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Home : 2006 : Jul : 30

    Ideas
    By Cathy-Dee

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    I have taught for 13 years in a similar area and 10 of those in grade 1. I'd be happy to share things with you if you'd like, just send me an email and we can discuss things in more detail.

    However some first thoughts.

    - Chances are you will have students who are very low in literacy skills - not able to write well, not knowing the letter names/sounds, no real reading skills yet

    - For the first two weeks I would concentrate with one-on-one testing of the letter names, sounds and number recognition at least to 20. You can make a simple form easily but I can also email you one (not until the end of August though as I'm not at home right now where all my files are).

    Because the first couple of weeks (even months) is more difficult for our younger students we really need to take time to bridge them into the curriculum. So I found that having a number of centers (including play centers) was a great way to spend 30 to 40 minutes every afternoon. During that time I did all my one-on-one testing. My centers including....
    - using pattern blocks to make patterns
    - unifix cubes
    - lego
    - puzzles
    - colouring pages
    - book corner
    - take to your desk centers (small beads, math games)

    Basically anything that I knew they could handle without me for the most part.

    Once you have finished the testing you will have a better idea of where your students are and how to plan your units.


    As far as printing - there are good resource books out there.
    A general rule is to teach them to print from the top down.
    I think it is important regardless of their printing skills to teach each letter (both capital and lower case) to ensure every student knows the proper form. (Again a good resource book will show through illustrations the correct way to make a letter).
    Some letters will have more than one style so I usually at least demonstrated the different styles but then asked the students to print using the style I preferred. For example the Capital I can be written to look the same as the lower case l.

    I usually was able to do two letters per week.

    What I did was teach the letter on Monday - demonstrating how to print it. Then my students would look through a story I had written and circle all the letter A's for example that they could find. They also had a short section where they could practice printing the letter for the first time.

    Then on Tuesday they would print the letter again - this time in our more formal printing book.

    Then on Wednesday we'd start all over again with a new letter.

    If you don't mind waiting until the end of August I could mail you a copy of my alphabet stories and my printing booklet.

    View the original thread this idea was posted on



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