What to do with the alphabet! I never wanted to know so many things...until kindergarten but there definitely is a TON and we need that letter recognition and sounds especially at the beginning of the year! They help us with letter recognition which is HUGE and many can be differentiated to help with sounds as well...even sight words toward the end of the year!
I have the FREE cards from the Inspired Apple and they work great for my room! I laminated them and use them frequently for activities and guided reading.
1. Put the cards in order (A,B,C...) great beginning practice or great as a center.
2. Match uppercase to lowercase letters - it is important to know both so matching even if you just use a few as an intervention is a great idea!
3. Alphabet races (upper or lower case, or sounds!) - say the letter (or sound for higher students) as the teacher lays down the card quickly.
5. Go Fish- we played "Go Fish" during groups until we got guided reading started. I was surprised how many did not know how to play this game! It works great to match upper and lower case letters or to work on sounds!
We lay out cards first since some do not have experience with the game it helps, then as we progress we can keep them in our hands. I like how it can be differentiated for different groups but still the same fun concept.
6. Letter recognition - basically flashcards. We use the alphabet everyday altogether and say the sounds that go along with it! After midterm testing this has definitely helped us with letter sounds!
Here's what we use that even has other great actions to match to help with muscle memory.
7. Write the room -especially for beginning kindergarten putting cards around the room and having student write them properly while knowing the letter and moving is a fun activity!
8. Make CVC words - although limited to no repeating letters you can say the word and students listening for sounds can make it with the letters in front! Great for higher groups or later in the kindergarten year!
9. Trace the letters on the card correctly! great for beginning writers! I also have the tracing book from Kindergarten Smorgasboard that we use for my writing center.
10. Slap Jack
- slap the letters in your name
- slap the letters your teacher calls
- slap the lowercase/uppercase letters
- slap the vowels/consonants
12. What letter is missing? Lay out cards in ABC order and have students guess which one is missing? Try to get quicker.
13. What letter comes next? Lay out 2,3 letters and ask which letter comes next, before, or in between 2 letters.
14. Sing the ABCs..it is important especially to focus on L,M, N, O, P....
- students can hold up the card(s) that they have
- students can stand up when they hear the letter their name starts with.
15. Musical Chairs - read the letter you land on. Could also play like cake walk if you cards are durable. Playing it to the Alphabet song (or a different letter song) would be a great idea. Students who are out could still sing along!
16. 4 Corners using Letters - students choose a letter at the 4 corners to stand by. The "picker" picks a card (1 of the 4) without looking and the students at the corner are out! Could also be played with sounds to get more advanced.
17. Snap - place lowercase cards and uppercase cards on 2 different piles upside down. Flip one card on each over at the same time, say snap if they end up on the same letter. Say the letter or sound.
19. Use letters as the "table" or "group" names and call them to line up or transition by their letter - change them frequently so students have to recognize the letter to know when to move.
20. Row reading - put a row of letters out (1 case or mix cases) and have students read quickly. This not only helps practice if you do AIMSweb testing but also gets students to quickly notice the letters...eventually this should become easily. This also lets you know if there are some tricky letters for a student, or ones they have trouble with that you can focus on.
21. Pile Pickup - dump cards on the floor and pick up cards that match a category...vowels...in your first name...make the /c/ sound....adding lower and uppercase provides more options!