Letter ID and Formation

This summer, I’ve made a special effort to do a little pre-schooling with Cooper.  I want him to get used to what “school” was like.  And I want him to learn early that learning can be and is fun.  Plus, it adds some more structure to our day instead of just free play all day long!

My favorite quote ever about teaching is one I found forever ago….

Another reason why I love Mr. Rogers!  I always try to keep this in mind with my firsties and my own toddler.  So, here’s a look at how we play and learn together….

We do 30 minutes of literacy in the morning and 30 minutes of math in the afternoon.  And he **LOVES** school time.  Seriously…he begs to do more school time.  We take the weekends off, of course, and he still begs to have school time on Saturdays too.  Let’s hope this attitude continues for the next 15 years….:)

Cooper already knew most, if not all, of his letters.  So during our reading time, we work on letter-sound associations.  I used the letter cards from my Word Wall Packet.  We added one letter at a time and talked about the sound and corresponding picture.  I would read, “A, /a/, apple” and he would repeat again.  It took us 3 or 4 school sessions, but we finally got all of the letters up!  Now, every school session, we start off reading our ABC chart.  He loves finding a fun fishing pole or toy flag pointer to use to “read.”  And after almost a month of school time, he can read almost the whole ABC chart by himself without any corrections!  I just love this sponge age.  He soaks everything up!

My favorite moment by far was two weeks ago when I told him it was time to read our ABCs…

“But I tan’t weed, Momma!”

“Yes, you can…start with A…”

“A, /a/, appuwl…” and he finished through the whole alphabet and said, “I tan weed, Mommy, I tan!”

Talk about melting my mommy and teacher heart all in one!  Now he proudly tells us almost every day, “I’m a weally good weeduh, Mommy!”

After we read our ABC’s we play a little fastest finger (an all time favorite for my preschoolers and firsties!) with some letter ID. {Point to the letter ___. See who can point the fastest.  Yes, it’s that simple.  Yes, they think it’s the best thing ever.}

Then, we do “writing.”  For the last month, we’ve been writing Cooper’s name.  We spell out each letter, and then practice sliding our finger across the word to read it.  And we have written his name in all kinds of fun stuff…since those little fingers aren’t quite ready to trace!

We wrote with playdoh… (we repeated this one for a whole week.  It was really hard for him to curve the playdoh snakes to follow the path of the letters!)

He’s just so, so proud!

Black beans and glue!

Pinto beans…no buying new supplies here.  Just using what we have!

Cheerios… (just make sure you write the letters far enough apart.  I learned that the hard way!)

He has LOVED thinking of new things to write with!  This morning he told me, “Oh, I have a idea, Mommy.  I can write with tornbread (cornbread) today! Is that a dreat (great) idea, Mommy?”….silly boy!  And after he finishes each one, I have him go back over it with his finger to feel the bumpy (or smooth) path of the letters!  Lots of giggles for this! 🙂

I love using things to glue down because it gives me a chance to repeat the verbal paths for handwriting our letters over and over.  The more this gets ingrained in his head, the easier I think handwriting will be for him when his little fingers are ready to write.  He even tries his bardest to repeat the scripts back to me… #bestillmyheart  You can grab this Resource from my TPT store.  It includes the scripts for capital and lowercase that I use in my first grade classroom!

After a few weeks of writing his name, we moved on to writing other words.  I’ve decided to work on our family rules {read about those HERE} and their key words next.  Just to have some extra conversation time about those rules too! *wink*

Yesterday, we did “Kind” and wrote it in rice.

This will look so cute hanging in his play room as an extra reminder!  And I love that he made it himself!

Of course, we always save plenty of time before nap for story time to practice all of our reading and CAP skills!  He loves finding the cover, the title, reading the title with his reading finger…and he even has a few books that he can “read” on his own!  Love watching his brain grow!

The possibilities are endless for fun, engaging literacy activities for our littles.  How else do you teach those early literacy skills?

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