Chapter 2

The Pre-A reader

At my previous school we used STEP testing by UChicago and they had a chart of upper and lower case letters out of order plus you could enter the student’s responses online which made it easy when looking at data for the components of the test such as this one. Before that I had used this self-created alphabet chart and tracked individual growth. Nothing fancy but it did the work.

Focus questions:

Q1: Research shows that children who come to school not knowing all 26 letter
names are likely to read below grade level in fourth grade. What procedures in
Chapter 2 help children quickly learn letters? 

  • I love the idea of the alphabet book tracing, in 1st grade chances are that I would have very few pre-A students. I think that peer tutors would be very helpful to complete this activity during work on writing in addition to working with names activity in the Pre-A lesson. Last year I send home a tracing book for vowels with one of my students and showed mom how to have her daughter trace the letters, it helped her catch up in less than 2 weeks. I came across this video for the name puzzle, which is not one of the videos in the PreA in the PD website for the book.

Q2: How do you help students with letter reversal?

  • I took this idea and told my students b has a belly, d has a diaper. It makes them laugh and I see some of them remember it but not consistently. Here are some other ideas that I came across.

Q3: Which part of the lesson plan did you love the most? Which part of the lesson plan did you like the least or are hesitant about?

  • I personally loved the way that Jan incorporated matching the letter to alphabet chart and finding the letter in the alphabet chart even though the lesson says choose one activity. She moved so quickly through both of them and the kids were still engaged!
  • I also loved how she game several pictures to students during working with words and had the students choose which picture they would place, I know that there have been times when I do all the pictures one by one so seeing this was very refreshing!
  • If you are new to teaching, check out this video on how to teach rhyming words and how to add some movement if needed.

Q4: Write down 3 take away ideas you plan to implement next school year.

  • Create a tracing book with my new school’s alphabet chart.
  • Make a cheat sheet that I can keep by my table with the verbal pathways for teaching letter formation.

Q5: Post a picture of a Pre-A lesson that you have completed or that you’d like to use once the year starts.