In today's lesson I will be reviewing the letters and sounds of the alphabet with my students. I am expecting to have all my students watching the video, singing and using the hand motions. Many of my ELL students have difficulty recognizing their names. Most of them point to a letter and say; "that is my name.". This is a hard concept for them to learn the difference between letters and words. Today's lesson is laying the basic foundation for reading and writing. All future lessons will be based on my students knowing the relationship between letters, the sounds that they make and that letters make up words. Identifying their name is complicated by other students having the same name or names beginning with the same initial letter. I will read the book, "From Anne to Zach" which is about letters and children's names. I will engage my students in a discussion about their names as we read about each letter. I will play a circle game with my students verbally saying, "My name is ___." . We will end the lesson by writing a sentence about our name and drawing a picture about ourselves to hang on the bulletin board in the hall.
My students are seated on the carpet ready for the reading lesson.
"Let's begin our lesson again today by singing and learning about letters and the sounds that they make. Is everyone sitting criss cross applesauce, ready?"
Our district is using the Alphafriends as part of our reading curriculum. I show these two videos to teach the letter names and sounds. The first video is a video from YouTube and is a teacher showing the Alphafriends letter card while singing and acting out the sound of each letter. Once we learn the "moves" we will just use the second website which is a slideshow of the letter cards with a chant of the letters and sounds.
"I am beginning to know all the motions for the letters. They are funny animals and motions. I love to sing about the letters. Yesterday we talked about letters and what we do with them, we make words with them. We learned that our name is a word and is made up of letters from the alphabet. Today I have the letters in my pocket chart. We are going to play a game. I will give you your name card and you will have to put it by the first letter in your name. This is so tricky! I hope I don't trick you. You have to pay attention and look at the first letter in your name so you can play the game."
I call each student up one at a time and hand them their name card. I prompt them in finding the correct first letter in their names.
Prior to reading the story, I went through and replaced the names in the story with a sticky note of my students names. When I read the story today it will be their names I read. I will have to read some letters several times because we have many "J", "M" and "S" names this year.
" Today I am excited to read to you the, So Many Bunnies book. I want you to listen because their is a surprise for each one of you in the story. So listen close, listen for the surprise."
"Here is the letter A? The words on this page say that the bunny's name is, Allisson..."
I read through the story reading their names. They laugh and giggle when they hear their names.
"So what was the surprise in the story today? Yes, I put your names in the story. I thought that would be fun. Now I want to play another circle game with you like we did yesterday."
"We are going to play "pass the pig" again so I need you sit in a huge circle around the outside of the carpet."
My carpet is rectangular so my circle ends up being rectangular in shape. I gather the students in a large circle. We sit and I explain my rules for "Pass the Pig".
"We have played this game before and it was really fun. We will be passing this cute little toy pig around the circle. Remember when you are holding the pig you can talk, when you are not holding the pig, you must hold a bubble in your mouths. The sentence frame is “My name is _____.” So when it is your turn to hold the pig I want you to say, "My name is ____." I will go first to show you how to play. Please speak as loud as you can so we can all hear your name."
I use sentence frames all day, every day. I am teaching my students how to speak English using proper sentence grammar. I am also making it easier for them to express themselves. Expecting a full sentence including a correct answer is difficult at five years old. I give them the frame to which they can simply insert one word. This makes the task less daunting.
I say, My name is Mrs. Adams. and pass the pig to the friend next to me. I have to prompt many students to pass the pig, to hold a bubble or to use the sentence frame. This sentence frame is the same as yesterday's so many of my students should be able to do this quickly. When all students have had the opportunity to say their name, we do a class cheer because we are so smart!
"Today's writing activity is filling out the sentence frame we just said in our game "pass the pig". My name is ___ . I want to see if you know which letters in your name should be uppercase and which letters should be lowercase. I want you to take a crayon and color a bubble around your uppercase letter and a different color to color bubbles around your lower case letters. We will do many of your names under the document camera so you understand what we are doing today."
I use my smart board so I can fill in the sentence frame with one student's name and quickly erase it to write another student's name.
"The sentence frame is the same as yesterday's sentence frame. Today you will color your letters. One color for the uppercase letter and another color for the lowercase letters. Thumbs up if you are ready to write!"
I dismiss my students from the carpet one row at a time. I ask my class helpers to pass out the writing paper. I walk around helping those who struggle with writing their name.
Students go to the carpet to read books quietly while I help others to finish.