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Jeanne Said:Teaching my sister the alphabet...hard job.?
We Answered:The nice thing is that she's not required to know every letter of the alphabet before Kindergarten. Yes, it will definately help her if she knows them...but they will do a review in the first few weeks of Kindergarten.
I'd slow down a bit. I have a four year old here that doesn't retain information and so I really had to slow down and repeat, repeat, repeat. I work with only 1 or 2 letters a week and do a short little activity each day with it. Then throughout the day, I reinforce those new letters and any of the letters we have learned whenever I can.
Someone mentioned teaching the sounds before the letter name...that's a possibility...I find it's easier to teach both the letter name and sound. But the sound is the most important.
Sorting the letters...you bet. You want to explore with the shapes of the letters. I like to sort by which letters have sticks/curves/or both. One activity that was popular was to put magent letters inside of a washtub and use a magnetic fishing pole (you can make one) to "go fishing". Then we sorted onto the magentic dry erase board...but you can sort onto the fridge. If you want...you can put multiple of the letters your have learned and sort those.
Make an ongoing alphabet book. Each time you learn a letter, add it to the book. The review are doing now is actually made to go with our general preschool theme. (She's the oldest and the furthest "behind" academically so I'm giving her 1:1 in some areas). Our general theme is winter/mittens so I had pairs of mittens, in one mitten was the letter printed lightly so she could trace it (upper and lower case). In the other mitten I had a picture that started the word. Then we added the word strips to make the sentence. Mm is for mittens. Then we went onto the next letter we learned. (I don't teach the alphabet in order...I teach the letters according to how common they are). You may wish to make a book with just the letters in her name first. You can change it and extend it all you want. Remember to review with it. Just don't make it and leave it. :-) Defeats the purpose.
There are a lot of alphabet songs out there that you can use flash cards or make another visual. Singing the song is just like rote counting. It really doesn't have a whole lot of benefit to it. But if you add visuals to the many abc songs/chants...she gets the extra visual reinforcement. You can email me if you want some songs/chants and ideas for visuals.
Does she like art? You can make a collage for each letter of the alphabet that you are learning. Use material that starts with that letter's sound. Then post it up in her bedroom etc. Then interact with it. I have a list of ideas for that as well if you want them.
www.childcareland.com has a do a dot alphabet template. Unfortunately it's just capital letters but the kids loved them here. I turned them into a simple book as well and used them with one of our chants/songs.
Do you play with playdough...roll the playdough into snakes and form the letters you have learned or are learning. Use alphabet cookie cutters. There are even alphabet playdough mat printables (free) on the internet.
One of the favorite activities of this little girl I teach, who isn't really interested, is Magic Letters. I cut white index cards in half and on one side I wrote the capital letter in white crayon and on the other half I wrote the lower case letter in write crayon. Press heavily when writing. Then I provided water colors. She painted over the colors to see the letter magically appear. I actually sent these home to be of use at home. But you can use them in many different ways!
Another favorite activity is "Eraser". I wrote multiple upper/lower case letters of the ones we were learning on a dry erase board. And I had flashcards that they drew out of a bag. Then stated the letter name and sound (I helped them if they couldn't remember) and then erased them off the board. Each time they erased, have them say the letter name and/or sound.
We use mini erasers (you can use beans and other small items) to place over top of block alphabet letters and such.
There are a lot of alphabet books available.
The key is to have a very short activity. Once she's lost interest it's too late. Do something else and come back to it again. Some find it more benefitial to just do informal sessions. Just slip it in here and there throughout the day. 1 minute, 2 minute activities. :-) I have to be a little more structured since I actually have a preschool program so we do the 10 minutes (or less) activity every morning. It works! Good luck! Just remember, whatever she learns (no matter how slow it goes) is more than what she did know and that's your goal...just one step at a time! What a great sis she has!
Megan Said:Any ideas for a title for this (easy 10 points)?
We Answered:Hide and Seek!