Where your child/student should be: Able to recognise individual letters in any order.
Check out the blog on 5 simple activities to help children remember their standalone letters.
Next steps: recognising joint letters and beginning to understand how letters look at the start, middle and end of a word.
This is a pretty tough skill that children need to master as I find that a weak base in this particular area leads to weaknesses in the overall reading further down the line.
Recognising joint letters should be a major focus for at least a few weeks or until the child is able to completely recognise all letters as standalone, beginning, middle and end letters.
I use a few different techniques to encourage my children to learn and memorise these letters. I hope that these techniques will assist you with helping your children to become more fluent as they progress through the levels.
I spy joint letters
I have made a 29 page joint letter booklet that can be used in so many ways for both online or in person teaching. Click on the picture below, or visit our shop for more details.
1) Print out a copy of this and laminate each sheet and then turn it into a detachable booklet. Go through each page with the children. Put them in groups and get them to see how many joint 'thaa' letters they can find in pairs. Give them a few minutes and then get them to feedback. Use a timer to make it more fun (and a little intense). They can circle the letters on the laminated sheet whilst using a whiteboard marker. They can also use these little plastic counters to place them over the required letter.
2) If you are moving through one joint letter a day, the children can spend the last 10 minutes or so colouring in the boxes where they spot the joint letter (colouring always goes down a treat). You can also use these bingo dab markers to change it up.
3) Cut up the boxes and get them to organise the letters into 3 different groups. See if they can put them into beginning, middle or end categories.
4) Play bingo with these cards. Ask the children to choose 4 words that have the letter 'thaa' in it by circling them with a whiteboard marker. Then call out different words and they need to cross out their word if they have it. First one to cross out all 4 wins!
1) I've made these with online teaching in mind which is why each box is numbered. Get the children to spot and type or say where they can see 'thaa' in the beginning, 'thaa' in the middle and 'thaa' at the end
2) Put a sheet on to an online interactive whiteboard and get the children to circle certain beginning, middle or end letters in a word.
Use whiteboard.fi or microsoft whiteboard for a truly interactive and fun experience.
3) Send a screen shot of one of the pages on a parent's phone and get the children to use their phone drawing feature to find and circle the letters. Most phones these days have easy draw capabilities and they should show up after a screenshot is taken.
Joint letter activity booklet
The booklet below is very dear to me and I'm glad as it helps children with the following things:
- Helps with letter recognition
- Helps with joint letter recognition
- Helps with fine motor skills (tracing and cutting)
- Fosters independent learning
In fact, I love it so much that I might dedicate a whole other blog just to this resource. In the meantime, this can be purchased on the 15th when it goes on sale!
There are also a fantastic range of joint letter cards out there that your kids/ students will benefit from.
These Arabic snap cards are a great little lesson booster and the kids love playing any type of card game!
Would love to hear your thoughts on this! Do you have any techniques or methods that work like a charm? Let me know in the comments.