Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Create Your Own Alphabet Line

A while back I blogged about how I create my own alphabet line in my classroom. I wanted to easily explain the process to some new teachers at my school, so I went back and revisited the post.  This is a great way for students to have ownership of the classroom, and in my opinion, student drawn alphabets are always better than anything I could make with clip art or purchase at a teacher store.

Here are my directions!  I hope you can find it useful!

Create Your Own Alphabet

Introduce a new letter each day, in the order of your choice or your school's program (I prefer McCracken’s). How you introduce the letter is really up to you.  I usually start with an alphabet song, have students say the letter and the sound and show them how to write the letter. 

Each day create a circle map for the letter. The students brainstorm words that begin with that letter and the teacher draws the pictures and writes the words on the circle map. Sometimes I ask students to come up and draw the picture, especially if they are very confident.  So often they say that they "can't" draw the picture and I want them to see that they can. 

Next show students how to write the letter.  Students can work in individual alphabet books for independent practice.  Click on the picture to link to my ABC book.

Choose a student to illustrate the picture for the class alphabet line and (if you choose) a student to illustrate a picture for a class set of alphabet cards. I like to have an extra set to keep next to the easel for practice and to use with songs. I usually have students illustrate their pictures on the blank side of a large index card.  Alternatively you can give them a 1/2 sheet of paper. 
    Attach each picture to letter page, or make your own. Glue the vowels to red construction paper, consonants to blue construction paper and Y to purple. I have my backing already laminated with the letters attached, then each year I simply replace the student pictures.  It makes it easier and it lasts a few years. Also, I usually trace the student pictures with a black sharpie (it makes a world of difference).

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Spelling Through Phonics

When I first started teaching, Spelling through Phonics by The McCrackens was absolutely one of the most valuable resources that I've come across.  I'm on my second book because mine was falling apart.  Now you might say that it's a bit outdated, but as a kindergarten teacher I simply follow the first grade lessons and adapt as needed.  I follow their instructions for introducing and teaching letters and sounds.  This book offers an extremely effective method for teaching phonics and there are no worksheets!  I was looking it up for something else and was just shocked to find that it was available.

Here it is!  It might change your life, for real-

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