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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Now I Know My ABC's

As a former kindergarten and first grade teacher, I always found it helpful to have a ton of alphabet books on hand. Alphabet books are often appealing to students who are non-readers as they are often wordless.  They were always a great way to get students to learn their letters and corresponding sounds even when I wasn't directly instructing them. Many of these books incorporate letter sounds too, while others incorporate the alphabet into a story of sorts.  I decided today I would share some of my favorites with you. Perhaps some of your favorites will be on the list.  And wouldn't it be great if you learned about a new one right here?  They are not ranked in any particular order...just know that I like them all a lot.

  • The Handmade Alphabet- Laura Rankin- Includes sign language
  • I Spy- Lucie Micklethwait- Includes famous artwork
  • A Fishy Alphabet Story- Joanne and David Wylie- Always inspires a fishy art project to display in the room.
  • ABC POP- Rachel Isadora- Includes Pop Art Style Art Work
  • A Helpful Alphabet of Friendly Objects- David Updike
  • Arlene Alda's  ABC: What Do You See?- Arlene Alda- Love the photographs
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom- Bill Martin Jr.- The colors are so familar and loved by all.
  • Matthew A.B.C- Peter Catalanoto- Imagine 25 students named Matthew in your classroom.
Some of these books are not in print anymore but most are still available by some means when you search on Amazon. You can certainly take a closer look there. Do you have a favorite that didn't make the list? I'd love to hear from you below so comment with your favorite ABC title and email address. One lucky winner will win one of my alphabet products listed below from my TPT store.

I've also included a few great products below that specifically teach the alphabet and letter recognition, letter fluency, letter sounds, letter sound fluency, and letter sequence for your emerging readers.  They are truly products that I have used not only in the classroom but in my intervention office.  My students L-O-V-E these products and they are requested again and again with my kindergartners and firsties. Some are commercially available at your Teacher Education Store or Amazon, while others are available on Teachers Pay Teachers in my store.

My latest obsession for my little ones is using alphabet dot to dot pages. You can get individual copies online by just googling alphabet/letter dot to dot pages, many of which are free. You can also order some dot to dot books online and simply tear pages out for your students to use. Often times, you can pick some up at the store but I like ones that use lowercase letters too since the majority of letters students read are lowercase, and they are typically the letters learned last developmentally.

"Five in a Row" is another great activity that I have in my TPT store. I've refined it over the years but it is also loved by my students and a great one to stick in your Sub Folder for those days when you might be absent unexpectedly.  This comes in a letter recognition version and a letter sound version and depending on your students, you will find them both helpful based on their levels. Included you will find a draw deck of cards (or more than one) and your game boards.  Your students try to mark off or highlight five spaces in a row, while learning their letters, matching letters (same cases or opposite cases), and their letter sounds.  

                                                       Letter Recognition Five in a Row

We all know how important fluency among various skills is in reading success. I'm not talking about reading with speed here. I'm referring to fluency with letters and letter sounds. The quick recall allows our students to focus on the more advanced skills that are necessary to become a good reader.  DIBELS and Aimsweb (for good or bad) have given us the ability to see how "fluent" our students are quickly and easily in the area of letter recognition and sound recognition. My next product allows the opportunity to work directly on this fluency piece throughout the year but in a game format that is fun for students. Included you will find my "Spin and Say Boards" that are bundled for the whole year.  Also included are corresponding spinners.  Your little people spin the spinner, find the corresponding row on the board, and go to town saying the letters or sounds as quickly as possible. I simply copy these so I have enough for my small intervention group so each student has a set.  Just add a paperclip and pencil and your students are ready to spin.  SO MUCH FUN!

I can't imagine that if you teach little people that you haven't seen this game yet.  There are a bazillion versions of "Pop" available so I must include the letter version here.  This little box of popcorn will get used again and again. Your students will request this over and over as well. If you do not know this activity, you can thank me later.  But seriously run to your favorite catalog or teacher store NOW! You may get tired of Pop but your students will not!  And beware of the popcorn that says "pop" because all pieces of popcorn will get returned to the draw pile! 

And finally, you know that some of my favorite TPT teacher authors will have some great products for you that are just perfect for teaching those learning their letters and sounds.  So check out the linky below and you will find everything you need to add some more tools to your toolbox.  I wouldn't want you to be bored now would I?  ;)  

Until Next Time,

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