By: Linda Moilanen, Resource Room Teacher
I’m a Reading Intervention Teacher and every year I work with a few new Kindergartners whom have yet to master their letter recognition skills. Automatic recognition of letters can be a strong indicator of the speed in which a student will be able to learn the sounds and ultimately read and spell fluently.
I’d like to share with you five fun ways in which you could work with them at home to help develop a connection through the use of kinesthetic/touch and association. These ideas do not utilize technology except for printing out materials when needed. They are meant to be an interactive activity between your child and another person (sibling, parent, grandparent, baby sitter).
- Alphabet Arc Mats- there are several varieties: entire alphabet, partial alphabet, beg./middle/end letter only alphabets.
- Have your child use magnet letters or foam letters from a local dollar store and ask them to find a letter and place it in its proper spot on the map (the map arcs to help students visualize where in the alphabet letters live). You can reverse the process if you have the foam letters by asking them to remove a certain letter and place it back into its foam mat.
- For an alphabet mat printout and more related activities go to http://www.alphabetmats.com
- Fly Swatting Game- Print these adorable lowercase letters and cut out. Spread out on a table and ask your child to swat (swatters available at the local dollar store) whichever letter you call out.
*For speed and automaticity, try racing your child with your own swatter (kids love a good challenge) by drawing the letter randomly from a cup.
- Go to http://www.sparklebox.co.uk/ and click on the Literacy tab and then the Alphabet and Sounds
- Now look at the choices under Themed Phonics Display Sets and choose the Minibeasts Here you will find the colorful flies as a choice to print.
- Step on the Letter Feet- Print these cut out feet and place them on the floor in a walking pattern A-Z. Have your child start at the beginning and name the letters as they step on them.
- Challenge them by having them start on Z and Y and walk backwards.
- These can be found on the Sparklebox website under the Bodyparts
- Rocks to River Stones Game- Print these lowercase river stones and cut out. Place them on a table or floor. Have your child (or yourself) write uppercase letters on small rocks found outside, a dollar store, or a craft/hobby store like Michaels. Have them match up the lower- and upper- case by setting the rocks on the matching cut out. These can be found on the Sparklebox website under the Other Sets.
- Parking Lot Letter Match- You can use matchbox cars, or I used mini multi-colored plastic cars I picked up in a package from the dollar store. Stick on small stickers or write directly on the cars with a sharpie lowercase letters and draw a makeshift parking lot with uppercase letters for the spaces.
- Call out a letter and have your child “drive” the correct car into its matching parking space.
*If your child needs help recalling how to write a particular letter, I highly recommend the following flip chart and matching coloring pages to build an association in their brain for recall purposes.