At the beginning of the school year, I teach a letter a day. In order to fit everything into our busy schedule, it usually takes about two months to complete the introduction of all of the letters.
First, we will explore this question - “Do you have a/an (letter) in your name?” We do this as a whole group. I will show the students their name tag and ask the student if they have that letter in their name. I will then place it under yes or no on the pocket chart. We count how many students have that letter in their name and how many students do not have that letter in their name.
Second, we learn the letter poem. I use Kim Jordano’s letter poetry journals. We go through the poem together. We count how many words are in the poem. We will highlight in yellow the letter of the day in both upper and lowercase. Then the students will put their poem page in their poetry binders. Later in the year, we will use a different colored highlighter to highlight any sight words we find.
Third, we will read a letter book together and circle any words that begin with the letter of the day. We will also underline any sight words we have learned on each page. I use the letter books from Hands-on Alphabet Activities for Young Children, by Roberta Seckler Brown and Susan Carey. You can get a copy of the book by calling 1-800-288-4745. It cost me only $3.95!
Forth, we will meet as a whole group again. On a sheet of white construction paper, we will think of as many words as we can that begin with the letter of the day. I will call on a student and draw what he/she says. I will also write the word underneath the picture.
It is my hope that this daily routine and the ABC Phonics sing, sign, and read song by Nellie Edge will help my students learn to recognize each letter and sound it makes to start off the school year. I can’t wait to see how much the children grow and become “EXCELLENT” readers this year!