Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Letter Formation

I have gotten some comments asking what I do when I introduce a new letter and wanted to share my response. Other than reading a ton of books and singing frog street press songs (love those!), one of the big things we do is learn how to correctly form each letter. I show them EXACTLY how to write that letter. They each have an ABC handwriting Book with the letters in the order that we learn them (see sample page below).

I show them on my promethean board (or you can use the overhead) how to form the capital letter, then they practice writing the capital letter next to number 1. While they are writing I am going around checking to see if they are forming the letters correctly and if they are touching the right lines. I make sure to have a yellow marker with me so that I can write it for the struggling students and they trace what I wrote with my marker. Then next to number 2 we practice writing the lowercase letter together. On number 3 we usually do a pattern (capital, lowercase, capital, lowercase). For numbers 4 and 5 they come up with a word that begins with that letter and we write it together. In the box is the mystery picture. This is our FAVORITE part. I tell them exactly what to draw, one thing at a time. Ex: Draw an oval in the middle (I draw it and they draw it in their books), draw a triangle above the oval, etc. until the picture forms. The picture begins with the letter we are studying. Then at the bottom on the longer lines we come up with a sentence together (short!) that is about the picture (Ex: I see an apple.)
It is extremely important that the students are quiet during this time so I have "table team points." If I see them writing, working hard, etc. I give their table a tally mark. At the end, the table with the most points gets to go to the treasure chest (or you can give theirs a sticker on their page). I make sure to rotate it so every team gets a chance to get the most points :)

Here is the abc book, if you wanted it!