Language is woven into all parts of the curriculum and is developed through speaking reading, and writing. Students are introduced to the sounds of the alphabet with Zoophonic cards which are a part of our circle time routine. Their first pre-reading activities may include working with sets of pictures for vocabulary development; materials for practicing going from top to bottom and left to right; pictures to place in sequence; objects or pictures to discriminate similarities and differences; and the Sandpaper Letters to learn the sounds (not the names) of the letters by using the three senses of sight, touch, and hearing with a 3 period lesson.
As soon as the child learns the sounds of c, s, m, t, r, and is ready to blend these sounds into words he/she begins building 3 letter phonetic words such as hat, lid, bug, dog and jet. Students progress through a phonetic reading program using Sandpaper Letters, Movable Alphabets, pictures arranged by phonetic skill, and word labels. The levels are divided into mastery of all 26 sounds (pink),3 letter words (also pink), 4 or more letter words (blue) and non-phonetic phoneme words such as gate (a_e), seat (ea), or seed (ee). This level consists of approximately 75 boxes (green).
Each child has a card on which he/she keeps track of which reading boxes he/she has done for each phonetic skill.
The child is shown how to get out his/her card, see what box comes next, go to the shelf and get out the correct box, place the work on a mat, and begin the exercise or ask for assistance if a lesson is needed After completing the work the student shares it with a teacher. If words are sent home, the next day the child shares mastery of the words sent home to complete that box and move to the next one.
If you would like to work with your child at home it would help him/her avoid confusion if you would teach the sounds of the letters and not the names of the letters, so that it is easier to blend the sounds into words when that moment arrives. If you are helping your child learn to write his/her name please use lower case letters (not capitals The first letter of each name should be capitalized; the other letters should be lower case.