Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Missing in Action

Hello blogging friends! I am surviving at this point. We are 2 weeks into school and everything is going amazingly well! I have 19 kids (11 boys and 8 girls). I have a very excited and eager bunch of kids who mostly know their alphabet already! So as I have tested and found this information out it has made me rethink how I intend on teaching my alphabet this year.

I had planned on doing a letter a day and focusing solely on a single letter each day and basically any and everything we did that day HAD to have something to do with the letter we were studying. The problem with that is I want to do them out of order because I don't think it really matters if you teach A, B, C, or if you go random, M, R, D. As long as you teach them. 

But then I received a newsletter from NellieEdge about learning 26 letters in 20 days! You do multiple letters a day and continually do songs, finger spell the letters, and read the sound card all day! So I am trying to decide on which way I feel more comfortable with more than likely the first.

How do you teach the alphabet?

In other news I have been chosen by my wonderful colleagues to be the K-1 representative for BEP school funds committee AND also found out today I was chosen to be one of the 4 from across the county asked to be on the Kindergarten Response Team. We are suppose to take the new Common Core Standards and produce a VERY needed new report card for kindergarten. The one we use now is extremely outdated and practically useless. The students I retain on the report card look like they know enough to go to first grade. So I was thrilled and actually excited to be chosen to voice my opinion. We will see how well I like it once I get into it. 

Well hopefully I can get in a schedule and will have time to blog more frequently. I am missing reading all the blogs. I feel like I am trying to keep my head above water as we all feel like the first 4-6 weeks of school, until everything gets established.

I do want to share my favorite activity for the beginning of the year. 

I send name homework home and ask parents to talk to their child about how they received their name. I get them to write it down and send it back to school and I let the students share their stories about how they got their name. They love it. I love it. It is truly amazing some of the stories. Of course you have the ones named after family members or because it was just a name mom and dad both liked. Some of my favorite are the ones where a sibling was able to pick a name, or I had one who was named after the queen and she proceeded to share that her sisters where also named after queens. It is just amazing hearing or reading their stories. 

So my challenge to you is ask your student's if they know why they are named what they are and send it for homework. See what unique stories you get.



Hey Heather,

I teach about 3 - 4 letters a week we review on mondays the letters from the previous week and on fridays the letter from that week. I also take multiple modes of learning approach

I teach them according to Handwriting Without Tears. So last week we did Ll, Ii, and Tt, basically all the straight letters first then I simultaneously teach the image (visual learners) ,sounds (auditory Learners) and hand or body gestures (kinesthetic learners) to go with each letter.

For instance for Ll the picture is leaf or lion and the hand gesture is simple: hands gently falling to the ground for leaves and roaring claws for lion.

For much lower functioning kids I teach them the letter name and sound separately during small group. Once they've got some letter names down I start teaching them the sounds.

I also so lots of alphabet songs: greg and steve, Jack Hartmann, you tube!

Hopes this help.

musings of a primary teacher


BTW I have family in Murfreesboro TN! I Don't think I spelled that right...

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