Welcome to another day of 31 Days of Kindergarten. Today Natalie is guest blogging about Easy Ideas to Practice Letter ID.
Hi all! My name is Natalie and I blog over at Collaborating in Kinder.
I’m so excited to be guest blogging for Abigail today because we’re talking about one of my favorite topics – easy ways to practice letter ID and how to make it FUN!
As a kindergarten teacher, I know we’re going to be practicing letter ID for most if not all of the year. If I want to keep my students engaged and learning, it is important to have multiple opportunities to practice and that those activities are as tactile as possible.
Having your activities be tactile will help create stronger pathways in the brain making retention more likely. BONUS – your students or child will be getting in some fine motor work as well which will make learning to write those letters easier!
The first set of activities are all forms of tracing or writing:
1. Students can trace or write letters in a bowl filled with sand or salt. I found mine for only $1 at The Dollar Tree! You can write the letter with your finger first and the have your student trace it while naming the letter.
2. Having students trace letters on sandpaper is a great way to make learning tactile. You can cut the letters out of sandpaper and glue them on cardstock or just write the letter on the cardstock with a permanent marker.
2. Of course, everything is more fun with paint. You can have your students trace letters with paint and a paintbrush, but you can also have your students dip a Q-tip in paint and dot their path.
4. Have your students go on a letter hunt. Instead of just circling the letter, have them trace it with a highlighter or smelly marker. The letter D page above is from my Letter ID Intervention in a Snap unit (link) .
The next activities involve actually making letters:
1. Have your students make letters out of snap cubes. You may need an example for students to follow (I like these from Simply Kinder), but you could easily model and then have students practice.
2. Geoboards aren’t just for making shapes! You can have your students use rubber bands to make the sticks of letters. They can make curved letters on this side as well, but it’s a bonus if your geoboard is double sided and has pegs in a circle too.
3. Who doesn’t love playdough? You can have students roll playdough into “snakes” and then bend them to form letters. These Alphabet Playdough Mats are a freebie here.
4. This one is a little bit trickier but it will keep your students totally engaged. You will need pipe cleaners of a few different lengths for them to twist together to form letters.
The last set of activities are all puzzles. Puzzles are some of the best critical thinking activities your students can do:
1. I know you can buy pieces like these at teacher supply stores, but you can also make your own letter puzzles by cutting the letter out of cardstock and then cutting apart the main sticks/curves. Laminate for durability if you want.
2. Puzzles like this are easy to find and inexpensive – I got this one at the Target dollar spot! This one practices letter ID and letter sounds, but you can also find puzzles where you match uppercase and lowercase letters.
Tip: only put out a few pieces at a time or your students may easily get frustrated.
3. What can’t you do with sentence strips? These puzzles are SO easy – just write the uppercase and lowercase letter with enough room to cut in between them. If you want to make them self-correcting, cut them each differently.
4. This puzzle is similar to the first one, but a little more advanced. For this puzzle, cut a letter out of cardstock. Then cut it apart in a few different places. Again, don’t cut too many pieces or your student may become frustrated. It may also help to have paper that is a different color on both sides in case a piece gets flipped.
I hope you found these ideas helpful! If you have any more great, easy ways to practice letter ID, please let us know!
Thank you Natalie for the great blog post.
And if you are looking for more ideas to implement in your classroom this school year, check out our series of 31 Days of Kindergarten and these blog posts: Beginning Sight Word Instruction, Must Make Kindergarten Anchor Charts, or 20 FREE Name Activities for the First Week(s) in Kindergarten.