Teaching letter recognition in kindergarten
Teaching letter recognition is the first start in teaching reading to kindergartners. Once they have mastered the recognition and sounds, then they are reading for learning to read. There are many good useful tools to teach letter recognition.
Most children come to school knowing how to recite the alphabet song. That is a great start and beginning.
Past experience has taught that repetition is the key. We go over the alphabet chart everyday. I point to each letter and have them repeat after me. In doing this, the children are seeing, hearing, and saying at the same time. Example: A a apple, B b ball, etc.
We begin with a letter of the week. I introduce the letter on Monday and we continue that letter for the whole week. Our reading series has a song that goes along with each letter. It’s very important as you sing the song, you are pointing to the words and especially the letter of the week. The children sing that song everyday, as well as another song that goes along with the series.
We use wipe off boards to help with writing and correct printing of the letter. That is a very fun activity for them to use.
During small group time, we work on the letter of the week. Magnetic letters and wikki sticks are very useful tools in helping the tactile/kinesthetic learner. Children love to use their hands and make things, so crafting out the letter of the week is very enjoyable. Play-do is very educational, too, in teaching the letters.
Children can also cut out letters from magazines and bring in things from home that start with the letter of the week.
I like to place the letter of the week by the door on a note card, so the children will have to say the letter as they leave the room. Also, I have taped the letter on their shirt and they have to look at each other and say the letter aloud.
While the children are having carpet time and we are discusing the letter, I will have them pick a partner and they take turns "writing" the letter on each other’s backs. Also, I have them lay down on the floor and make the letter with their bodies. They love to make letter shapes with their bodies. They also like to pretend they have a pen and notepad in their hand and are writing the letter.
We sing a lot of songs from Dr. Jean and Jack Hartmann that teach many songs about letters and sounds. These songs have the children up and moving. I’m always using a pointer or holding up the letter as the songs are being played.
Teaching letter recognition is fun! The children love learning and this is a very important skill in pre-reading for the kindergarten learner.
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