15 Tips For Helping Children With Learning The Alphabet Letters


I volunteer four hours a week in my son's first grade classroom. I help out in a variety of ways but primarily I am involved in literacy activities. It is an exciting time in a child's literacy life as this is the year that emergent readers become full-fledged readers.


While they will continue to spend elementary school increasing their site words and vocabulary, there is a point during this year when most children can pick up a book at their reading level and read it from start to finish with their own knowledge and decoding skills. For some children, that point arrives early in the school year and others reach it at various points in the year.


However there are a handful of children in every first grade classroom who will not reach that point this year. These children still do not possess the basic literacy skills and techniques they need to become readers. They do not know their alphabet letters let alone the sounds that each letter represents in words. This lack of knowledge holds them back both in reading and in writing.


While the other children can write fluent sentences using their growing vocabularies as well as phonetic spelling based on their knowledge of the alphabetic principle, the children who do not yet know the alphabet fall further and further behind their peers every day.


As the parent of a preschooler, you have to ask yourself. Which group do you want your child to fall within? Unless you want your child to be behind in literacy by first grade then you must make sure your child has mastered the alphabet before starting kindergarten. Here are 15 tips to help you get started teaching your child their alphabet letters.


Tip 1 - Introduce the letter by finding a word or a name that is meaningful to your child. Example: B: ball


Tip 2 - Point to the letter on an Alphabet Chart (you can make one easily using the "Chunky Letters" coloring sheets) so your child can see where the letter is in the alphabet. The chart can be a learning tool to help your child visualize what the alphabet looks like.


Tip 3 - Sing the Alphabet Song and stop at that letter for the child to sing alone.


Tip 4 - Model the correct formation of the letter and have your child trace the letter in salt, sand, gel, fingerpaint, pudding, or shaving cream .


Tip 5 - Model the correct formation of the letter and have your child print the letter with a paintbrush, marker, crayon, chalk, q-tip, pencil, magic slate, or pen.


Tip 6 - Purchase magnetic letters to place on the refrigerator or cookie sheets to display the letter of the week.


Tip 7 - Point out the letter on signs and in books.


Tip 8 - Use playdough to roll out and make the letter or a toothpick to write the letter on the playdough.


Tip 9 - Talk about the shapes of the letters and if the upper and lower case are the same or different. Play matching games, same or different, or alphabet bingo.


Tip 10 - Take your finger and trace the letters on the palm of the hand or on your child's back.


Tip 11 - Practice using sticky notes and label objects in the house that begin with the letter.


Tip 12 - Alphabet Stamps are a practical investment for having fun with the alphabet for alphabet recognition, making words, and spelling.


Tip 13 - Eating the alphabet can be a delicious way to reinforce letters using vegetables, pretzels, potato sticks, and candy to form the letters.


Tip 14 - Decorate cupcakes, cakes or cookies using frosting tubes to print letters. Squeeze mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, or jelly letters out of containers to enhance your food. If your not hungry place inside a ziploc bag and practice printing letters on the outside of the bag.


Tip 15 - Try Alphabits Cereal for breakfast and name the letters.

About Author

Learn more about other preschool lessons and learning the alphabet letters at http://teachyourpreschooler.com/

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