ABCs · Tot School

going alpha-crazy

I’m quickly realizing that most of the “tot school” activities I had planned for this year for M are not going to keep her interest for long.  Before I completely change this up though, I’ve decided to spend the majority of our time over the next few weeks working on letter recognition.  We’ve done a handful of letters already but haven’t done too many activities with them each week.

I’m thinking that with the new year I’ll change to a full preschool curriculum with the tot school activities sprinkled in – instead of my original plan of tot school with a few preschool activities mixed in.  Before I make any big changes though, the next few weeks will provide me with good test run.  Between general letter work and spending time focused on the upcoming holidays, I figured we will have plenty to keep us busy!

One thing that I won’t change is reading the bible stories each week – this week we read about God giving Sarah and Abraham a son.  While I know it went right over M’s head, I’m glad she is becoming familiar with the bible and learning to incorporate prayer into her life.

We also continued to work on spelling her name – this time using toy cars.  She really enjoyed driving them all over the table then “parking” in the right spot.  I think the use of manipulatives have really helped her visualize what she’s learning.  I’m going to try to use them as much as possible while we learn the letters.  Last night, M really impressed the hubs when she was able to spell her entire name without much help.

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We also did crafts related to the letters “O” and “U” – as you can see, she thought the use of cheerios on the octopus tentacles was a waste of cheerios so she ate most of them instead!

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U is for under the sea
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O is for octopus

Something I’ve been thinking about as work out the kinks of our learning is the letters we are using.  The point of learning letter recognition and then the sounds they make is to prepare for reading.  That is why I carefully planned the order in which we learn the letters – starting with the vowels (since every word will contain at least one of them) and then continuing on with the more common letters (R, S, T, etc) and ending with the least common.  I was reading another blog and something they said about teaching kids the letters stuck with me – focus on learning lower-case letters, since something like 90% of what they read will be lower case letters.  Although I never though about it before, it makes complete sense.  I then realized that most of what I had planned revolved around upper-case letters.  While it is important for M to recognize both, I am trying to incorporate more lower-case work/books as well (harder than you think!).

Every week I take out a couple of ABC-themed library books and am trying to read some of those, along with a some ABC books we already own, each day.  Here’s a look at a few we’ve enjoyed recently…

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