One of my fave subjects to teach is reading. I absolutely love our morning literacy time. When I plan my year of phonics instruction out, there are basically three parts that it includes. There is some sort of letter introduction at the beginning of the year, where I introduce every letter of the alphabet. Once they have been introduced, then we dive into whole group phonics instruction, and then once students are assessed, we add small group instruction.
Today, we’re going to talk about the 26-day letter introduction. This begins the first full week of school. I like to do this because I don’t like to make assumptions about what they know. This way we can all start off on the same foot. Each day pretty much looks the same, just with a different letter. Everything that I will be talking about you can find here.
We introduce the letter then add it to our “plate”, which is our brain. We talk about how the letter looks, and how you form the letter. I like to use the terms straight lines, big lines, little lines and curves.
Once the letter has been introduced, we move onto the sound of the letter. I introduce the letter’s sound using the picture for the keyword on the alphabet card.
Once we have covered the name of the letter and its sound, we move to what I like to call applying the skill. We make a chart with the keyword picture card, and we talk about other words that we know that begins with the sound. I draw and label their words while showing them that it does not have to be perfect. Then I have each student to come up and write the letter. I let them choose whether to write capital or lowercase letters so that they are comfortable in trying. It’s a great informal assessment.
Next up is our tactile letter. Nothing about this has to be fancy! This helps to reach learners who are tactile learners. We pick a material to cover the letter with. Sometimes we do tissue paper, other times I have them tear construction paper to glue onto the letter. This is perfect for fine motor practice. You can also use finger paint, noodles, glitter (eek!), cheerios or pom-poms, etc. Whatever you have on hand really!
If we have time, we take a look at our alphabet reader. I love that the title is just the letter, and the inside just has the word that matches the picture. It’s a great way to introduce and review concepts of print and initial sounds.
At the end of our alphabet routine is an exit ticket. They trace the capital and lowercase letter, and they color the keyword picture. It’s a nice end to our lesson of the day.
So let’s recap for a moment. These are the activities that we do during our letter of the day introductory unit:
- Letter Introduction
- Sound Introduction
- Alphabet Posters (Skill Application)
- Tactile Letter
- Letter of the Day book
- Exit Ticket
All of these activities you can find in the Letter of the Day Introduction from The Phonics Diner, which you can find by clicking on any of the pictures, or you can click here. However, these are routines and activities that you can use with any alphabet curriculum. If you have never done a letter the day introduction, you should consider implementing it in your classroom!
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