March 3, 2011

Every Child Ready to Read: Letter Knowledge

This month we will be stressing the essential early literacy skill, Letter Knowledge.

Letter Knowledge is a skill your child needs to have in order to learn to read. Letter Knowledge is knowing letters are different from each other, that the same letter can look different and that each letter has a name and a specific sound. Young children first learn to tell one shape from another, the names of shapes, recognizing the differences between letters, and, finally letter names and sounds. You can help teach your child at home, too:

· When you begin exposing your child to letters, start with what is most important to him—like her name or things that interest her.

· Help your child notice letters all around. He can use his body or fingers to make shapes and letters. She can use magnetic letters and make letters out of playdough.

· Cut out pictures from catalogs, magazines, and newspapers that start with the letter you are learning.

· Play games with letters:

o Start every word in a sentence with the sound of your letter. If you are working on ‘n’, for example, say, “Net’s no,” for Let’s go.”

o Play and sing “Rhyming Basket” (Sing to the tune of “A Tisket, a Tasket”) (Using the letter ‘b’ as an example, look around for things that start with ‘b’.)

A tisket a tasket

We’ll make a ‘b’ basket.

Help me as we look around.

Look at the ‘b’ sounds we found!

The ‘b’ sound!

The ‘b’ sound!

Here are the words we found!

Children need to know both the letter and the letter sound as they get ready to learn how to read. Keep it fun. If either of you becomes frustrated or tired, stop or try another day. Children learn best at their own pace.

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