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One of the biggest focuses for Kindergarten teachers during the first half of the year is learning letter names and letter sounds. Once we have this foundation in place our students can start to learn how to read. We have a wide range of abilities when it comes to our entering kindergarten students. We might have a few students who know all of the letters and sounds. Some students that know half of their letters and sounds. Then we have some students that do not know a single letter or sound. It makes for an interesting beginning of the year. Most parents also don't realize that students need to know 52 letters, rather than 26 letters. They don't take in account that a student has to know upper and lower case letters. While the letter "Oo" upper and lowercase look the same besides size, the letter "Gg" do not look anything alike. I am always trying to find fun and new ways to helps students learn there letters. Starting to learn letters isn't just for students entering Kindergarten. Younger kids can begin to learn and recognize their letters at a young age.
Here are some different ways to begin helping your child at home:
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While reading books with your child, point out different letters throughout the book. There are so many great alphabet books out there to help with this.
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While going grocery shopping or while you are out and about take notice of environmental print. Ask your child what letters they see around them. It only takes a few minutes to do. Where I live there is a big letter "T" on the mountain for our town. My daughter takes notice of this every time we drive by it.
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Help your child to recognize the first letter in their name. This gets the child excited each time that they see this letter. I also do this with the first letter in my name and my husband's name as well. Your child starts to take notice of these letters.
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Bath time foam letters are also a fun way to incorporate letters into your everyday routine. There isn't extra prep time to build in, just do it during bath time.