A daily review of the letters of the alphabet in preschool

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on October 25, 2010

in Letter Recognition, Morning Greeting, Quick Tips for Preschool Teachers

As part of our morning greeting, we take a few short minutes to review the letters of the alphabet.

When we review the letters of the alphabet, we sometimes sing the traditional alphabet song. Using the alphabet song helps the children remember the order of the letters. As an adult, I still use the alphabet song to remember the order of the letters.

But most of the time we say the letters of the alphabet out loud together as the teacher points to each letter on the chart. For “saying the letters,” we slow the pace down a little bit and say each letter a bit more distinctly…

I also use both sets of eyes (yes I have two sets) when saying the letters with the children.  One set of eyes is on the chart so I can point to each letter and the other set is on the children so I can see if their eyes are on the chart too. I want the children to not only say each letter but I want them to see the symbols as we go along.

As we say the letters out loud together, I have a few tricks I switch out to keep the children’s attention. Some days…

  • I will slow way down…
  • I will speed up and go super zoom fast…
  • I will whisper the letters…
  • I will stop all together, turn my head around real fast and give everyone the “big goofy stare”, then we keep going…
  • I will skip a letter and see if anyone notices…
  • I will start to go backwards on the letter chart and see if anyone notices…
  • I will say the name of the letter, the sound of the letter, and a word that starts with the letter – For example: “B sounds like “ba” for Bat!”  I don’t use this approach until later in the school year….
  • I will sing the alphabet song “Greg and Steve” style like they do in “ABC Rock…

Ultimately, I want the children to look at the letters with me as we say them out loud. I never make this a long drawn out battle because we are going to do this everyday and those who I might not catch today, I will work on catching tomorrow.

One thing I noticed in some of my observations is that it is easy to focus on the children who speak up and look up and overlook the children who do not tend to look up and speak up.  That is what those other set of eyeballs are for. When leading students, use your “second set of eyeballs” to evaluate learning, participation, and responsiveness then make the adjustment to help keep the process fun and to help each child be a successful participant.

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