I have seen tremendous growth in our students at Little Builders Preschool, a ministry of YWAM San Diego/Baja, as of late.
Our school is very unique in that we are a bilingual, international school filed with missionary kids. We have adopted the Montessori philosophy of teaching and learning so we have multiple ages in the same classroom. This can present challenges but when we have all teaching hands on deck, we are able to adequately work with our students one-on-one and meet their individual learning needs.
A few of our students have recently begun working with our movable alphabet. The moveable alphabet is really just cut-out letters that can be moved and manipulated to make words. We typically do this phonetically so correct spelling isn't the most important thing. These students have now started reading and writing (with the movable alphabet) several words and have begun to decipher new words. They are so very excited about that.
One of the reasons that the moveable alphabet is so wonderful is there are so many things you can do with it. Kids can begin spelling words phonetically (as I mentioned above) but even if they aren't quite ready for that, they can use word family flash cards to begin understanding how individual letters fit together to make words. This is a very important first step in the process of reading.
We also purchased the separate box for this set so that we could properly store them on our shelves. I'm really glad I added the box to our purchase. The box was an additional $24 but well worth the extra money.
Now, you may not have the extra money to spend on something like this or maybe you think the pieces would be too fragile for your students or children. Another option I've found on Amazon.com was magnet letters such as these.
This is such a great way to introduce letters and reading to young kids. It is a great strategy for incorporating literacy into your daily routines. This would also make a great reading or spelling center in the classroom as a way to reinforce those important skills in a tactile way.
One way we use this in our classroom with younger kids who aren't quite ready to spell things phonetically is by using flash cards. This allows differentiated learning for these students and gives them an opportunity to use this material. I had a hard time finding flashcards that were color coded and matched our letters (as this cuts down on the level of difficulty and isolates the learning skill) so I created my own.
You can purchase it over at my TeachersPayTeachers store. There are a couple different options but the full 111 page set of the thinner word cards is only $3 and includes 40 different words written in 6 fonts and has full color or black and white options as well as color coded to match the various moveable alphabets that are available.
If you love it, share it, please! And stick around because we have some other awesome stories to share with you. In fact, here are a few you may be interested in.