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I love the Lord as much as a broken person can; love and loved by my husband; blessed by 5 amazing little people who have helped me to learn much about me; grateful to serve even more as God gives them to me; blessed every day to be a home school teacher; college student; I hope to change the world by loving as many people as possible, because there is nothing greater than loving another.

Monday, June 14, 2010

LotW 1, C and How to Introduce a New Letter

Hello. Welcome to my Letter of the Week, brought to you by the wisdom and products of Nina Traub's Recipe for Reading, Sensational Strategies, and The Phonics Road. All of these programs incorporate the Orton-Gillingham method, a multi-sensory approach to teaching phonics, spelling and reading. I will combine my favorite things about each of these programs as we work through learning phonics. I'll interchange "he" and "she" between weeks so as to please all my readers.

A few reminders that sometimes get lost in the effort to teach reading. This should be enjoyable. If tears flow, stop and try again tomorrow. Offer simple praise for hard work and encourage mistakes lovingly. Slow and steady wins the race of phonics.

We begin with a "screen" letter, using an index card, a cross-stitch mat, and a green crayon. Place the card on the screen and write a large letter C, using the green crayon. This will be our introduction to the Letter C, /k/ /s/. {you many have this ready or do it in front of the child} Nice and bright, I chose green simply because the screen is green and because I find green lively.

 1. "Please repeat after me, in other words, say what I say." Hold up the card and say, "/k/ /s/"The student says, " /k/ /s/"
Repeat this procedure 3 times.

2. Place the card on the working surface (table/desk/lap mat/floor) and place your at C's starting point, which will vary based on your handwriting program. We use the clock method from the Phonics Road, so I would say, "Here is how we write /k/ /s/. Start at 2'o'clock on the clock."  Using your finger, trace the letter and show the child how to "write" the letter. At the same time, say aloud, "/k/ /s/" first as you trace and second as you underline from left to right. Underlining is preparing the child for the direction in which he'll read words.

Now it is the child's turn to trace/write C. He will feel the bumps and be stimulated kinesthetically. Make sure he's in the correct starting place. As he traces, he should repeat, "/k/ /s/", then underline the letter from left to write and repeat, /k/ /s/.
Repeat this action 3 times, so he'll say /k/ /s/ a total of 6 times in step 2.

3. Take out your hands on fun. This week we're using rice, next week shaving cream, maybe whip cream, beans, water colors, sand or anything you can think of that will give texture to each letter formed. Follow the same procedure as step 2, only this time, the child is actually "writing" instead of tracing.

"Show me how to write /k/ /s/ in the rice. Be sure to tell me the sound as you write it and to underline the letter when you're finished writing. Just like you did with the screen letter. Let's do this three times."

 4. Hand's on activities that are simple and craftlike work well with learning at this age. Have prepared anything you'd like to represent the sounds of C. I chose the following. Keep in mind, Steps 1-3 are repeated daily and followed up with something new for Step 4. Here's what our step 4 looked like for the week. Notice how I have written the words under the project. This manner is well represented in The Phonics Road.

4:1 (Step 4: Day 1)
Take a piece of paper and write a large C on it in black marker.
Take a cat stamp and ink pad. Have the child stamp the letter C. Each time he stamps, he says /k/.

We colored the C-word page from  I have enjoyed the many wonderful worksheets for a huge variety of topics over the year at enchantedlearning. As a courtesy, I will mention many of the science materials contain evolution based content, so if you're a family this might offend, make sure you read before you use materials there. Since we'll be using this site as a resource for letter families, there will be no conflict during our Letter of the Week study.

Take 2 pieces of paper and write a large C on it in black marker. 
Have the student trace the letter with school glue (one at a time).
Have the child say the sound, /k/ and glue the cottonball on the letter you've written. Do the same for the circle  (stickers) for day one. He should say, /s/ for circle, not /s/ for sticker.

Notice the number 2 over the C. This marking and others you will see can be learned through The Phonics Road. In this case the 2 is there to identify the 2nd sound of letter C, ir is underlined because it's a vowel team, the e is crossed off and marked as the fourth reason for silent final e.

4:3 Prepare in advance a free picture of Carson City, Nevada. You may copy and paste the free pictures to a word processing program. I did this 9 times, printed and cut out the small squares. You want the the right size to be glued onto the letter C in the same way the cotton balls were. The picture below will simplify this. If you need help on copy, cut and past to a MS Word program, email me and I can help you out.

Pull out a globe, map or atlas of the United States, in addition to preparing one letter C
on a paper, writing in black marker, just as above.  Show your student where Nevada is and tell him,  "The /k/ /k/ capital /s/ /s/ city of Nevada is /k/ Carson /s/ City."

Have the student trace the letter with school glue, then glue on (and say the sounds for) Carson City onto the written letter. That's 9 times of saying /k/ /s/ as he applies the mini-pictures to the letter C.

 5. Step five is up to you. If your child is comfortable with a pencil, then end your time writing the letter c on the paper you prefer. If he is not quite ready, then use a white board. We will start with a white board next week, as I've decided we need a bit more practice there before we hit the paper and pencil. Fine motor skills take time and my lil' guy just turned 5.

Well, that's it. It took us about 15-20 minutes each day to complete our lessons. We also read, My "c" Sound Box by Jane Belk Moncure every day this week and reviewed words with the /k/ /s/ sounds from memory after reading the book. Moncure is my favorite author for phonic awareness in literature. The reliability of her series is fantastic and readily available at libraries and

That's it for our week. I hope it all makes sense. Please let me know if you find typos, gross errors, or I simply am not making sense. Hope you keep reading!


Sydni said...


This is awesome! Thanks for sharing. What ages are you doing this with?

quiverfull said...

Any specific order to Moncure books?

Tina said...

Sydni, I'm doing it with a brand new 5yo who signaled the ability to remember and the desire to read. He is thrilled to be in school.

Quiver, none that I'm aware of. We just pick the book that coordinates with our Letter of the Week. So in Week 2, we read the "new" book (O) during school days and in the evenings, his mom reads O and C(to review). We'll mix up the review books weekly, until he's ready to read sentences.


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