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. 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. Here is a picture of the chart we use while singing!
We then review pictures that begin with the sound of T. I use the same pattern for these pictures every day and with every letter. You will see this pattern throughout my lessons:
I say(name of picture)
Students say(name of picture)
We all say letter sound three times.
For example, I may begin with the picture of 'turtle' with the letter T. I say: Turtle. Students say: Turtle. We all say: /t/ /t/ /t/
If you do not have picture cards, here is a video that I also use to reinforce the letter, sound and /t/ words. It is very repetitive and is manageable for my second language learners.
Explicit instruction in both the isolated sound and letter formation is crucial for both reading and writing in kindergarten! It helps students sound out words when reading and spell words when writing.
There are two parts to the word wheel. The front piece is a Tiger and has a window where the words and pictures show through. The circular piece has the /t/ words and pictures on it and those show in the windows of the front piece. The window that reveals the picture has the tail on it so that the students have to try to read the word before they actually know what it is from the picture support. I love that about these word wheels!
I precut the windows on the front piece. They are small and tricky, so I do not let students cut them. It is fairly easy to cut 5 or 6 at a time, so it goes pretty quickly!
I model how to color the tiger so that students see how to color nicely.
I say: Boys and girls, do we color inside the lines or outside the lines? (inside) How can you make your coloring look pretty and not messy? (color in one direction) Watch me as I color in one direction. I am going to color up and down. But you could color side to side, if you want to. Just don’t do both. Depending on time, I may or may not have them color the smaller pictures on the circle.
I model how to cut out the tiger and the circle. The circle, of course, is very easy to cut. But the tiger can be tricky, so I make sure the kids know where to cut.
I say: Watch how I cut ON the line around the outside of the tiger. Everyone say ‘around the outside.’ (students repeat) Do I cut on the lines in the middle of the tiger? (no) I continue cutting out the entire tiger.
After they color and cut, the students raise their hands and I come and put a brad in the middle to attach the front and back pieces. The students sit on the floor with a partner and practice reading the words. They can then take them home and try to read each of the /t/ words! Here is how it works!
I have often sent this home for homework and the students read the words to/with a parent. The students bring the word wheel back the next morning with a signature on the back of who they read it to/with.
This gives the students practice with using letter/sound knowledge to try to decode words. Those who cannot do that are building the understanding that pictures and words support each other.
Centers: 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.Pocket Chart- Students sort pictures into groups in a large pocket chart. I put a mix of pictures (tree, mop, snake, snowman, mask, turtle, mailbox, tent, etc…) in a basket and students sort them into three groups: /t/, /m/ and /s/
2. Writing-I use the Ellison Die Cut letters and punch T and t from fine grain sandpaper and glue them to 4” x 5” pieces of construction paper for durability. Students trace the letters with their fingers using proper letter formation that has been both modeled and practiced. I will also include other letters (Mm, Ss, Hh) that I have provided direct instruction in for students to review and practice further. (tactile fine motor),
3. Art- T cut and paste-Students distinguish /t/ ‘feathers’ and glue those /t/ feathers into a turkey picture.
4. Computer- students can listen to /t/ pictures and a story on starfall.com
5. Listening- Students listen to a variety of letter/sound songs that review letters and sounds.