Hi everyone! I just found out that starting December 22, I will be the new head teacher at an amazing preschool about ten minutes from my home! I am incredibly excited - this is exactly the job I wanted. So in the meantime, I am finishing up my student teaching placements and planning out the curriculum that I will begin implementing in December!
My classroom is spread out in ages from 2 years 9 months to 5 years old. Because of this disparity, I have to really differentiate my curriculum. So my question is how do you all teach the alphabet to your preschoolers? In what order do you teach the letters? And do you have any suggestions for me on how I should differentiate my instruction for my younger students? I have some ideas already, but any advice you can give me would be great! Thank you all so much in advance for your help!
Although I teach 4 & 5 year olds, I used to teach 3 year olds. Our Pre-K curriculum teaches the alphabet using the most frequently used letters first (M, S, A, etc) however, I always taught it straight A-Z with the 3's. I don't really understand the difference. One thing that ages 3-5 loves & catches onto easily is the letter formation poems on www.littlegiraffes.com There is TONS of information & useful stuff on her website. Here is the link to the letter poems themselves. Congratulations & good luck on the new job!!!
I start in January with a letter of the day, and we revisit each letter again before the school year ends.
I put "Aa" at the top of my pocket chart with a photo card of something that begins with Aa. Each child has a laminated sentence strip with his/her name on it, and we make two columns on the chart: those whose names have A or a, and those whose don't.
And so on with all of the other letters. It's fun and easy!
I teach in a 5yr old ECDD classroom and I've started the year one letter a week. I decided to start with letters that look like each other as upper and lower case letters. Then as time goes on and they begin to understand the concept of upper case and lowe case letters I will introduce the others. so far this year we've done m, s, c, o, k and next week p. I bought a "coconut tree" from a local paper factory store and it's base is supposed to hold ice and cans for a party, but we put our letters in there and everyday I bring them out to review the names and sounds. They love it as it ties in to Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom!
Thank you all so much!! I'm literally writing this all down as we speak and sticking it in a manilla folder! I cannot wait to start teaching these little ones. They've had a lot of teachers leave them or literally do nothing with them for the past two years. I have a good number of kids who are going to kindergarten in Sept. 2009 and some don't even know the letters in their own names yet. No letter recognition, no name recognition, no nothing. It's terrible - these past teachers have done such a disservice to my kids and I can't wait to turn things around. Thank you for all your help - please keep the ideas coming!
I start with teaching kids the letters in their names and their friends' names. We spell, every day, the "name of the day" together on the board with letter cards AND writing it, I say the letters in the childs name and everyone repeats each letter. Then we say who's name it spells, and then I write it on the board, the child comes up and points to their name. We do this every day and so each name is repeated many times throughout the year. Kids also get to clap, stomp, etc, with me as we do letters. I try to make it varied. They have a lot of fun with it, and it seems to help them learn letters more quickly, and they learn to recognize each others names quickly too.
Two programs that I have used and like are Mailbox and Fundations.
When you get Fundations, you are given a box with the letters for the classroom wall, erasable scribble boards for all the children, two hand puppets to help you teach the alphabet, smaller letters to use for activities, letter puzzles and a curriculum book. (There might be some other goodies in there, too!) The program is great because it has a certain order of introducing the letters. Also, basically everything is written out for you if you need help figuring out how to incorporate it. And, it is broken up by different age and ability levels, so this would be great for your developmentally diverse students.
Mailbox is a book with 3 worksheets for helping teach each letter.
I hope these help and good luck with preparing for your new classroom.
I am a new preschool teacher too. My students are really interested in learning to recognize their letters. In order to teach them, I have set up my classroom to surround them with a lot of text and alphabet games, alphabet puzzles, alphabet rug, etc. They really enjoy the alphabet train puzzle we have. I am going to extend this into some activities. They also are really enjoying sitting on letters on our alphabet rug. However, they will argue to sit on certain letters. I have a few children that start with the letter R. I am making circles that have letters on them. I am going to have them sit on them during circle time. I will start them with the first letter in their name and then I will change it week to week going through the letters in their names and then moving on to other letters. It is very beneficial to have the letter stand for things that they are interested in. It won't be the same for every child. We have B is for batman and H is for hunted house right now. Whatever they are currently interested in. I have seen the letter of the week work but I have also seen it not work. I am choosing to not do the letter of the week, but to implement letters into our everyday lessons.
I also have a multi age class. I have found great success in teaching my class the ABC'S through sign language. Everyday as we say the ABCs I will sign the letters. And you will be surprise how fast the kids will pick it up. We do not sing the song, (ever, for teaching purposes). I do not know why this works but it is better than showing flash cards i and it has never failed and I have been doing this method for 12 years. First of couse, you must learn the ABCs in sign language and then you are on your way. My twos do not know it well but they try. My threes and up know it as well as I do. Takes a little time but is worth it. This is inclusive to showing flash cards. Also saying and signing the ABCs as you do phonics. Plus with the song/poem Chicka, Chicka, Boom Boom, we hold our fingers up as we recite this song to sign the letter; " A told B, and B told C, I'll meet you at the top of the coconut tree" I finger spell their names all the time.
Just keep showing the letters in front them as they learn. We also do all of the other ABC learning stuff.
Learn it well and teach it better, it works!! and it is fun, even the parents are amazed! Good Luck!!
We started this program this past year and I love it. The children learn by the strokes. E.G. We have recently done the letters L, F, E, T.. These letters all have Big Lines and Litle Lines. Soon we will introduce the curve stokes.
In the past we always made an ABC book, starting with A and ending with Z. I feel the children did not comprehend that as much as H.W.T.
We also use blocks, playdoh, magic erase boards, etc. to make the letters.
I use Greg and Steve's Alphabet Rock and Dr. Jeans Alphabet Movement song with my young 5's. They love them. I actually put the lower case letters in a pocket chart and have a pointer put in the activity center. The children love to take that pointer and "read" the alphabet and numbers too.
At our preschool we use a program called letter land and it has been a huge success, I even know of parents who teach in the school system that has purchased this program and had great success with it, you may want to look into it. It's a really neat program and the kids seem to really enjoy it.
Check out scholastic on line or YouTube for chicka chicka boom boom video. The kids love listening to while watching the pictures in the book. Mine like to sing along and tell me which letters are their letters. Meaning that the letter is in their name. We also make a chicka china boo. Boom tree. I used a large cardboard tube that our carpet was rolled up on. I covered it with brown paper. Then the kids got to cut out Palm tree leaves out of the larger size construction paper. Some didn't want to cut so they wrinkled up brown paper for the coconuts. Tape or glue the leaves and coconut to the top of the tube. To make it stand up I use a large plastic plant pot or a plastic trash can I got at dollor store. I put a few larger rocks around the tube at the bottom so it doesn't fall. Then I have the students trace and cut out circles. The students use large foam letters and paint to stamp brightly colored letter.. Once it is dry they get to tape the letters to the tree. It takes us one day to fully make the tree. The second day we make the letters. Then it is only a short time about 15 minutes to tape the letters to the tree once dry. The kids got so excited about the story we cut out smaller trees out of paper and glued it to construction paper then used cheap alphabet stickers I got at the dollar store and they made their names running up the tree