No More Letter of the Week



NO More Letter of the Week (UPDATED)

We cannot write or read without knowing what a letter is and it’s corresponding sound. Knowing letters, the sounds AND that they hold meaning to form a word are critical skills to learn during the early childhood years. The National Early Literacy Panel 2008 informs us that students who demonstrate phonemic awareness and alphabet recognition are more likely to become successful readers. Teaching alphabet knowledge concurrent with phonological awareness has a significant impact on the early development of the concept of language (National Reading Panel 2000; National Early Literacy Panel 2008).
no more letter featured imageAlthough there are many different ways to teach the letters of the alphabet that are successful, letter of the week is NOT one of them. Children need repeated, varied and meaningful exposure to the letters. Research by Jones and Reutzel also shows us that the teacher should only provide experiences and practices with no more instruction than needed.
When using the letter of the week approach, we are expending our valuable learning time on only a handful of children. Some of the children already know the letter and others will not learn it that week since it does not yet hold meaning for them. Exposure to all of the letters in fun, hands-on, meaningful activities allows for natural differentiation of learning and as well as builds the concept of language and meaning of written print.
20190115_101740Some suggestions for teaching the letters of the alphabet include using students names each day in various chants, counting of the letters, comparing them, etc.; pairing letters with phonological awareness instruction in shared reading or writing activities; creating predictable charts with alliterations, reading lots and lots of fun ABC books, including letters in all learning centers such as foam letters in dramatic play to become the pancakes or cookies.
What strategies have you found to be most successful for the teaching of the letters in a fun, holistic, engaging, meaningful way?


Dramatic play is a great place to authentically include the learning of the letter names and their corresponding sounds. For ideas including the chocolate chip cookies in the picture above, gingerbread cookies, recipe, and grocery list templates, and more, visit Home Living Dramatic Play- Resources to Extend Children’s Play

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Safe Risk- in Block Building

Safe Risk is Important for Children:  safe risk quote

  • Allowing children to take risks develops their self-confidence, to plan, to solve problems, to engage their creativity, to be challenged and to use judgment.
  • Risk can include gross motor activities such as climbing on a jungle gym, using shovels in a dirt pile, building with large tree stumps or sensory activities such as touching the gooey insides of a pumpkin, walking in paint, or playing in the mud.
  • The teacher is the guide who provides an environment in which safe risk can occur, monitors children’s efforts and allows the child to do the work instead of stepping in with a “That’s not safe.”
  • Yes, we need to manage the risk; we stay close, but we allow the child to experience that joy of accomplishment or be able to determine how to do it differently the next time.

Block Building:high block structure

Staying safe while building high:

  • Place a hula hoop around the block structure so that other students are a safe distance while also allowing the opportunity to develop skills of balance.
  • Provide softer materials instead of wooden blocks such as plastic cups, cardboard blocks, plastic food containers such as lemonade cylinders, lunchmeat containers, and toilet paper rolls. building with cups


In what ways do you encourage children to take risks to become problem-solvers, inventors, and resourceful individuals in your classroom?