Thave had the opportunity to work in two Head Start and preschool classrooms for the past three weeks. Exposing the alphabet to young children is an important step toward children learning requirements. The aim of this reflection paper is to discuss how children learn alphabet letters through games. However, I had a few challenges along the way. Learning from this experience project, it is easier to have your own classroom, rather than substitute teaching throughout the Development Centers Head Start agency.
My change project is helping preschooler learn the letters in their names. I chose this project because of the low scores on the Child Observation Records advantage. The COR advantage reports show language and literacy, children scores are the lowest at the Development Centers Agency. Under this category, alphabet letter knowledge is the lowest. Teachers know that repetition helps children learn the alphabet. There are three activities I chose for children to recognize their alphabet letters. These games are Twister Phonics Letters, Shaving cream and name cards.
Activities such as these will help increase children’s awareness and knowledge of alphabets letters. Children learning the alphabet will enhance their language and literacy skills. These skills help children’s ability with learning new vocabulary and how the alphabet letters sound individually. My goals of teaching alphabet identification is to ensure that Head Start children are able to recognize and name the letters in their names, along with learning the other alphabets letters and sounds. When children learn phonics, they can understand the order sequence of letters and sounds.
As I entered these classroom and interacted with the children, I noticed that the children were busy doing other assignments. I placed my activities in the back of the room on an empty table, after the children had finish their assignments. The lead teacher let me work with some children. When the children came to the table, introduced myself and explained what activities they were going to play. I encouraged each child to notice letters on the walls, their cubbies, tooth brushes, name tags and letter links.
Children were shown that letters are all around their surrounding environments. After my conversation with alphabets, children were read a story called “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom”. This story opened up my activities for the children to learn alphabets. While I was reading, some children began to identify the letters in the book. Children called out letters such as “A, C, D and P”. These letters which were called out by the children, are letters in the children’s names. The next day, I entered classroom “A” so children could start the shaving activity.
As I began my activity, children were excited and anxious to touch the shaving cream. I explained the activity then children began to make their own creation of letters. Children were allowed some time to experiment with the texture of the shaving cream. Immediately after, children began to make lines using their index fingers. The shaving cream gave children opportunities to practice their fine motor skills by using their hands and fingers. This activity showed it did not take long for children to explore the texture of shaving cream and letter create writing.
In classrooms “A” and “B” all children enjoyed discovering that you can make letters and other objects with shaving cream. Twister Phonics Letters was introduce the next day. This activity was added to improve children is remembering skills with identification of letters. This game was modified to meet the needs of each child. Twister Phonics showed all twenty-six letters with a picture below to help children identify letters. Children spun the wheel, and where the wheel lands, the children have a chance to either name the letters or the picture below the letter.
However, while children were playing the Twister Phonic Letter game, they only wanted to spin the wheel. As time went on children began to understand the concept of the game and started or tried to name the alphabet letter. Children who could not identify the letter, identified the picture which represents the letters. For some children naming the pictures was easier to identify. Classroom “A” understand most of games I was trying to teach. However, classroom “B” needed more instruction for the “Twister Phonic Board game”.
Each child received a name tag with their first and last names written on cards. With my name tags, I would place cards on the tables and chairs. After placing name cards on tables and chairs, I asked each child to locate their names and sit in front of the chair where their name was located. However some children needed help and for the ones who could recognize their names, they helped the other children. In summary, the first steps in a child’s learning experience in Head Start and preschools is alphabet awareness.
Learning to identify the alphabet letters is important. When children first view the alphabet letters in their names, picture reading and seeing environmental print, children simply just see lines and curves. Children must learn that alphabet is a style for letters. I discovered different ways to help children recognize the letters of the alphabets. While engaging the lesson, I had choices for children to identify letters. Children will learn in an enjoyable fashion. This beginning of knowledge comprehension will prepare children to read and write when they become older.