A common misconception in Early Childhood Education is that it’s important for children to know the NAMES of letters before they begin kindergarten (or reading).
A much more important skill is the ability for your child to be able to discriminate sounds (auditory discrimination).
These children are fishing for pictures that begin with the ‘ssssss’, ‘mmmmmm’, or ‘ffffffff’ sound. It is not necessary for the child to know any letter names in this activity. When she catches a ‘sssssssock’ fish, she puts it in the pail with the letter that says ‘sssss’.
There is a component of visual discrimination (remembering which letter makes which sound) to this activity, but for the children who do not remember, I will tell them what sound each letter makes. This keeps the integrity of the activity (sorting sounds).
We take our time with these letter sounds (it is preschool, after all) and let the children really MASTER each sound before moving on. Once they learn a few letter sounds and understand the concept, they begin to learn them VERY quickly, and it’s quite fascinating.
Wendy Joy Yohman
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