The first few weeks of school are spent focusing on classroom rules, procedures, how to be an attentive listener, pencil grip, and name writing. I usually begin teaching a letter every week beginning on the second full week of school.
Unlike Wonders, I begin with the letter Ll. I feel that L and l are the easiest to write, because they use straight horizontal and vertical lines. The entire week is centered around the letter Ll, and all of the activities that they do begin with the letter Ll.
I begin by introducing the letter by waking up Mr. Lion (a lion puppet who is learning about the alphabet). The students sing all the way to Ll and stop. I talk about the sound that Ll makes, and I have them think about words that begin with /l/ as I give them clues about pictures that begin with Ll (a precursor to blending initial sounds). After they have figured out all of the mystery pictures, we review the sound. I then show them how to write L and l, pointing out the similarities and the differences. Then we sort L and l using magnetic letters on the board.
Workshop activities include playing with Little People, Lincoln Logs, letter games, lacing cards/beads, and Lite Brites, making lollipops out of Play Doh at the “Lollipop Factory”, playing with dinosaurs and lava (orange gak) and doing laundry at the Lakeside Lodge (dramatic play). They also hear a book at the listening center and get to “fish” for letters at the Lakeside Lodge with magnetic fishing poles.