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    letter of the week
    By Betty de Groot

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    Hello. I do a letter of the week for both my JK and Sk children. Last year we followed the sequence probided by the Jolly Phonics program. This is an excellent sequence if you want the children to start reading quickly (its also very suitable for gr. 1, & 2). When I introduce a new letter/sound we use a picture which shows something that starts with the letter, as well as a sketch of a child who is doing the "action" which goes with that sound. The actions help to reinforce the sound. (ie. for "a" there is a picture of an ant, and the sketch shows a child creeping her fingers up her arm and saying "aaaa" as if she is reacting to the imaginary ant going up her arm. We read a story which actually tells about this image. The children answer questions about the story and they practice the action and the sound. Optionally you can read a letter poem, or tell letter riddles based on the letter/sound being taught. As a follow up the children will colour in the picture, or will draw his or her own picture, will practise writing capital and lower case of the letter, will look for and cut out magazine pictures of the upper and lower case letters, will cut out pictures which depict that sound, will paint the letter of the week, will make playdough models of the letter of the week, will work on a prepared alphabet booklet, will bring in a show and tell item which begins with the week's letter. If you send home a calendar to the children's parents, you can let them know when you will be studying different letters.

    This year we are accelerating the SK programme as they have already been exposed to Jolly Phonics in JK, so it is two letters per week. Along side this we intend to teach them how to begin to spell words using the letters that have been taught. The JKs are going to be taught the Jolly phonics method but we have decided to use a sequence which reflects the complexity of forming the letters: ie H, I, L, F, E, etc.

    I hope this helps a bit. Sorry for being so lengthy.

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