Letter of the Week.....should we or shouldn't we?
I have been teaching a single letter a week for my entire career. It is the way we have always done things. I figured that if students are coming into K without letter knowledge, then throwing all 26 at them would be too much. Right?
Well, recently we (myself and my team) have been under scrutiny from the reading specialist (who was never a primary teacher) about this practice.
She argues that because most kids come into K with letter identification skills, so we don't need to teach the letters in isolation.
Hmm. I don't disagree with her on that point. However, I would like to note that we don't do a whole week of only Bb themed work. We aren't making Bs out of beans, for example. Our letter work is more phonemic awareness and handwriting based.
Let me explain...
We have a Letter of the Week notebook, which we use a handwriting tool and picture dictionary. We would put this in their spiral notebook every Thursday. You can find a link to this resource at the bottom of the page.
ABC Handwriting Pages
For morning work, or on a slow day, we would having our letter of the week as handwriting practice. You can find a link to this resource at the bottom of the page.
What order do we teach the letters?
We consulted with the Occupational Therapist and created a schedule for teaching the letters. We started with letters that start with a tall stick like L, F, D, and B. This helps the students get in the practice of starting at the top. If you follow Handwriting Without Tears, it is a similar order.
We also chose to save the vowels for the end, understanding that the vowel sounds are much more difficult for kindergarten students to grasp.
So, what did we decide??
After hearing about the Letter of the Week a LOT, we chose to only re-word how we talked about it. I figured, if the words, "Letter of the Week" gave the impression of Bs made out of beans, then we need to flip the script a bit.
So, now we call it our, "Weekly Handwriting Focus Letter." Figuring they can't be mad at us for teaching handwriting, right?!
So far it has worked well. No more complaints from the reading specialist or the Administration. In the end, because of scheduling demands we have started doing the Notebook as a Literacy Station activity, which works out great!
Click the pictures below to find these ABC resources on my TPT store! Or you can grab them HERE and HERE.
So, Kindergarten Teachers tell me...
Do you do a letter of the week? Comment below with your two cents on this controversial issue! :)