Letter “I” -Letter of the Week Program

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Welcome to letter “I” week.  We began the week by reading through our AlphaTales letter books.  There isn’t that many words that begin with the short letter ‘I’ sound so I’m going to have to get creative this week.

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I prefer to teach the children the short vowel sounds first and then do the long vowel sounds.  This way the children learn that letter ‘I’ makes the sound of ‘i’ as in iguana instead of long ‘i’ as in ice cream.  I did read the ice cream book to them because there were more short letter ‘I’ sounds within the story that I felt were worthwhile.

I also stick to hard consonant sounds first and then move on to soft consonant sounds.  For example, when we learned letter C, the kids learned that letter C makes the sound “c” as in cat and we wait for the soft “c” as in Cinderella.  If a child asks,  I will explain soft and hard letter sounds, but for the majority of children, it is enough to remember the letter name and the hard letter sound. Once we have covered the whole alphabet and the children are solid in the letter names and sounds then I will introduce long vowels, soft consonant sounds and blends.

We decided to make our letter I’s into insects because the word ‘insect’ is a familiar word with my daycare group.  We did a study of insects in the spring.  The word ‘Iguana” would have worked well but two of my daycare children had never heard of an iguana so the letter sound memory pairing wouldn’t have been easy.

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I cut out a letter “I” and then we added some legs and a face.  We also used this opportunity to count to six because most insects have six legs.

The children traced a letter “I” with crayons and joked about how easy it was to make this letter.

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I got out some ink pads and had the children listen for the sound of “I” in the word ink.  They pressed one finger into the ink and made a row of them.  Then they took a marker and turned each fingerprint into a tiny insect.  The stack of insects formed a large letter “I”.

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My older child, who was doing a similar activity, decided to add the top and bottom line to the capital I.  I explained to the kids that sometimes they will see the letter “I” with his top hat and big boots on and sometimes he will just be a plain line.

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We also chatted about what lower case “i” looked like.  The children decided lower case “i” looked like a person with a head.

We made upper and lower case letter “I” with our hands, arms and bodies.  The children all loved making capital “I” with their whole bodies standing up.  We stood tall with our legs together but our toes pointing outwards to form the bottom horizontal line.  We stretched out arms high above our heads and kept  both arms together.  Our bodies and arms formed the long vertical line of the letter ‘I’ and our hands formed the top horizontal line.  Our hands met at the wrists and opened up outwards.

Our local library had these two books that we borrowed this week. In Alphabet Adventure the lower case letter i loses his dot. It is a wonderful story for this age group and a fun way to review and talk about letters. Alphabet Rescue was also a favourite and the children had a chance to match up upper case and lower case letters.  I highly recommend both books.

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The children used our dry erase wipe off letter cards to practice printing letter I the next day.

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Then we grabbed our Busy Bugs math counters.  These are a staple item that I have for early counting and they just happen to be insects!

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Each child got a handful of insects and went to work making a capital I out of the insects.

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You could also cut up egg cartons and make them into insects or small stones as ladybugs.  Use whatever materials you have in your daycare.

The last activity we explored was a picture book walk.  I made a little inchworm out of a green pipe cleaner that the children named Indy.  I explained how inch worms walk and that we were going to let Indy inch her way through a book.

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I chose a book that had big clear print for the children.  Indy the inchworm moved her way slowly through the book, as she looked for the letter I.   When a child spotted an “I”, Indy would quickly goggle up the letter and continue searching on the next page.  The children thought this was great fun so I left the activity out for them to revisit independently throughout the week.

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I hope your letter “I” week is quite Interesting!

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