Letter learning is one of the first pre-reading and writing skills that children learn. It includes being able to identify and name each letter of the alphabet; say the sound that each letter makes; and be able to write the letters in both uppercase and lowercase forms.
Many parents often wonder which letters to teach first. We recommend kids learning the letters that have the most meaning to them such as letters in their names or the names of their family members or pets. We then find it best to focus on the letters that are the same in both uppercase and lowercase forms such as Cc, Ff, Kk, Oo, Pp, Ss, Tt, Uu, Vv, Ww, Xx, Yy, Zz. Because these letters look so similar, they are easy to recognize and reduce the total number of letters to learn. Once they have begun to master the letters in their names and the same-looking uppercase and lowercase letters, parents can begin to introduce both uppercase and lowercase letters that don’t look the same such as Aa, Bb, Dd, Ee, Gg, Hh, Ii, Jj, Ll, Mm, Nn, Qq, Rr. A good place to start when learning these letter sets is with the uppercase forms of the letters and then use that knowledge to make letter matches to their lowercase forms.
At Neighborhood Lit, we use letter cards, letter sticks, foam letters, letter tiles, magnets, puzzles, games, etc. to help the kids practice identifying and naming each letter over and over. By using a variety of materials, they learn to identify, say sounds, and write letters that they can recognize in all different forms, fonts, and colors. We also include letter learning while playing fun games such as memory, pick a card, hide and seek, bingo, shaving cream, parachute or musical chairs. These activities motivate the kids to learn the letter names and sounds, and practice writing them while having fun and engaging in playful learning experiences.
Any questions? Please email us at Janice@Neighborhoodlit.com. Taylor Burke is a teacher and Director of Communications at Neighborhood Lit. and works closely with Janice Migliazza, a Reading Specialist and owner of Neighborhood Lit, Route 34, Colts Neck to bring you this information.