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Teaching Children the A B Cs

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By Margaret Chatfield

Finally, it is summer.  You have the entire season to get your children ready for Kindergarten.  Where do you begin? Let’s start with the A B C’s.  Introduce your child to the famous A B C song, “A, B, C…now I know my A B C’s, next time won’t you sing with me.”  Sing this song many times throughout the day.  Make a game of counting how many times you sing the song together each day.

Practice identifying all 26 letters of the alphabet both capital and lower case. An easy fun way to accomplish this is with magnetic letters on the refrigerator.  Invest in the set that has capitals and lower case. Have your child match the letters, capital with the lowercase representative.

Next, help your child with each letter sound. Sound out each letter and say a word that begins with that letter.  “A is for apple, alligator, acorn, airplane.”  This simple activity helps your child understand that each letter has its own sound.

Get out the crayons and paper. Have your child practice writing their A B C’s again both capital and lowercase letters. Draw the letters for your child to color, trace and copy. Next task to complete is to have your child write his or her name, first and last.  Your child should be able to recognize their name written down when they enter Kindergarten.  Practice writing their name with all types of media to make it fun, crayons, markers, paint, even shaping letters from play dough will make learning fun.

Review and practice sight words. Edward William Dolch and Edward Fry compiled the two most common site words lists known as the Dolch and Fry lists. They are a great place to begin. Sight words are common words that do not need to be sounded out, and should be recognized by sight.  Some sight words are, all, am, are, at, ate, be, black, etc. Use this website for a good list of sight words, https://sightwords.com.  Either list is a great place to begin with learning sight words.  Soon, with practice your child should be able to recognize these words immediately, by sight alone.  So practice, practice, practice this summer.  Repeat each activity, and remember to visit the library for reading fun. 

The Middlefield Library has many great alphabet books available to motivate your child. Here are a few titles: “S is for School: A Classroom Alphabet” by Paprocki, Grey; “A B C Pasta: An Entertaining Alphabet” by Medina, Juana; “26 Big Things Small Hands Do” by Paratore, Coleen; “A B C’s On Wings” by Olivera, Ramon. In addition, the reference desk will have available both site word lists for your convenience.

The Middlefield Library, 16167 East High St. (44062) is open Monday – Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Call 440-632-1961.

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