Friday, January 30, 2009

What E's Learning

E's interest in the alphabet has made me think more about what she can learn. I don't formally school E, but i definitely focus on teaching her certain things throughout our day.

Some things I focus on are...

  • upper & lower case letters



  • numbers



  • colors



  • shapes



  • animals & animal sounds



  • food



  • identifying the words: yes, no and me

All pretty standard stuff. Eliza knows the entire upper case alphabet. However, depending on her mood she may pretend she doesn't know any letters. hee hee I have been reading her Chicka Chicka ABC and she seems to be picking up the lowercase letters. Other than that I point them out at the store, on boxes, in books and magazines and clothing etc. I use what she is interested in and go from there.

I know a lot of people like to do a letter of the week with their little ones- and this is often done in many schools. I NEVER did this when I taught Kindergarten because I think it is an ineffective and unnatural way to learn letters . Much research supports my conclusion. I never saw the point in spending an entire week around a letter. It bored me to tears! I will say people come up with many creative activities to go with letters but it just isn't for me- and I think the activities would be better served if used during a theme. I base what I teach E around what interests her at the moment. In K I taught one kid the alphabet using super heroes. That is what he loved and it worked. Another student, who started out with no knowledge of the alphabet- not even his own name- quickly moved to the top of the class after we started learning about sharks and the ocean! You have to use what kids love if you want them to learn.

One of my favorite teaching resources is a book called Words Their Way.


and here is what E is reading these days...



8 comments:

Lori said...

I hated letter of the week too! One school I taught in we HAD to use a reading curriculum that had it and I used it as little as possible. I don't do it with my boys either. I feel that they learn a lot more when they learn it through real life experiences. Right now with Blake he learns letters with many of his toys, through the books we read and just day to day life.

I have already begun reading holiday stories with Blake each month and will soon more to other themes when I figure out where his interests lie

Tracy said...

Chicka Chicka ABC is HUGE right now in our house. Madison chose the Leap Frog Tag as her gift with her gift certificates and this book. We've been reading it at least 4 times a day!

Beth said...

Do you think you might homeschool? You'd be great. I think about it all the time but I have concerns. I'd love to know what you think about it.

amber said...

we use words their way in my district! i love it also!

Rose said...

Alessia loves Where's Baby's Mommy too. Eliza always amazes me - she's so bright!

Andrea said...

Sounds like you're an amazing teacher for E!! I need to take more time with teaching stuff to Tate...though it's a bit harder with 2 kids now...oh well - that's no excuse, right? :) So, does E sign the letter to you when you ask her what it is or does she say it?

La Mama Naturale' said...

I agree with you. One letter at a time could make you go bonkers. Eliza is doing really well. We love Chicka Chicka ABC is a good one.

Marcy said...

You asked me about Montessori, and this whole post goes right to one of the most basic principles of Montessori-- going with the child's interest. That's awesome that you've helped kids learn the alphabet using superheroes! lol Major kudos on creativity, and I may come asking you for ideas when we start getting into this...