Category Archives: Alphabet

Spelling In Kindergarten

We don’t teach spelling in Kindergarten; rather we encourage children to write down all of the sounds that they hear in words while writing.  They are not perfect in this process; however, they are also not fearful of making mistakes.  Many children arrive in Kindergarten from homes where parents wanted to give their children a jump start on Kindergarten writing and have taught their children to spell words at home.  These children know a limited amount of words that they can spell and write perfectly and use these same words over and over again in their writing.  This does not make for very creative writing as the children only write with the few words that they know from their spelling words database in their head.  These children do not wish to make mistakes and have absolutely no risk taking with their work.  Kindergarten teachers would much rather that your child arrive in Kindergarten knowing some letters and sounds and leave the actual teaching of the writing process to us.  We are trained in encouraging the children to do their best throughout all of the stages of the writing process.  Very quickly, the stages of the writing process are:

  • Scribbling
  • Writing letters and shapes mixed together
  • Writing random letters in any order (that makes no sense)
  • Writing using only beginning sounds with the rest of each word containing several random letters
  • Writing using beginning and ending sounds
  • Writing using beginning, middle and ending sounds
  • Writing the words as they should be spelled

If you do not allow your child to progress developmentally through all of these stages, the end result will not be as you wish.  Children who come to me at the scribbling, or random letters stages of development turn out to be much better writers than children who come to me knowing some spelling words.  Please do not teach spelling words to your child in Kindergarten.

Re-posted from 2009


Leave a comment

Filed under Alphabet, First Grade, Improving Reading Skills, Kindergarten, Language Arts, Parents, Writing

Every Letter Every Day

In Kindergarten we teach and then review every one of the 26 alphabet letters every day.  We say every letter, every day. Some philosophies on teaching the letters and sounds revolve around learning a letter a week.  However, if you don’t learn the letter M,m until after January it makes it difficult to begin to write words with all sounds if you haven’t been taught all of the letter sounds.  We ask parents to review all 26 letters and sounds at least once a day at home with their child.  All you need for this method is a pack of alphabet letter flash cards.  We keep our letter flash cards in order for the first nine weeks of school, so the review would go like this, Letter name, then name of picture that begins with that letter, and finally the alphabet sound itself.

A, apple, a, b, boy, b.

Children will learn their letters and sounds when they are developmentally ready.  No amount of drilling from the parents or teachers will make it happen before its time, but the key is to your child being ready for reading and writing, is for us to provide the foundations that are needed.  Even if your child knows all of the letters by looking at them and naming them, learning the letter sounds and then being able to use the sounds in phonetic writing is the next stage of development.  It all starts with 26 little letters.  Start working with your child now to reinforce what is being taught in Kindergarten; all you need are 26 alphabet letter flash cards.


Re-posted from 2009

Leave a comment

Filed under Alphabet, Beginning Readers, Improving Reading Skills, Kindergarten, Language Arts, Reading, Writing

Child Development Tracker

Here is a wonderful site from PBS that will help you to track the skills your child should possess for his/her age. Take a look at how your child should be functioning in the following areas according to his age:

  1. Approach to Learning
  2. Creative Arts
  3. Language
  4. Literacy
  5. Math
  6. Physical Health
  7. Social and Emotional Growth

Leave a comment

Filed under Alphabet, Beginning Readers, Behavior, Fine Motor Skills, First Grade, Improving Reading Skills, Kindergarten, Language Arts, Math, Maturity, Parents, Play, Reading, Responsibility

80 Skills That Ease Kids’ Transition Into Kindergarten

80 Skills that will help your child make a smooth transition into Kindergarten.  80 seems like such a large number until you look at this list and realize that your child is already successful in many of these skills, and isn’t even yet in Kindergarten. Parents continue to worry about preparing their children academically to start school, when just as much consideration should be given to how emotionally prepared children are for the start of Kindergarten.  4500 nationwide Kindergarten teachers were surveyed about the skills that would be needed to transition easily into Kindergarten and a list was made from that survey. All 80 skills can be found on this website.  Is your child REALLY ready to make the transition into Kindergarten?

Re-posted from August 2009

Leave a comment

Filed under Alphabet, Behavior, Language Arts, Math, Maturity, Parents, Social Skills

Magazines For Children

The next time you are about to purchase a video game or other type of technological device for your young child, please give a magazine subscription some serious thought. There is something exciting in the eyes of a young child when the mailman or mail woman brings mail just for you. There are many magazines out now that cater specifically to young children.  You should check them out for your child.  A magazine is a gift that keeps on giving every month of the year.  Magazines also make a great birthday gifts for all of the parties that your young child will be attending.  Although my own children are all grown and well beyond these magazines, here are a few of my favorites for young children.

Your Big Backyard:

A publication of the National Wildlife Federation and is perfect for kids aged 3 to 5.


Disney and Me:

Join Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and all Pooh’s friends in Hundred Acre Wood for early-learning fun in a bi-monthly, full size, 32 page 4-color children’s magazine for ages 2-6

National Geographic Little Kids Magazine

This innovative NEW magazine is full of learning and fun for youngsters ages 3 to 6 and their parents. Bursting with lively photographs, engaging stories, and interactive picture games, each issue supplies you with fresh and imaginative teaching tools brought to you by National Geographic.;jsessionid=B55E9BE7E3FD9AB5EE6DFD2AD890A164?_dyncharset=UTF-8&_dynSessConf=4376355928084419046&trailSize=1&advancedSearch=true&liveResult=true&categoryId=&trail=&addFacet=19016%3A1%3ASRCH%3Alittle+kids+magazine&removeAllFacets=true&categoryFacetId=9004&trailtext=little+kids+magazine&searchmenu=allCategories

Thomas & Friends Magazine

Every issue of Thomas and Friends is filled with charming stories and includes a collectible poster, educational activities, and a pull-out workbook for children between ages 2-5.

Sparkle World Magazine

Sparkle World Magazine features all the characters little girls love! Full of lovable friends such as the Care Bears, Angelina Ballerina, Strawberry Shortcake and many others, Sparkle World opens a magical world of early learning for little girls 3 and up

Highlights High Five Magazine:

Highlights High Five is the newest offering from the publisher of the nation’s #1 children’s magazine, Highlights for Children.  Perfect for ages 2-6.


I am in no way connected to any of these magazines.  I only hope that you will find a magazine that your own child will enjoy.


Leave a comment

Filed under Alphabet, Beginning Readers, Fine Motor Skills, First Grade, Improving Reading Skills, Kindergarten, Language Arts, Parents, Reading

100 Best Children’s Chapter Books of All Time

Children of all ages love to be read to.  Books are such a fascinating way to explore our world around us and to stretch our imaginations.  Very young children get their information about the book through the pictures.  As these same readers mature and become readers themselves, they begin to leave the picture books behind and break into the world of chapter books.  Ask any first grader what kind of books they like to read and you will almost certainly hear “chapter books”.  They are not always sure what they mean by this, but they do believe that they are now too old for picture books.  (this is definitely not true – but that is a topic for another day) Not all children who think they are ready for chapter books or parents who think that their child is ready for a chapter book are really ready. To be ready for a chapter book, your child must understand what has been read.  Is he/she able to retell all of the important events of a chapter before heading to the next chapter?  Who are the characters?  What is the setting? Always ensure that your child is not just calling out the words without meaning attached to what is being read. When you are certain that your child is ready for a chapter book, whether he/she reads it on his/her own, or whether it is read chapter by chapter at night with a parent, here are some books for you. I came across this site that has a list of 100 best chapter books for young children.  Parents you may recognize some of these books from your childhood, others are new to the list.  Take a moment to look through the books, and then go to the library to pick a few out.  You can start as early as today reading a chapter book with your child, or encouraging your child to read and retell the book with you.  Either way, enjoy the list:


Filed under Alphabet, Beginning Readers, First Grade, Improving Reading Skills, Kindergarten, Parents, Reading

APPS For First Graders

I continue to search for recommended APPS for both Reading and Math for First Graders and Kindergartners.  These are the latest APPS that I have found for you.

Math Magic

This APP is well reviewed and is simple and easy to use.   Child only has to tap the screen to give the correct answer.  For ages 3-8

MathSmart First Grade

Designed to help kids learn first grade math.

Top Ten First Grade APPS for iPhone:

These are the 10 APPS

  • Successfully Learning Mathematics, grade 1
  • I Spy Phonics
  • Jungle Time
  • Iwrite Words
  • Math Bumpies
  • Montesessori Crosswords
  • I Know Phonics
  • Word Bingo by ABCya
  • Math Bingo by ABCya
  • Teachme 1st Grade (Highly Recommended)


1 Comment

Filed under Alphabet, Beginning Readers, Computer Skills, Fine Motor Skills, First Grade, Improving Reading Skills, Kindergarten, Language Arts, Math, Online Sites, Parents, Reading