What Order Is The Most Effective In Teaching Beginning Letter Sounds?
This is a question I often get asked, “What order is the most effective in teaching beginning letter sounds?” Since I introduce the correct letter printing formation at the same time as introducing the letter name and its corresponding sound, I try to follow the sequence our occupational therapist suggests. However, this sequence does not necessarily start with the sounds that the students find the easiest to hear.
After experimenting with different letter sequences, this is the one in which I found to be the most effective in terms of learning to print and hear sounds more readily. The first letters I chose were ones that we will use the most frequently in our daily writing. The order I suggest is as follows: l, b, h, r, f, m, n, a, t, p, s, e d, c, k, u, v, i, o, j, w, g, z, y, x and q. The “Alphabet Program” which is included in the Kinderplans membership, was specifically developed to teach the alphabet and their related sounds effectively within a balanced literacy classroom. More information on the “Alphabet Program” can be found in the link below:
Information About the Alphabet Program
Steps to Teaching the Alphabet and Related Sounds
Step One – Read Aloud
I start with reading the suggested literature selection which is associated with the emergent reader that will be used to introduce the focus letter(s). If you do not have the literature selection readily available in your library, sometimes you will find an online version by doing a search. For example, I will start the year reading “Library Lion” by Michelle Knudson that is associated with the emergent reader “Lion Likes to Read”. You can also choose another literature selection related lions.
Library Lion Video
Step Two – Shared Reading
I project the color version of the reader “Lion Like to Read” on the Smart Board and model the reading process (reader associated with the literature selection). We do a activities related to the reader for a number of days. I will introduce the names and and sounds of letters “l and b” within context of using the reader.
Step Three – Word Study, Phonemic Awareness and Phonics
We do a number activities related to the focus letters and sounds such as:
Alphabet Action Songs
1. Discuss names within the classroom and other words that begin with these letters and sounds.
2. Discuss possible actions that could go with these letters and sounds.
3. Sing the songs related to the readers that are found on the “Alpha Tunes” CD which is included in the membership. I also sing “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” but change the words to begin with the focus sound.
4. Sort picture cards according to which ones relate to the focus sounds (alphabet picture cards included in your membership).
5. We sort pictures on the Smart Board. You will find a Smart Board sorting activity for letters “Ll and Bb” in the link below.
Smart Board Sorting ActivitiesAs a group instructional activity, we sort pictures according to if they begin with an “Ll and Bb” sounds on the Smart Board. You would need access to Notebook software in order to download this activity.
Guided Reading and Independent Reading
“Ll and Bb” Emergent Reader
During guided reading the students will be circling words and completing the interactive component which requires them to cut and paste the correct “b” picture that matches the text. This adds a comprehension component to their reading. After reading the selection a number of times during shared and guided reading, they should now be able to read it independently (pretend reading at this stage).
Literacy Center Follow-up Activities
The “Literacy Center” activities are an important component of the program as this is when the students practice what they have learned during instructional time. In the link below you will find information on these Centers.
Ideas for Literacy Centers
Alphabet Bulletin Board
NEWSLETTER FABULOUS FREEBIE
The fabulous freebie for this newsletter is the “Alphabet Bulletin Board Picture Cards”. These picture cards are related to the alphabet animated action video and the emergent readers. As a member, you will have access to three different sizes of these picture cards. These picture cards are the medium sized version. I place these in front of the room and refer to these regularly when reviewing the letters and their related sounds. Removed on September 12th.
Animated Alphabet Video
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