When I taught preschool, one of the most common questions parents would ask me was about teaching their child the letters of the alphabet. What did they need to know going into Kindergarten? How important was it to have every letter mastered? It’s not a requirement to know every single letter when entering Kindergarten, but I feel it’s good for kids to at least be familiar with the letters, knowing at least a few. With that in mind, what letters are most important? The first letters your child should know are the ones in their own name. Then, progress from there.
I have mentioned this all before and shared a fun idea about helping your children learn their letters. I have discussed the importance of using hands-on activities, as well as the proper way to teach your child’s name. You can find the link here: http://dressesandmesses.wordpress.com/2009/05/07/personal-abc-wall/ I recommend checking it out if you’re beginning this process.
This week, I will be sharing some fun ideas for teaching and reinforcing name recognition. There are millions of ideas out there so limiting it will be hard, but I will do my best. Feel free to share your own ideas, as well! We can never get enough in this regard!
The first thing to teach your child, before they begin to learn the individual letters, is what their name looks like as a whole. Also, writing their names is a completely different, more advanced process.
Without your child’s knowledge, write their name on a white piece of paper using a white crayon. They won’t be able to see it. Then, have your child use watercolors and paint on the paper. Their name will magically appear! So cool!
Question of the Day:
For you teachers, I want to share one more idea I used in the classroom. Every morning, as the kids came in, I had a question on the board for them to answer. Something simple, usually corresponding with what we were learning about, such as “Do you like caterpillars or butterflies better?” I had a sentence strip (laminated) with their name and picture on it. I would read the question to each child as they came in, pointing to the words. Their job was to find their name card and answer the question by placing their name under their answer. Later, during our circle time, we would read the question again and talk about the results. They learned so many skills! We did this for the first 1/2 of the year. In January, they began answering the question by writing their name on a sentence strip first, and then placing it on the board.