A. Natural Tips
1. Master’s work in Reading Specialist/thesis on natural readers—natural readers had many commonalities, including access to print, being read to a lot, letters and rhyming words activities all the time, natural teaching
2. Our protocol: Not teach anything from a workbook that could be taught naturally
a. Letters everywhere!
c. Rhyming words
e. Reading to child helps introduce letters, etc.
3. Alphabet books of all kinds are fine for reviewing and fun, but be sure that instructional materials are more specific (see below)
B. Tips for Choosing Letter Recognition Program
1. Letters should be written with the same font the student writes (ball and stick for a; no straight line for j, etc.)
2. Do upper and lower case letters together at first (separate them later—put both at same time so that they have more chance for success at first). As the student sees these together, the connection will be better between upper and lower for him.
3. Call upper and lower case letters the same thing all the time—capital/big/upper case; little/inferior case…be consistent; use same wording child does.
4. Best of all—primary letters with lines. This will give the student the proper orientation (how far up the little l goes or how far down the little p goes).
5. Using ABC letter cards (Here are mine)
a. Both upper and lower on cards for a while
b. Then matching upper cards and lower cards
c. Play Go Fish or Memory with the upper and lower cards
C. Using ABC Song and Order of Letters for Teaching
1. Use a poster or posterette with the ABC’s lined up exactly as they are sung.
2. Sing it with the student SLOWLY while pointing to the letters. Do not let him run them all together. (I let kiddos do that at the end—after we’ve done them painfully slow with the poster!)
3. Hang ABC posters around house
4. ABC order vs more specifically keeping short a, e, I far from each other and b and d not close to each other?
D. Sight Sound ABC Recognition
1. Use fun materials and teach naturally—Walmart starts the same as William does!
2. Be sure clue pictures are the following
a. Easily recognized, preferably nouns (not pointing to a hand where student wonders if it is a finger, wrist, hand, or palm)
b. Be sure the sound is not ambiguous (not orca for o—either short o (otter) or long o (oatmeal). Also do not use blends (star vs sun) or digraphs (chop vs cat)
c. Don’t do short vowel and long vowel (or soft and hard c/g) at the same time—my ABC cards and songs programs both use short vowels first time through then additional cards to do the long vowel beginning sounds
d. Use same clue words over and over again until sight sound mastery is reached. Student should always be able to say A says a as in ax and apple) (See ABC Song Posters)
e. Use clue words that are as short in length as possible (hat not hippopotamus—I use words from Dolch and Fry word lists so that the clue words are also the first words they will have in their readers when they learn to read!
3. Using ABC cards and clue picture cards together
a. Can use upper and lower case letters together if they are still unsure of them separately
b. Can use upper and lower separately if they are mastered
c. Match letters with picture that makes that sound (best if pictures come in two options—with the letters on them or on back and without the letters)
1. ABC products at our store: https://characterinkstore.com/?s=ABC
2. Vocabulary-controlled readers from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=donna+reish+readers&ref=nb_sb_noss
3. Color and read readers for new readers: https://characterinkstore.com/?s=color+and+read+readers
4. Videos and Podcasts about teaching: https://characterinkblog.com/podcasts/
5. Follow or friend me so you don’t miss any Donna Daily teaching videos!