If you’re looking for a way to teach the alphabet and include movement, learn about my Physical Phonics Alphabet here.
Learning the alphabet is one of the earliest steps for beginning readers. For students to grasp the their letters easily, REPETITION is key! I’ve made 5 different alphabet activities that work on writing, naming, and recognizing, uppercase and lowercase letters. These low-prep alphabet activities can be used for whole group, small group, RTI practice, etc. Below are some of the activities from my Alphabet Activities Bundle.
This activity below can be put together as an ABC book or used in journals as an interactive notebook. I chose to make it an ABC book, so we could refer to it often and “hunt” for letters.
Once you staple the book, students will work on coloring, tracing, writing, and finding letters. We do a few pages a day. Once finished, I’ll say “find me the letter ___” this helps me see if they know their letters AND it helps them start to learn the order of the alphabet. Your more advanced kids will start at the back of the book if they are looking for V because they know it’s at the end of the alphabet.
To make this an interactive notebook: Students will cut on the black lines to make “flaps”, then glue the page into their books. They can lift up their flap and draw a picture that begins with that sound or practice writing the letter some more.
For more practice recognizing and writing letters, use this Letter Ladders game. Students roll the dice, name the letter, then write that letter on one of the rungs of the ladder. To make this more difficult, give students the uppercase dice, and have them find the lowercase letter to write.
Who does’t love spinner games? In Letter Lollipops, students simply spin a letter, name the letter, find that letter, then color it.
It is important for students to not only recognize their letters, but recognize them in different fonts. Words in books, signs, TV, computers, etc. won’t always be written in Zaner Bloser or D’Nealian font, so they need to be able to recognize that letter even if it’s “fancy” as my students like to say.
If you have students that are still struggling mastering their letters after the first few months, you may needs to start some regular fluency practice. One thing that I find extremely helpful to work on recognizing and naming letters fluently are my Letter Naming Fluency assessments. These are in a similar format to the DIBELS assessment the students takes 3 times a year.
Show students the “master copy” of the assessments, and you refer to the ”student packets”. Students will try to name as many letters as possible within one minute. Students just need to say the letter name, not “uppercase A, lowercase d”. They love trying to see how many they can name before the timer runs out. I love it because they are becoming more fluent! I typically don’t show students the timer so they don’t get distracted by it, but I wanted to include it in this picture to show you how I assess them.
Here is the teacher copy of the assessment. I make “student packets” by stapling all of the assessments together and put their results sheet on top. I like having all of their assessments in one spot in case I need it for report card time, parent-teacher conference, RTI meeting, etc. When a student says a letter incorrectly, you put a slash through it on that assessment page. If after 3 seconds they don’t say the letter correctly, count it wrong, and prompt them to move on. I also put a bracket where they stopped. Count and tally how many letters they missed. Record it at the bottom of the page, then graph how they did on your “results” page. I pull students once a week to give this assessment and see how they are progressing.
I use this graphing sheet to keep track of my students progress along the way. This helps me see if they are making progress or hitting a plateau. I let my students graph their results, so they are aware of their progress as well.
You can find all of these activities in my Alphabet Activities Bundle. Hopefully this repeated practice of letters will help your students recognize and name letters more fluently! Use this with your RTI kiddos or snatch is up for the beginning of the year!
These alphabet activities are also available in my TPT store.