HOW TO BUILD A CHILD'S UNDERSTANDING OF LETTERS AND SOUNDS

Helping to make differentiation easy in Kindergarten as children learn their alphabet, upper and lower case letters and beginning letter sounds.

Working a busy classroom, teachers are always looking for learning activities that make differentiation easier. We know that every classroom has a wide range of abilities. Add in multiple grades within the same Early Years class and the range in skills can be even wider.

Literacy centres are a perfect way to cater for groups of students with different capabilities. They are a fun hands-on way to practice many of the early literacy concepts taught in schools.

With some of my students still learning to recognise and connect letters with the sounds they make, I've some different resources for my classroom.

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Letter and Initial Sound Printable Wheels - just print and add clothe pegs! Perfect for building up fine motor skills while learning upper and lowercase letters and beginning letter sounds | you clever monkey
Knowing that many young children learn best using simple visual prompts and sensory rich materials, most resources I use to introduce the letters of the alphabet and the sounds they make are hands-on in nature.

These playdough mats are a good example of this. 

They're inviting, simple in their layout but subtly introduce the sounds the letter makes along with correct letter formation.

 Alphabet Playdough Mats | you clever monkey


For those that are ready, I include these alphabet playdough mats which still allows them to use their hands to make the letter but it also gives them an opportunity to trace and write the different letters.

Most literacy programs I have been involved in teach upper-case and lower-case letters together although we tend to practice our lower-case letter formation more in the first year of school.

Alphabet Say It Trace It Write It Make It Mats | you clever monkey

To help build an awareness of all the letters of the alphabet in upper and lower-case, I created these two different letter only circles. 

One with lowercase print and another with uppercase or capital letters. You can grab a copy of these for FREE (link at bottom of post).

Young children still learning their letters and sounds may choose to work with the lower case wheel to match the letter on the peg to the same letter on the printed circle.

Perfect for building visual discrimination before children are confident in their knowledge of the whole alphabet.


Uppercase and Lowercase Letter and Initial Sound Printable Circles | you clever monkey

Ready for more of a challenge?

Those children would be encouraged to start matching lowercase to lowercase then move onto trying to match their lowercase letters on the pegs to the uppercase letters on the printed wheels.

Need another even more difficult challenge?

Encourage them to try these beginning letter and sounds wheels.

Initial Sounds Alphabet Wheels | you clever monkey

And for those ready to try and differentiate between all the letter sounds, I use these Initial Sound Wheels.

With only the images for support, children then have to be able to recognise the initial sound in each word and have an understanding of which letter symbol that is to then be able to match the two together.

Uppercase and Lowercase Letter and Initial Sound Printable Circles | you clever monkey

I include all three wheels in the one centre and encourage my children to think about what they already know and what they need to practice. You'll find them very good at selecting the 'best fit' activity out of the three for themselves.

Want some for your classroom?



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