Friday, August 23, 2013

Phonics Show and Tell: Great Connection idea!

We finished our first week today! In my kindergarten class, we use Saxon Phonics. The first letter that is introduced is "L". It is followed in the second week by the letter "O" and the third week brings us the letter "G". The beauty of this introduction is that by the third week, students are feeling successful because they recognize they can "read" something: the word "log". The letters "H", "P", and "T" follow shortly, so you can see they have a number of words that can be put together for reading soon after school starts.

For years, I have tried to think of a way that makes sense for five year olds to connect immediately with the sounds that we are working with. I finally came up with something that both the students and I love!

It is called the "Show and Tell Your Letter" board. I laminated a posterboard and hung it on the wall. I then put border around it to make it a mini bulletin board. I laminated it so that I could write on it with a whiteboard marker. 

As each letter is introduced for the week, I put a little blurb in my newsletter about what letter we will be studying the following week. I ask parents to have their children bring in something that STARTS with the letter of the week. I tell them they can bring it in any day of the week. As we start our phonics lesson, I let students "Show and Tell" about the item they brought. They put it on our letter shelf and I add the word to the weekly word wall.

I am so excited by the events that this has already caused in only the first week. For one thing, students did WAY better with initial sound concepts with the letter than in any other year. On another note, students even began to use the words from the word wall in their own writing without my having even suggesting it. I LOVE that they are making real connections with the phonics concepts because of this. 

The other benefit to this activity is that it allows students to bring in toys that they are otherwise "banned" from unless it is their "Bear of the Week" time in which they are allowed to bring in items from home to share.

As we complete other weeks, I can come back to add pictures from items students bring in.

If you have any other suggestions for my board, please feel free to leave me a comment:)

Here are a few additions from the weeks after this was written:

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  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! It made a nice connection for the kids!

  2. Love the idea! We do a circle map with words that begin with that letter sound, I could just add/write in what the children bring in. :)

    1. I LOVE the circle map idea! Terrific!

  3. I have taught at a school that 1. Shared using letter of the week but only on Fridays and the problem was in a class full of ELLs they had no one at home to help pick a share. 2. They charted words during the week but not linking sharing. I love that you link the two activities and give the kids all week to bring something. We use to just chart on construction paper and hung them around the room to use during writings we also used pictures next to the word to help

    1. Pictures are a perfect connection. Maybe, for those kids that can not be helped to find anything, you could provide magazines in which they might be able to find and share pictures that start with a specific letter.

  4. What an excellent idea! I love giving them something concrete to attach the letter sounds to! I can see this making a great class book, using the pictures of their things! This also seems like a great activity for speaking skills.

    Thanks so much for sharing your awesome idea!

    Mrs. Garcia's Super Scholars

    1. The class book is great! You could take a picture of them with their item and then record them sharing about their item using audioboo.You can take the link from the audioboo recording and use it to create a QR code on Then you could print out tge QR code and attach it to their individual pages. Parents could scan and watch their child developing their oral language. You could put that book in a listening center and students could scan and revisit the vocabulary long after each letter has changed in the classroom.

  5. Great idea! I love show and tell time, but it can get tough when a student forgets their day. I have one "star of the day" each day of the year and they are allowed to bring something to share with the class, and if they forget... too bad, they will get another turn soon! haha
    I really like how your students can bring something any day of the week, and how you get parents involved!
    Maternelle avec Mme Andrea

    1. Thank you. I like to think of kindergarten as an important training ground. So many times in life, students will miss tge mark on something. At least this way, students will see interaction with the ones who remembered to bring their item early on in the week. It will get the others thinking duringvthe week and they will often use tge extra days to find a way to connect themselves to the lesson outside of the lesson time.

  6. Love this! I did the same thing when I taught K. We sometimes had students who forgot to bring something (or didn't have much family support), so we would make some time to go "shopping" in our classroom before school so everyone could be included since it was only a one day thing in my classroom. Thanks for sharing! It brought back fun memories! =)
    ~Heather aka HoJo~


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