At Journey Richmond, we have a literacy program that focuses on three aspects: letter recognition, basic phonics and letter matching. The program aims to create literacy-enriched environment for all Kindergarten children at Camelot.
Every two weeks, the Kinder room is presented with one letter during group time and provided with various table activities to practice their learning. We are currently up to the letter "I (i)". For letter recognition we use the children's names as an excellent starting point, because our name is a part of our identity.
We call the roll to begin our morning group time for that children have the opportunity to hear their names and respond with "here" or "present". The roll call also helps children to become aware of who is absent, but still belongs to the group which emphasizes the concept of belonging.
We also like to play the "name game" where we choose a topic and each child writes one word to do with that topic. For example, the topic "your name" means the children will write their names on a piece of paper. The teacher then collects all of the words and as a group, we organise them under the corresponding first letter of the word. We tally up each word and the children can see which letter is the winner.
The photo to the left shows the table activity we have recently completed with the Kindergarten children. First, children are encouraged to write down their name with the help of their name tags and teacher. The children then need to find the rest of the letters in their names, where they learn about capital and lower-case letters as well as proper nouns.
Another activity we use to enhance letter recognition is dotted painting, which focuses on the development of pre-writing skills. This activity used reusable printed worksheets that allow children to paint and colour at the same time. The way children use the foam noodles to dip into paint and dot around the letter, which enables the children to practice their fine motor skills. The idea of colouring promotes the concept of boundary, which is the fundamental principle of standard handwriting. In order to develop readable handwriting, children need to learn how to write within the lines and keep the letters a reasonable size and distance a part.
Have you heard the letter song before? For basic phonics, we play the children the letter song during group time. When children view and listen to visual and multimedia texts, they engage and respond with relevant gestures, actions, comments and/or questions. After watching the video, we talk explicitly about concepts such as rhyme, letters, and sounds. Click the link below to hear the letter I song : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P56hZEhqFCw
To learn and practice letter matching, we designed two letter matching sets for both capital letters and lower-cases letters. We have developed different learning goals for all levels of learners. The learning goal for beginners is to match capital letters with capital letters, and lower-case with lower-case. Letter recognition lays the foundation for this talk as children have to recognise the shape of each letter before they can practice matching.
For advanced learners, we encourage them to a challenging goal - whereby they must match the capital letter with the lower-case letter. Once children are familiar with the alphabet, we introduce a memory game to the whole group to practice the sequence of the alphabet. We ask the children "if some of the letters on the alphabet are covered, can you identify which ones are missing?" and "if three letters in a row are covered, can you identify which one is missing?"
We love making learning fun and enjoyable for the children and always look forward to exploring more learning opportunities.