Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Letter Knowledge

Hi, my name is Ms. Brown and this is my first time blogging :)

I have had the pleasure of working with Jenna for almost 3 weeks now. As part of my Bachelor's of Education, I am taking an "alternative" placement in a setting outside of the typical classroom.  Using all of the wonderful resources, advice and knowledge from Jenna and the Early Literacy team, I've put together some information that I have found to be useful and relevant to promoting language and literacy at home.  Stay tuned for more! 

2 of the best predictors of your child’s success in reading are letter knowledge and phonemic awareness. Here are some ways to help improve your child's letter knowledge. 

1. Recognizing the Alphabet

Knowing how to identify letters is an important stepping stone for learning how to read. Further, if your child can name all the letters, he or she will be better able to understand the alphabetic principle – knowing that each letter stands for a specific sound.

The “Elemeno” Problem:

The Alphabet song is usually our first introduction to this alphabetic principal. However, about half way through the song, most children tend to combine the l, m, n, and o, to make "elemeno.” It can be difficult for your child to understand that each letter makes its own sound, when these 4 letters are made into one big nonsense word.

To make sure your child has a solid alphabetic foundation, try some of these suggestions:

- Listen to several versions of the alphabet song.

  • “ZYXs” was featured on the Big Comfy Couch, and challenges your child to sing the ABCs backwards.  

- On tongue depressors, or popsicle sticks, make a set of alphabet sticks. Have your child arrange them in order.

- Provide many forms of the alphabet – sandpaper letters, for instance, are great tactile forms of the alphabet (see below). Or something they’re sure to love – eewy gooey letters! Place some clear hair gel in a bag, and add some food colouring. Make sure the bag is zipped tight! Have your child form letters with their finger on the outside of the bag.

- Read lots of Alphabet Books. Alphabet Books are Great Because They ...

  • Help children learn letter sequence
  • Help children connect a sound with a letter
  • Support oral language development in beginning readers

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault

Alphabeasts by Wallace Edwards

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