In the past I have been asked how I teach Preschoolers ABC's, letter recognition, and ultimately writing their name. The answer is simple. Here at the Clubhouse, letters are everywhere, and the Clubhouse Kids manage to teach themselves.
Sure, I help them a long.
That's what I'm here for, right?
I start with a basket.
Then I made some letters.
I used our Microsoft Word program, selected Word Art, and chose the letters that were "hollow". Enlarged them, printed them out (they were large, intentionally, and so I could only print one letter per page), cut to the size I wanted, and laminated them individually.
Then they went into a basket. Also in the basket is some red felt (you shall see why...) Done.
Next to the basket is our "I Spy the Letter ___" bottle. Very simple to make as well. An old jar filled with brown rice and every letter of the alphabet. The letters were courtesy of a retired Scrabble game that has since been replaced by the Deluxe, swivel board, letters don't slide around when you're playing edition.
The rest was up to the Clubhouse Kids.
They have used the letters with dry erase markers, able to erase (that's where the red felt comes in) and write the letters as many times as they want.
Sometimes they couple this with the "I Spy" jar, shaking it until they spot a letter and then finding that letter in the basket and filling it in accordingly.
"I spy the letter H."
The basket of letters can go anywhere in the Clubhouse Classroom, and it does.
They have taken it to the play dough table...
"H is like 2 worms and a bridge!"
"J is in my name!"
They have used natural elements in the classroom with their letters...
"R is for rrrrrock, right Ms. Liz?"
...and one of my personal favorites,
"Can I put the letter inside the bead baggie?"
Of course you can.
That was a water bead sensory baggie (did you know that water beads in hair gel don't shrink?) we made awhile back. We slipped the letter right in, and the Clubhouse Kids had fun lining up the beads to make the letter. We have since made a ton of these bags, letters included. Let it be known that even after being in the baggie for weeks, the letters still come out unscathed. Isn't laminating wonderful?
Having letters available, to be used whenever they want, is how the Clubhouse Kids master letter recognition. How do I know?
They themselves decide to draw letter D's in our dirt paint.
They themselves choose to write letters in their crayon dust.
They themselves, when I least expect it, bring letters to the lesson plan.
Of course, I did laminate the letters and put them into a basket.
I get credit for that, right?
**For a copy of our letters, here's a free printable. Like I mentioned above, the letters are large and therefore print out one per page, so make sure your printer has enough paper. Also, don't forget to laminate, it allows the letters to withstand just about any play they are subjected to ;)
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