Since the beginning of the year, there has been an alphabet chest in the writing area of our classroom.
Originally this was filled with artifacts - small models, toys, manipulatives - that represented the letters marked on the drawers. Students could independently explore the materials in the drawers: naming them, making connections between the sounds they heard and letters they saw on the drawers, sorting the artifacts into which letter/sound they start with. Some children even took risks to record the sounds and words they were hearing and saying using the nearby writing materials.
Now that our Pre-K class is becoming more familiar with the alphabet, including letter-sound connections and letter formation, the alphabet chest drawers will soon be replaced with alphabet letters. An assortment of fonts, sizes, and capital and lower case letters will be available, challenging children to recognize letters in new ways and make comparisons. Because two or three letters share each drawer, children must also practice discrimination between letters when they are making their selections.
This will be an opportunity for all children to extend their knowledge of sounds into reading and writing. Children will be welcome to freely arrange and glue the pieces, perhaps making words or perhaps just becoming more familiar with the letters in isolation.