Today we reviewed the letter Aa. I asked each child, "Do you have any a's in your name?" If the answer was yes, I asked, "Uppercase or lowercase?" This really helps the children distinguish between uppercase and lowercase. I use a large tag board to write this down - writing the featured letter in red and the other letters in black. We count how many uppercase A's do we have? How many lowercase a's do we have?
Next, we become "Letter Detectives." We determine what kinds of lines are in the uppercase letters and the lowercase letters. There are three basic straight lines used: a sleeping line (horizonal), a standing line (vertical) and a leaning line (diagonal). There is one basic curved line. For example, in the uppercase A - there are two leaning lines and a sleeping line. In the lowercase a - there are two curved lines and a standing line.
Finally, we create an artsy alphabet! (All the finished letters go into a small pizza box and will go home at parent conferences). I found the wonderful Totally Tots blog with great ideas for this project. For A, we made alligators! We practice making the sound of A!
Working With Names:
I challenge the children daily to name as many children as they can. We began by looking at our new friends. Now we are looking at their names at the chart paper. So far, one child could name 8 children! The first week of school I made a book of friends that I printed for each child to take home. "Friend, friend, who do I see?" I took a photo of each child and under their photo typed "I see ___ looking at me." with the child's name inserted.
My first two sight words are I and see. I wrote "I see ________." on the white board and asked each child to stand in front of the blank space. Then we read the sentence, saying the child's name. Again, I modeled pointing to each word and then the child (like they were a visual icon!). So fun! The children loved it! By the fifth child, they read it without my help!
I try to incorporate the student's names into as many activities as I can in these first weeks of school.