I always start off my letter/sound instruction by singing two ABC songs. The first one focuses just on the letters and order of the alphabet. The second one focuses on the sound of each letter. I sing these songs every day of the school year. Singing the alphabet is important because t helps the students rapidly recall the letters and their sounds. It also gives them some familiarity with the letter when we study it more in depth. Even though I have not formally taught every letter and sound at this time of year, the kids quickly learn the songs and they actually recognize many of the letter sounds before I formally teach them. We then review pictures that begin with /m/. I use the same pattern for these pictures every day and with every letter. You will see this pattern throughout my lessons. The basic pattern is I say(name of picture), you say(name of picture), we say letter sound three times. For example, I may begin with the picture of 'mouse' with the letter M. I say: Mouse. Students say: Mouse. We all say: /m/ /m/ /m/
If you do not have any picture cards, here is a great video that does the same thing!
Macaroni- Students are going to create a 'letter art' piece that we will post for the whole week. For the letter M, it is a colored M with macaroni clued on it. I first show the students the block letter M. I model how we color it NICELY with one color. I talk about how when you color in one direction, either across or up/down, your picture looks like a student colored it. This is how we color at school.
Next, comes the cutting. Many of my students have never held scissors before, so I model cutting for a good part of the year. The M, in particular, is tricky because there are so many lines to cut. They often get half way through, get tired, and think they are done. So it is important to show them how long it takes to cut this letter. I point out that we cut ON THE LINE. I stop mid way though and hold up the entire half cut paper and ask, "Am I done? Is this the letter M?" Of course, they say, "No." So I continue cutting. When I am done, I hold up the letter and ask, "Now is it the letter M?" Of course they say, "Yes."
The last part is gluing. Like cutting, many of my students have never used glue. I have them glue their letter M onto a piece of construction paper. I show them how they only need 5 little dots of glue on the back of the M. I model where to put their little dots and how to carefully place their M in the middle of the construction paper. The last part is gluing the macaroni. I only allow them to glue 10 pieces of macaroni onto their M. We count out 10 pieces together for mine and I model how to put one little dot on the M, then placing the macaroni onto the dot. Say, "Boys and girls, how many pieces of macaroni do you get for your M?" They should say 10.
I put the Ms, construction paper and macaroni all on the floor in three separate piles. I release one row at a time to get up, get a letter M and go to their seats to begin coloring. As they finish coloring they will begin to cut. My students have scissors in their desks. I monitor and assist where necessary as students color and cut. When they finish cutting, students must raise their hand. I come over to check their coloring and cutting. If it is correct and they are finished, I tell them to put their trash in the trashcan and go get a glue and construction paper. Once they are done gluing their M onto the construction paper, they raise their hand again. If it is done correctly, i tell them to go get their macaroni.
I am constantly monitoring all students, but I pay particular attention to them as they bring their macaroni back to their desks. If they have too many or too few, I ask them to count for me. This is a great way for me to see if they have 1:1 correspondence and/or who can and cannot count to 10. If your class is more capable, of course, this number could be changed. After they glue their macaroni, they put their name on the paper and bring it to a table in the room to dry. They put glue and scissors away and find their workshop center for the day.
Each day students rotate through centers, going to one per day. I have a centers chart where students find their name and which center they are assigned to for that day. My centers are designed to address skills that students need, be it fine motor, gross motor or academic. Here are my centers for this week.
1. Pocket Chart- Students sort pictures into 2 groups: /m/ and non /m/. I have a basket of pictures (mouse, muffin, cat, car, motorcycle, castle, etc...) and students place the /m/ pictures under the 'M' card on the left side of the pocket chart and the /c/ on the right side of the pocket chart.
2. Writing- Students practice writing the letter Mm on white boards
3. Math- I have picture puzzles that have two pieces per puzzle. One side is a number 1-10 and the other side is a picture with a certain number of objects. Students must match the number to the correct set of objects. For example, they would match the number two with the puzzle piece that shows 2 bicycles.
4. Art M cut/paste-Students distinguish /m/ pictures and glue them in to a larger picture
5. Computer- students can listen to /m/ pictures and a story on starfall.com