I’m so pleased to have Allison as a guest on heytherelibrary this week! Without further ado, here is her Flannel Friday contribution:
Letters are all around children – in books, newspapers, magazines, on billboards, and cereal boxes. One of the six Early Literacy Practices is letter recognition – understanding what the different letters look like, knowing that they have different sounds, and that each letter is unique.
I added the Letter of the Day feature to my preschool story times because I wanted to incorporate this literacy practice in a fun, teachable way. After we sing our opening song, I sit down and tell the kids that we “have to get a beat on our legs” as I slap my thighs with my hands. Once we have the beat, we sing “The letter of the day! The letter of the day! Let’s all sing and shout hooray for the letter of the day.” This is repeated once and then I say, “Drumroll, please!” and speed up the beat before saying, “The letter of the day is…”.
At this point I reach into my handy dandy mailbox (care of Lakeshore Learning) and take out a foam letter that represents our Special Letter. I try to pick a standard letter that will represent our theme for the week, for example, this week’s theme was snow, so the letter was S.
We then sing, “S sounds like sssss, S sounds like sssss! The letter of the day is S. S sounds like sssss.” At this point, I prompt the children to tell me some words that start with the S sound. I do get some funny suggestions, some that go along with the theme, and some that are way off-base (you can only imagine some S words that were suggested!). As the children come up with their words, I pull out laminated pictures from the mailbox that match what they’ve said. Sometimes they need a little prompting to go in the right direction.
What to do when the Letter of the Day has two sounds, such as G or C? I briefly explain that some letters can make more than one sound, and we may talk about the different words we can make with those sounds. I don’t dwell on this concept, though, because I know that this will be covered in greater detail in school.
The Lakeshore Learning mailbox is great to have, but I’ve also seen examples of homemade others on PInterest. Have fun with the Letter of the Day and you’ll be incorporating one of the six important Early Literacy Skills into your story time!