Hi all! It has been one tough week of back to work drama! I vowed to try and complete everything at work and I found myself with more work when I got home then when I started... Arg! I hope that your back to school start is much smoother.
Anyway! I wanted to blog about this pack for some time now - I used it in tutoring. I used this pack with a child in Kindergarten who is having trouble with letter formation and identification. Distinguishing between the 'm' and the 'n' as well as the 's' and the 'c' was quite evident. I thought I would try to give him some basic ground work starting with sounds.
Some basic activities that help kids recognize sounds of the alphabet:
1. Sounding out two letter words: I had done my research on this one - and some children simply get confused when there are more than 2 letters in a word - this is especially true for preschoolers. For instance use 'in', 'on', and not 'ant' etc... Up until the child gets the hang of the simpler sounds.
2. Use pictures with the alphabet cards or an alphabet chart: make sure you are pointing to the picture and the letter to help the child connect the letter sound with the letter. You can also use picture cards without the words on them so as not to confuse the child at first by looking at the whole word.
This is a sample poster from my pack titled 'Alphabet Posters with D'Nealian' using a polka dot them and a guide for writing the letters. I printed this poster when I was focusing on the letter 'M' and 'N':
You can get this resource here: Alphabet Posters Color & Black & White.
I first asked the child to point at the picture on the poster and tell me what it is. He will say 'monkey', then I will emphasize the 'm' in monkey. I gave him a dry erase marker and he began to trace over the uppercase and lowercase 'm' while saying the word 'monkey' repeatedly. (I found repetition to be key in memory retention)
All this and we haven't touched on the letter 'N' yet!
Continue by reinforcing the letter with flash cards and pictures all starting with the letter 'm'. Here are some free resources found on the web:
The next thing we did is practice writing the letter, I used one of my printables resources with D'Nealian font:
You can get this resource here: Alphabet Read & Trace.
I found that after he got confident with the letter 'm', I encouraged him to try to write the word 'monkey' following my lead. He was able to copy the word on the circle, making sure that his 'm' was correctly formed and not written similar to the 'n'.
The next step is to reinforce the letter with the new words. I created a resource specifically to help train young children to pick up and practice the differences between the two letters. For instance, I have a picture below of the two sets of word lists, 'm' and 'n':
You can get this resource here.
Next, I cut up all the words and shuffled them in random order:
The child began cutting up the box to paste into his workbook. Then, I explained that he will be using this as an interactive notebook where it'll open & close when needed. He was very excited to get this done - usually kids love to 'make' things and see them after they've finished their work.
Following this, he began sorting the 'm' words. He started to paste them in their places and color in the 'M':
I love the Minions and I've created a few resources to help engage the youngsters in learning. They can be laminated at an A4 or A3 size and children can trace over the letters with a dry erase marker or use play dough! Here are some snapshots of these Alpha-minion posters:
If you'd like to have a look at the bundled alphabet pack which includes all of the above resources, it's right here.
This can be completed with the letter 'n' and pasted on the side of the 'm' and so on! This will be a great resource to come back to. Here are some freebies you can download for further practice:
Interactive Letter Sounds and Phonics Game. (Flash Player Required)
I hope this post helped you out! I'd love to hear your comments on how you reinforce the alphabet. :)