
Cut apart the name while saying the letters one by one.
"Now it is not a word anymore, it is not a name any more, it is just a bunch of letters."
"Let's count the letters from your name" Together count the letters.
"We can put the letters back together in the right order to make your name."
Work together to put the letters in order to make the name, using the first name card as a model. 
"What letter comes FIRST in your name?"
"What letter comes NEXT in your name?"
Continue until you get to, "What is the LAST letter in your name?"
You are modeling that the oder of the letters matters in a word. That a word it put together from left to right.
When it is all finished, "Now it is a word again! Let's check it. Is it right?"Say the name slowly while running your finger underneath to check it. Have him check it the same way.
Now you are modeling reading left to right.

Keep this "name puzzle" that you have made in a baggie and he can practice putting his name together. Watch him and make sure he is always starting with the FIRST letter in his name and building from left to right. Correct him if he starts from the end or the middle, or starts building from right to left.

As he becomes more independent in putting it together continue to talk while he does this, talking about the FIRST letter, NEXT letter, LAST letter, pointing out letter names and capitals etc.  Talk about direction, how you have to start here and the next letter has to go here etc.  Now it is a word again.  Check it? Is it right?  Say it slowly while running finger underneath to check it.  Have Jackson check it the same way.

Letter/sound connection:

As you continue to work with his name and as he is getting to know the names of the letters talk about the different letters and the sounds that go with them.
"What sounds do you hear first in Jackson?"
Model the /j/ sound and have him make the /j/ sound.
"What letter makes the /j/ sound?"
"Jackson begins with the letter J."
Find other words that begin with the same letter. You can collect some pictures and glue them on a paper for a J collection.
Find the letter here on
You can continue and do a letter of the week using each letter in his name. Some good letter downloads at:
No Time For Flash Cards

Letter formation:

Model writing your child's name. See if they can tell you which letter to write FIRST, NEXT, and LAST.
Model correct letter formation. Correct letter formation is really important. It is much easier to teach correct letter formation in the beginning than to un-learn incorrect letter formation and re-teach correct formation.

I like the way they teach letter in the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum. Download the letter formation charts from HWT and learn the correct letter formation for yourself (you may be forming some letters "wrong").
One thing to know is that HWT only introduces capital letters in their Pre-K material, so you will need to get K material to cover both capital and lower case letters. While my goal is to avoid workbooks as much as possible and provide more hands on learning, if you are going to use a workbook for hand writing and/or letter formation the HWT materials is what I would recommend.

If you have access to a chalkboard this is an excellent method. (Even if you don't, watch the video to see some good modeling of letter writing.) Watch the video on the HWT website that shows how to teach your child to write their name using the "wet-dry-try" method: Video Lessons: Writing Name Using Wet-Dry-Try


Help your child build their name using magnetic letters, or other letter manipulatives.
Form the letters of their name out of play dough.
Practice writing in a variety of mediums:
  • sidewalk chalk
  • chalk on black construction paper
  • paint letters with water
  • markers
  • crayons
  • dry erase

You can continue with similar activities with the names of friends and family, even pets! It is a great way to introduce sound/letter correspondence, letter formation and letter identification in a way that is meaningful to your child. It is much form meaningful to know that M is for Mommy than M is for Monkey.
by on Apr. 30, 2013 at 1:39 AM
1 mom liked this

We would play active games like "jump on the letter that _____ starts with." 

or buy a brand new (clean) flyswatter and cut out the middle of the actual swatter part, so it makes like a frame... decorate it if you want... use it to run and slap letters on the wall that match the ones you call out or flash card style.   

or use flash cards but have them "pop" up like popcorn and yell the letter/word/sound.   They LOVE popping and yelling... especially yelling.. LOL!

or make a tightrope on the floor with yarn, tape letters along the "tightrope" and play pretend games like, walk along this jungle vine... snakes are out to get you, but you have to yell out the letter/word/sound to beat the snakes!  (if this isn't scary for yours..)

or draw lily pads and get a stuffed frog, have the child jump the frog to the lily pad with the correct letter.

Also, using manipulatives to shape the letters and learning to write them.   Like making a drawing board out of either..flour, rice, potato flakes, shaving cream, etc.. on a tray.   Like making the shape of letters by gluing things (or small stickers) onto big letters.   Having them make the letters in "lights" by tracing around them with bright markers.

by on Apr. 30, 2013 at 1:39 AM

oh, and my kids LOOOVE drawing on a board... chalk or dry erase really doesn't matter, but at younger ages, chalk works well because those dry erase markers get ruined easily.  (sticky hands, spit, water, or leaving cap off)

by Platinum Member on Apr. 30, 2013 at 9:42 AM
I need to start teaching Theo his letters. He can count really well, at least.
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