Letter recognition does not come naturally for most children. Here I will outline a simple and effective strategy to help children identify their letters.
Things You Will Need
You will need 3x5 notecards, liquid glue and markers.
On each notecard, write an uppercase letter. Begin with 6 letters that look different: A W B S T C. Use different colors to write the letters. After writing, squirt glue over each letter as if you were writing over the marker in glue. (Elmers works best since it remains puffy after it dries). After these cards dry you will have six different uppercase letters, each with a raised surface.
Your presentation of the cards to the child should follow this sequence:
1. Today we're going to learn about 6 new letters. You're going to use these colorful cards to help you. I want you to run your finger over each letter as you say the name of the letter. Watch me as I do it. (Do exactly what you expect the child to do: run you finger over the raised surface of the letter and say the name of the letter).
2. Now I want you to try. (The child will likely not know the names of the letters so do each card before the child does. To begin they will mostly be repeating you. Model each letter and then have the student do it. Run through the set of letters 3-6 times, depending on the interest level of the child.)
3. Repeat this exercise daily.
Regular practice with this exercise is a great way for a child to see, feel & say each letter as they learn them. Adding letters, little by little, can result in great retention for letter recognition.
Tips & Warnings
Here are some things to remember for this activity:
1. This exercise should be cumulative. Do not leave out letters that the child has learned, continue to add cards until you have the entire alphabet in rotation and mastered.
2. To start out, do not mix uppercase and lowercase letters. Begin with uppercase and if the child can name most of the alphabet (20+ letters) then it is reassonable to add lowercase letters that match uppercase letters already in rotation.
3. If the child is having trouble with learning 6 letters (no retention in 4-6 days of exercises), then remove some of the letters. It is totally reasonable to only have 1-2 letters in rotation and build on that. Remember: if it doesn't work, don't do it.
4. If the child seems to be losing interest, try having them make their own cards. Help them write each letter and glue over the lines. This may take a while but could increase interest dramatically by increasing the involvement of the child in the exercise. Also try creating a special place for the cards to be stored. Have the child decorate a pencil box to keep them in or allow them to keep the cards in a favorite purse.