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 Learning Letter Sounds. I sing these songs every day of the school year. 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 have formally taught them.
We then review pictures that begin with the sound of H. 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 'house' with the letter H. I say: house. Students say: house. We all say: /h/ /h/ /h/
Students are going to create a 'letter art' piece that we will post for the whole week. For the letter H, the students make a house with the capital H. The letter H is very easy to cut, but I still model the cutting and gluing. The H can be glued on any color of construction paper, but I usually use blue (to resemble a house with the sky around it) or green (to resemble a house with grass around it)
The letter H is fairly easy to cut, so I cut this one very quickly in front of the kids, stressing only that they need to cut on the line. I hold up my H when I have cut half of it and ask: Am I done? Does this look like an H? Of course, with half of the paper cut and the other half uncut, the kids say: NO!
Gluing is not an issue for H because it is the same no matter where you put the glue, meaning, you cannot glue the H backwards. I mention this to kids, but do remind them that they need to color the H first, so their glue will go on the side that they didn’t color because I want to see their beautiful coloring!
The struggle for the kids with this letter art is gluing the many parts to the house, so this is where I spend my time. I model how I color each of the parts very quickly. By this time my students know what my expectations are in regards to coloring nicely. I carefully cut each of the pieces and place them on the H where they belong.
The door goes in the bottom half of the H between the two vertical “legs” of the H. The shutters to on the top part between the two vertical “arms” of the H. The triangular roof sits on top of the H. It will stick up off of the construction paper and I make sure to point that out to the kids that this is OK. The chimney sits on the top of the roof and this may also stick off of the paper.
I model putting the glue on the CONSTRUCTION PAPER, not on the house parts. This is mostly to keep glue off of the desks when gluing the roof and chimney that may go off of the paper. They don’t have the spatial sense yet to know to put the glue on the part of the roof that is going to touch the paper, so putting the glue on the construction paper is much safer!
Release of Responsibility-Students Work Independently
I release one row at a time to get up, get a letter H and go to their seats to begin coloring (or cutting if it is run on construction paper) 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 H onto the construction paper, they raise their hand again. If it is done correctly, I tell them to go get the house parts. I am constantly monitoring all students. After they glue on the house parts, 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.
It is important the kids spend time learning about each letter and it's sound. This is important in both reading and writing, as most kids rely on the letter sounds for each.
Students rotate through the centers, going to one per day. I have a centers chart where they find their name daily and what 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.
1. Word Work- Sight word “have”- Students trace, write, order letters and copy a sentence for the word "have".
2. Pocket Chart- sort pictures by initial sound for /h/, /m/ and /f/. This is the first time they’ve done three categories, but they generally do not struggle with the heightened complexity of moving from 2 to 3 groups.
3. Math- floor puzzle that, when complete, has the numbers in order from 1-20.
4. Computer- students can listen to /h/ pictures and a story on starfall.com- Starfall H video