Friday, April 6, 2007

My Favorite Letters & Sounds Curriculum

Hello everyone! I am pleased to be a guest blogger on Revka's Little Fun; Little Learning. In case we haven't met before, my name is Karen and I am a writer for the blog Thrifty Mommy.

While I am indeed a thrifty mommy, I am also a preschool teacher. I have been in the education field for about 10 years now and have been teaching preschool for about 4 years.

Today I would like to share with you my favorite curriculum for teaching preschoolers their letters and sounds. This is my second year using this curriculum and my students are having excellent results.

Letter of the Week (Book 1) is by the creaters of The Mailbox. Many activity suggestions are provided for each letter. If you will click on this link, you will find a very small sample of the activity ideas for "M week".

Most of my preschoolers come to school Tuesday-Thursday and I plan my activities accordingly. Here's an idea of what we do each week:

Tuesday: Introduce letter of the week and it's sound and begin our weekly list. In my classroom I have a bulletin board that has lists of words. For each week I have a colored piece of paper on the board and we put words on the list that we discover during the week that start with the letter we are learning. The students are getting pretty good at this activity now and they'll come to school proud that they can tell me a word they discovered that starts with our letter. We also do a literacy activity from the Letter of the Week book. Unfortunately, there is not an example of this on the site, so here's a sample of the ones for "W week" that I was cutting out yesterday. Sorry, they're not completed yet, but you get the idea.

Each day I also read books that go along with our letter of the week and we sing songs and fingerplays too. There are some examples of fingerplays and songs on the Mailbox sample link I gave you earlier. I use more songs and fingerplays from other sources.

Wednesday: Review our letter of the week, add words to our weekly letter list, and we usually do another consonant activity. Next week for "W week" the students will have a worksheet with several pictures. We will talk about each picture and discuss whether it starts with our letter or not. If the picture starts with "W" then the students will color the picture. This also becomes a great listening activity. Many students struggle with following directions and this activity teaches them to listen for a teacher's prompt and not to just do their own thing. Sometimes on Wednesdays I have some extra time left to review other letters or skills we have already learned.

Thursday: We review the letter and learn how to write it. The curriculum has a page where the students can practice their writing. It also has a picture on the page that the students can complete. There is usually a sentence they have to complete that goes along with their picture. I've seen that this activity helps to stretch their imaginations and become creative. I have been saving these writing pages all year and will soon combine them to make an alphabet book that they can take home. It will be interesting to compare the pages and see how their skills have improved throughout the year. It is a great keepsake for parents.

I usually try to do an art or craft activity to go along with our letter each week. For "V week" I cut out pictures of vegetables from magazines and we made vegetable collages. It was also a lesson for the students about what vegetables are.

While searching for the picture for this curriculum, I also learned that The Mailbox has Book 2 available. After looking at the sample page on their site, I believe this is a book I would like to invest in buying.

Thanks to Revka for inviting me as a guest blogger. Maybe I can share some ideas with you again some time.


Revka said...

Thanks for sharing, Karen! I found that very helpful. I appreciate the time and effort you put into this post.

Karen_thrifty said...

You're welcome. Glad I could write something for you. :)