Thursday, June 12, 2014

Tot School: Letters of the Alphabet Themes - Introduction

Sophie has been fascinated with the alphabet for a while now, and says "ABC" or "OP" when she sees writing.  So I decided this would be a great guide for our next several months (probably year!) of Tot School themes.

I am using Tot School Printables from 1+1+1=1 as a guide for our first real exposure to the alphabet.  The goal for these themes is really exposure, not mastery, though I'm sure Sophie will pick up letter identification for many letters along the way.  While we may write letters together and I say the letter sounds on occasion, those will be focused on later.

The Tot School Printables set out a theme based on the letter - for example, A is for Apples with the theme being Fruit.  So while you are exposing your tot to the letter, it is done in the larger context of vocabulary building through the theme.  She also adds a color to emphasize, which we will probably do to help Sophie improve on naming her colors.  (Right now, everything is "orange", especially green.  Green seems to be her favorite color, but it is forever called "orange."  We're working on it! ;))

I mentioned in my previous post that Sophie's interests had changed in regards to Tot School.  Rather than focusing mostly on the Tot Trays as I have in the past, I will focus more on an activity or project for us to do together during our Tot School time.  I will still have trays, but they will serve more as opportunity for individual exploration and play rather than for the majority of our intentional together time.

In order to plan my activities, I started by collecting ideas using Pinterest.  I set up boards for each letter theme, as well as a board for general whole alphabet activities.  Be sure to check them out if you are working on the alphabet with your little one!  There is a wide range of activities, many that I have pinned for future use as well.

Follow Alicia Brookins's board Tot School: Alphabet on Pinterest.

I have also utilized my public library's website to create book lists for each of the themes.  I search for books that fit or titles I know I want and can add them to a saved list in my account.  I can then request that the books be held and all I have to do is go pick them up!  This has been a fabulous service for me to get books, especially with a newborn.  I don't exactly get much shelf-browsing time during our library trips these days!

For each theme, I am trying to include activities in the following categories:
- Memory Verse
- Books (The goal is to have lots of theme-related books, but one we focus on throughout the week)
- Letter Activities (some letter-specific printables, but also whole alphabet activities)
- Math (sorting, counting, ordering, shapes, etc.)
- Fine Motor
- Gross Motor
- Arts/Crafts
- Music
- Food Fun
- Other: field trips, life skills, etc.

Some of these activities will be on trays she can explore mostly on her own, some will be printables, and others will be activities we do together.  This isn't a list of requirements, but one to help me try to plan varied activities and remind myself of areas I tend to forget.  (I would almost never do gross motor type activities if I didn't actively remind myself - just not a natural tendency for me!)  I am aiming for spending two weeks on each letter, though flexibility will be key at this point in our lives!

So, we are diving in to the alphabet!  I'm really excited to explore letters with Sophie.  Be looking for our post about the letter "Aa" coming soon!

No comments:

Post a Comment