Let’s Learn Our Abc’s Using Magnetic Letters
Now that we have a list of all of the letters that are known, unknown, and confusions, we can get started teaching the rest of the alphabet. I’m sure there are people who start with A and trudge through the alphabet in alphabetical sequence, but there really isn’t any reason to do that. Not all letters are created equal! There are some letters that a beginning reader and writer will not find as useful in the beginning. Let’s start with something that is very useful and something that your child will be excited about!
Teaching Their Name
One of the most important words to your child is their name! They own that word. It’s how people identify them. Those are the most important first letters to teach. If you are lucky, their name is magical like Christopher! So many letters that can be used to make new words. If their name is Ann, it will be easy to teach, but we will have a harder time making words with just the first name. It would be useful to teach their middle name or last name as well.
Different ways to teach The Alphabet and their name
- Magnetic Letters
- Rainbow Writing
- Letter Bead Necklace
- Alphabet DIY Book
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Make sure you have enough magnetic letters to make their name on either the refrigerator or on a magnetic whiteboard or easel. If you have Capital letters in your set, talk about how their name is special and begins with a Capital letter. If not, just use all lowercase.
Letters In Their Name
Put all the letters at your child’s eye level on the fridge or magnetic surface. Tell them, “These are the letters in your name”. Show them how to make their name while you say their name slowly. (I never miss an opportunity to link the idea that the letters make sounds, even this early) Now that you have demonstrated for them, take the letters back apart and put them back at eye level in order from Left to Right with space between them. Have your child make their name by pulling the letters down and putting them close together. Their name does not have any spaces between the letters, so take this opportunity to reinforce that. It makes teaching other words easier later.
Make sure they are going in order from Left to Right, not just grabbing letters randomly. You want to encourage directionality from the beginning. When they are able to make their name with the letters in order, the next step is speed. Have them put their name together as fast as they can. Speed equals Mastery!
Make a Tornado
Once they have mastered their name with the letters presented in order, its time to mix them up! Since I like to make everything more dramatic and fun, we always have a tornado mix them up and make wind noises! Use both hands and mix up the letters while making wind noises, put them back at eye level and have your child make their name. If they can’t do it, use more magnetic letters for an example or give them a written copy if you don’t have enough letters.
Magnetic Letter Recommendation
Using Magnetic Letters is the most concrete version of the alphabet, so it’s the best one to begin with. My most economical recommendation for a large set of letters is the Educational Insights Color-Coded AlphaMagnets and MathMagnets, 214 piece set on Amazon. I purchased the small set that was multi-colored so I could review them, but if I was buying letters for the first time, this is the set I would get.
These include the Uppercase and Lowercase letters that you need as well as numbers and math symbols. They also come in assorted colors, but for beginning readers having all the vowels red will be a real plus when you tell them that every word has a vowel. There is also a lower price collection that has 42 letters if you would prefer that.
Check out my Best Products for Teaching Beginning Reading post to read more about why I like these letters.
Hands On Learning
None of these ways to learn the alphabet need a workbook or worksheet. All of these ways are memorable and build on each other. When teaching the alphabet, you will not need to work on only one way until it’s mastered. You will work on all of these ways at the same time… just maybe not the same day!