For the first few weeks of school, we always focus on the basics such as how to be a friend, sharing, walking in a line, sitting on the carpet, writing our name, how to use our materials, and LETTERS! Many students do not enter Kindergarten with a strong foundation in letter knowledge. So before we can even start learning how to read or sounding out words, we need a deep dive into letter and sound recognition.
The first week of school, we do just a quick introduction of letters such as signing the alphabet and talking about the letter at the beginning of everyone’s name. Then the next week begins our Letter of the Week activities. During these weeks, we focus on 1 letter each week and really dive into and explore each letter and sound. This helps kids get a deeper understanding of the letters inside and out. It also helps set up a great foundation for reading and writing!
Let me show you a quick glimpse of some of the activities that we do each week. These activities are all digital and can be done in whole group, small group, or even individually assigned through Google Classrooms™. We usually start each lesson in whole groups listening to the letter songs and talking about the letter. There is a letter song for each day of the week in the pack. Then we will practice searching the room for that letter anywhere in the room, making a list of words that start with that letter, or someone’s name. Students will complete the other daily activities in small groups or independently.
Each day of the week we will start our letter of the day lesson with a letter song then building the letter with manipulatives. I will display these on the board so that we can do them as a whole group but the students will also have the manipulatives with them in a bag so that they can build them with hands on materials. great for fine motor skills and spatial concept! Then we will break into our daily activities.
On day 1, we introduce the name of the letter and what it looks like. We also discuss that there is a capital and a lowercase for of the letter and compare how they are similar and different.
After the students watch the letter video and build the letter with pattern blocks, they will complete their letter of the day activity. Today students will focus on just the capital letter. They will find all of the capital letters and cover them each up with fun button counters.
Students will again begin the lesson with the letter of the day video and building the letter with snap cubes. Today, we will focus on recognizing the lowercase letter of the week. Students will find all of the lowercase letters and cover them up with fun button counter.
Today is when we practice discriminating between capital and lowercase letters. We start off with a letter of the day song. Then for the students activity of the day, they will find the capital and lowercase letters and cover up the uppercase and lowercase letters based on the code at the top. Then the students will practice typing the letter of the week, both capital and lowercase. Great keyboarding skill practice!
Today is the final day of our letter of the week. After we watch our letter video students will begin their activities for the day. Today’s activities are an introduction to words that begin with the letter of the week. Students will practice reading words that begin with the letters by using picture clues. Then students will look at a variety of pictures and sort the pictures to show which pictures begin with the letter of the week.
These are great activities to help students build confidence in letter recognition during the beginning of the school year and help to set students up for success in their reading and writing lessons throughout the school year. These are a few activities that we do the first weeks of school. To help build on these activities, I also add a few other letter activities into our word work centers or early finishers bins to help build onto our lessons each week. Check them out below.
You can also grab this Google Slides bundle to use in your classroom below. This does not have to be done only at the beginning of the school year. You can use this resource all year long however it best fits the needs of your students.
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