This past week we finished up our Grocery Store and Food unit. The children really enjoyed role playing in our grocery store, reading environmental print from the foods they eat, and taking a closer look at the money we use to buy our food. Throughout these two weeks, we also put a strong emphasis on Language Arts standards (specifically, phonemic awareness and identifying beginning letter sounds). We began the week reading Lois Ehlert’s Eating the Alphabet and practiced matching letter sounds to letter formations as we learned about fruits and vegetables. Then we listed foods that began with the same letter sound as each of our names. We also added food pictures to our alphabet book under the appropriate letter sounds. We worked on stretching out words and hearing letter sounds when writing in our journals as well. Towards the end of the week, we focused on the /k/ sound in particular as we played a sound sort game. The children really enjoyed playing these letter-sound games throughout the week and as a result, gained valuable practice with pre-reading skills. Hearing and recognizing these letter sounds is the very foundation of reading and writing!
This week and next, as Spring swiftly approaches, we will be taking an in-depth look at Pond Life. Throughout the first week of this unit, we will also focus on a skill known as visual discrimination. Visual discrimination is the ability to recognize similarities and differences between visual images. It is a perception skill that involves differentiating one object from another. This skill is absolutely essential and it is constantly being used when learning to read. Children must learn to differentiate letter formations and positions to be successful readers. This week, we will play many games to hone in on this skill of visual discrimination. For instance, we will be reading various poems and songs about pond animals and then looking for specific letters and words in these texts. We will work on matching pond animal pictures to their identical pairs. We will also work on sorting letters by their formations: curves, lines, or both. Finally, our math activities for this week, sorting and classifying of pond animals, will also aid in sharpening our visual discrimination skills. If you would like to work on this skill with your child at home, try playing some matching or “which one is different?” games. Or simply point out and help your child to notice the details in things around them!
Thank you as always,