Letter of the Week Program- Introduction

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Last year I provided a tactile Letter of the Week program for my daycare children. Each week we learned a new letter of the alphabet and explored the properties of that letter using hands-on activities. The program was geared for children aged two and three. This year I’m putting together another Letter of the Week program. My daycare children are ready to learn not only the name of the letter but the sound it makes and how to print the letter.

I will be blogging about the program and providing you with activities and crafts for each letter of the alphabet.  All of the alphabet craft ideas are from my wonderful blogger friend Rockabye Butterfly.  She is an amazing artist herself and has fantastic crafty ideas.  I love to try out her unique homeschooling lessons because she approaches teaching in a very organized but also whimsical way.  You can find her letter of the week program at Rockabye Butterfly.

The rest of my program comes from lessons and activities I’ve done while I was a Kindergarten and Preschool teacher in the private school system. Sometimes the children grab hold of a lesson and move it in a new direction. This always results in a more meaningful experience for them.  I try to stay flexible and keep the lessons short and full of giggling fun!

Letter A -part one

At circle time I provided each child with a letter A (magnet letters from the fridge).  We activated past knowledge about the Letter A by remembering last year when we stamped the letter A with real apple prints from our apple picking field trip.  The children talked about people they know that have the letter A in their names.

We chatted about the shape of capital letter A and made the letter with our fingers, our arms and our legs.  The kids sat on the carpet with their legs outstretched in a V shape, then they leaned over and used their crossed arms to connect the A together. I suggested the children work together in a group of three to make a capital A with their bodies lying on the carpet. They needed a bit of help but thought it was a ton of fun and I took a few pictures to share with their parents.

I invited the children to use their ‘magic paint brushes’ to paint capital letter As in the air.  It helps if the teacher is facing the same direction as the children for this activity. After doing some air tracing we moved to the craft table to do some real tracing with bright markers.  The children traced a large capital A multiple times with various colours.  Repeated tracing helped them remember the pattern of starting at the top and the sequence of forming the letter.

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We read the letter A book about Abby an alligator. I love this series from Scholastic.  The books are a great way to introduce the sound of each letter. You can buy the whole series here, AlphaTales Box Set.

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 The illustrations are friendly and the story involves many words that begin with the letter A. This helps give the children lots of examples of A words that are set in a visual format. After reading the book we then completed this craft from Rockabye Butterfly‘s blog.

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I stapled their tracing activity to their alligator craft and sent them home. The children can put their letter A’s on their fridge as a visual reminder of the lesson. All of the letter crafts will be a uniform size and will be flat so that the parents can make an alphabet book for their children once we finish our program if they wish.

Here is an example of an extension activity if you have a child who already knows their alphabet.  This child used ‘invented spelling’ to come up with examples of words that began with the letter A.  She wrote them around her alligator craft.  Using ‘invented spelling’ is a great way to encourage new writers to express their knowledge while also teaching them conventional spelling patterns.  Here is an article on invented spelling for more information.

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Stay tuned tomorrow for Part Two of Letter A activities.

Comments

  1. http://Kiana says

    Love this! We are doing something similar! Love getting new idea though! The “magic paintbrush” is going to be added. We do that just don’t use that term and I think they would get a kick out of using a magic paintbrush! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you for sharing all of your tips and experiences. I’m starting up a small daycare in the spring and have found your site to be a great resource!

Trackbacks

  1. […] you have been participating in my Letter of the Week Program you may want to compile your letter crafts into an Alphabet Book.  Children greatly benefit from […]

  2. […] blogs you’ll want to check out include The Measured Mom, How to Run a Home Daycare, and Crystal and […]

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