At the beginning of the year, we do an ABC Bootcamp! We teach 1 letter and sound a day for 26 days. So, does it work? YES! A recent research study studied four schools. Three of the schools used letter a day and one school used letter a week. When students were tested using the DIBLES Letter Name Fluency test, the three schools using letter a day had 88-97% of students at benchmark and the school doing letter a week had only 44% at benchmark!
For each letter, we do a circle map where students generate words that begin with the letter of the day and Mr. Greg attempts to draw the pictures! Then we label the pictures. The students spell the first sound. I ask “What sound?” and they tell me. Then I ask “How do we spell …?” then I spell the remainder of the word and we read the word.
Then we have explicit handwriting instruction for the letter. I model how to write each letter and we practice on chalkboards. Then the students do independent practice writing the uppercase and lowercase letter.
Finally, we make a silly hat for the letter or the day!
The alphabet hats are from Simply Kinder! I have used these for 3 years and they are always a HUGE hit in my class!!! The kids beg for hats every day!!!! These are a MUST HAVE!
At the end of ABC Bootcamp we celebrated with a fashion show. Each child receives a paper bag vest made form grocery bags. Each bag is labeled with a letter. Students take the bags home and decorate them with pictures for their letter. We all gather in the hallway, crank the music and work the runway with our ABC Bootcamp fashions! We also receive dog tags, a certificate and our bootcamp army helmet!!
Tip 2: Letter Discovery Bottles
This is a great activity for learning letters becuase it’s hands on, engaging and it’s a little noisy!
I used Gatorade bottles and colored rice. I filled the bottles with rice and added some letter beads.
Students shake the beads, find a letter and color the letter on their recording sheet!
This is a great partner activity, a center or workstation activity and a small group activity!!
Tip 3: Chicka Chicka BOOM BOOM!
Who doesn’t love the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!
We read the book and do many fun activities with letters while studying the book!
First, we do a letter hunt!
I fill a tub with sand and bury magnetic letters into the sand! Students dig through the sand and pull out a letter. We name the letter and put the letter on our magnetic easel. As we go, we put the letters in order, too!
To celebrate the end of our CCBB study, we make some BOOMs of our own!
I print letters on colored paper, roll them up and slip them into baloons. Then I blow up the balloons so the letters are inside the balloons.
Then, each child gets a balloon and we pop them! CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM!
We read the letters and put them in order on our pocket chart!!
I am joining some of my friends to share their ideas for learning the alphabet!
Howdy, I am Mr. Greg. I have been teaching for 11 years. I spent a year teaching fifth grade, two years in second grade and am now in my 9th year in Kindergarten. Kindergarten is my passion and my calling but honestly, that wasn’t how it started. Read the whole story >