Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Letter Recognition Activities

What is letter recognition?
Letter recognition is the ability to quickly and accurately name alphabet letters in order, out of order, whether capital or lower-case form.
Why is letter recognition important?
Knowledge of letter names isn’t strictly necessary for reading. When reading a text, skilled adults and older children rarely make use of letter names—what’s important is the sound represented by the letter, not its name.

Why, then, is letter-naming so tightly linked with reading skill? To begin with, the ability to label an object probably helps children store it in memory. Common labels, or names, also allow children, parents, and teachers to talk about letters, point out letters that appear on signs, and examine letters in storybooks. These naming activities help the child learn to recognize letters quickly and automatically.

How do I assess letter recognition?
Use a checklist to mark off correctly identified letters as your child learns them.  You may want to use multiple symbols through the chart.  I use a star for naming the letter and a heart for naming the sound.  Here is a chart created by Fountas and Pinnell:

 What activities can teach letter recognition?
I posted about how to make alphabet caps and now I want to share some activities on how to best use them to benefit your child. 
We always begin by dumping the container into a large pile.  Then we dig into the fun. 
Beginning with the letter A, we start to line them up in order.  With each cap placed we say it's name.  When finished we go backwards through the alphabet from z to a and again state the name of the letter.  Don't always go in order.  Ask your child to "show me an e" Your child will then say, "I found an e" and point to the correct cap.  Extend these activities by stating the sound that each letter makes, not only the name of the letter. 

Go through the alphabet and create a sentence for each letter.  Use as many words that begin with that letter as possible.  Allison Alligator admires adorable apes. 

Play I spy with each letter as you go through each cap.  I spy with my little eye something that begins with an "A"

I always like to add a book to our activities.  I absolutely love "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom"  It is a great read to go along with letter recognition. 
Use the link below to print out learning mats to use to match your alphabet upper case letters to lower case letters. 

Although there are endless ways to teacher your child the alphabet names and sounds, these are a few I have choosen to share with you and I hope you will share a few with me. 

How did you teach your child letter recognition?

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