The recognition of letters by symbol, and that letters associate with specific sounds to make meaning.
- Reading achievement is highly correlated to a kindergarten student’s ability to recognize and understand letters.
- Being able to hear the sound of each letter is the next essential skill.
- Striving toward letter and sound automaticity together and separately is an important component of a balanced program for the kindergarten year.
Clearly Identified Key Outcomes
Balanced Assessment Practices
- Consistently monitor and track the number of sounds and symbols that students can recognize and use.
- Isolate unknown letters from known letters. Focus on unknown letters.
- Letter Name and Sound Assessment
- Identifying Initial Sounds
- Blending Onset/Rime
- Phoneme Segmentation
- Phoneme Manipulation
- Phoneme Deletion
Purposeful Instructional Strategies
- Letters are shapes.
- Letters have names.
- Letters are put together to make words.
- Words are what we say.
- Letters have a sequence called the alphabet.
- Most letters have one sound.
- Some letters have more than one sound.
- Letters are formed in a specific way.
- There are upper and lower case letters.
- Letters are printed in a certain way.
- Names are printed in a certain way.
- Manipulate letters using a variety of fonts/mediums/sizes/textures.
- Identify the similarities and differences between configurations of letters (i.e. curves, lines, height).
- Repeated readings of the alphabet.
- Locate letters in environmental print (e.g. find the “M” in McDonalds).
- Read and review the alphabet chart and build in visual and kinesthetic movements.
- Match letters
- Match letters to sounds
- Identify upper and lower case letters
- Say alphabet in order
- Name letters
RESOURCES TO SUPPORT OVERALL DEVELOPMENT
- We Can Assessment – Marilyn Pottage
- The EYE Assessment
- Yopp Singer Assessment
- Elkonin Boxes – Yopp Singer
- Alphabet books
- Alphabet Puzzles
- Salt Boxes
- Guessing Bags
- Body Shapes for letters
- Hide and Find – Place letters in the sand center
- Magnetic letter board
- Upper/Lower case match games
- Alphabet cereal
- Alphabet macaroni
- Old MacDonald Song “ using letters/sounds”
Personalization of Learning
- Find personal connections to the child – eg. Letters in their names, bring their own items for guessing bags, etc.
- Multi-sensory approach – touch, build, move, talk, sing, dance, clap, paint, draw, etc.
- Repetition and daily practice – some children will need more frequent opportunities to practice
- Working with speech pathologists or other specialists
- Collaborate with LST members.