Teaching letters and phonemic awareness is a natural part of play.
First, what is "phonemic awareness?"
Simply it is "...the ability to notice, think about, and work with the individual sounds in words." (http://www.readingrockets.org/reading-topics/phonemic-awareness)
This must take place before a child can learn to read, which is why it makes sense to begin in preschool.
Our Mother Goose Time curriculum recognizes this is a necessary precursor of reading and provides LOTS of games and play-based opportunities for little learners to engage in recognizing not only the letters themselves, but the sounds of the beginning, middle, and endings of words and how they go together (blend) to make a word.
Everything A-Z is a great opportunity to play games, provide observations, and promote the building blocks of reading readiness!
Our first "A" activity was "A" is for Animals!
Before each child received their chosen animal face, they each pointed out the letter "A" from a choice of three letters (A,B,C). We practiced some letter formation with dough and our letter dough mats from Mother Goose Time!
These are actually the letters that go with our monthly curriculum, but we have laminated them and they are the perfect size for play dough letter formations!
We picked our animal faces and then we DANCED!!
I LOVE the instrumental arrangement! "This instrumental song is designed to help young children hear the change in music from slow to fast, low energy to high energy. By dancing and responding to the music builds self-regulation skills needed for managing emotions later in life." - Mother Goose Time
Isn't it amazing that so much of play is DESIGNED to build self-regulation? Isn't it also interesting that with the loss of play in preschool's we are seeing an increase in lack of self-regulation and disorders in elementary schools?
I believe the two are directly linked. Children need play like they need breath. It is a NEED, not a reward, not a privilege, a NEED and should be encouraged, allowed, and promoted as a BEST PRACTICE.
The NAEYC says this about play, "The idea that play provides a context for learning and development in education is similar to the use of play therapy for children coping with traumatic experiences; in both cases, play as place provides a natural, comfortable setting for young children to develop." (http://www.naeyc.org/content/research-news-pretend-play-is-important)
Play helps young children make sense of the world around them. It is no wonder that when it is severely limited in preschool programs that processing disorders seem to increase.
After dough letters, recognition games, writing practice, dance, and songs it was time for one of our FAVORITE books!
And more dancing!
What a great beginning! The letter "B" is for Bubbles will be up tomorrow! Don't miss it!!
As always, I wish you well and I hope you get to play today!
Life is made of moments...
"There isn't anything more full of hope, joy and peace than a child's smile... It captures the mundane and makes it extraordinary." - LaDonna Woolsey
I am a Mother Goose Time Blogger. I decided to become one after trying their products because I they are comprehensive and serve my mixed age group well. I do receive products to review from Mother Goose Time and do so with my own honest and thorough opinions. For more information, please contact me at Ladonna@woolseyacademy.com