Thursday, April 9, 2015

Easy-to-Make Alphabet Knowledge Activity

A fellow teacher shared this easy-to-make resource with me. It's pretty self-explanatory, but all you need to create it is a cookie sheet, masking tape (I used a cute washi tape), and magnetic letters. You can see the way I structured the board in the picture below.

You can use it several ways, but basically, this activity helps develop alphabet knowledge as students arrange the letters in order, with a vowel beginning each row. You can begin with a completely empty board, or you can place the vowels and have the students arrange all consonants. Once they have arranged the letters, extend the exercise by questioning students about which consonants follow each vowel, but ask about the vowels in a random order. Have students touch each letter as they name it to further enhance the multi-sensory experience.

Extend use with this tool by continuing to use these letters in a dictation exercise, (particularly with basic CVC words). Students pull out the letters they need, arrange the letters to spell the words, and then place the words back on the board in the correct positions.

Another tip: help diminish confusion of reversals of similar letters by drawing a dot at the top of each letter. This helps students see which direction each letter should face, so they are less likely to confuse those b/d, m/w, p/q pairs.