Teaching Letters {Activities, Centers and Assessments}

Teaching Letters Activities Instruction Differentiation  Assessments Progress Monitoring The Kinderhearted Classroom

Hey Teacher Buddies!  I don't know about you, but I absolutely love teaching the alphabet.  I think it's because it is the foundation of reading.  The students are always excited to learn the alphabet and make the connection to words, sentences and reading.  It's truly one of my favorite things about teaching.

Today I am excited to share with you some of the activities I do as I teach the alphabet.

Start with Assessment

I know this may seem backwards, but it really is the best way to teach to the needs of each student.  It doesn't have be difficult or even time consuming.  Just a quick check of the skill you are working on will do the job!  For example, for letter names, I simply show my students the letters (in a mixed up order) and mark whether they know it.  

Teaching Letters Activities Instruction Differentiation  Assessments Progress Monitoring The Kinderhearted Classroom

By starting with an assessment first, you can easily see what each student knows and does not know.  No, this doesn't mean that you have to teach 1-on-1 to every student. In fact, seeing common areas of need help as you create small groups!

After getting a clear starting point for each student, then the fun begins.  However, I come back to these assessments often as a way of progress monitoring.  This is one of my absolute favorite ways to SEE the progress my students are making.  It's clear, documented and dated!  Sometimes I doubt my teacher gut instinct, and in those times going to the proof sure helps me!  :-)

Teaching Letters Activities Instruction Differentiation  Assessments Progress Monitoring The Kinderhearted Classroom

Teaching Letters

Anchor Charts

Did I mention that I love teaching the alphabet?  In my classroom we begin with a whole class lesson using interactive anchor charts!  On one anchor chart we learn the letter name and sound, work on the handwriting path for that letter, and brainstorm words with the beginning sound for that letter.  The students are an integral part in the creation and use of these anchor charts and they LOVE it!  You can read more about how we use these Interactive Anchor Charts Here!

Teaching Letters Activities Instruction Differentiation  Assessments Progress Monitoring The Kinderhearted Classroom

ABC Books

After introducing each letter, we use these super fun ABC Books!  I partnered up with one of my favorite kindergarten teacher friends, Deedee Wills of Mrs. Wills Kindergarten, to create these books!

Teaching Letters Activities Instruction Differentiation  Assessments Progress Monitoring The Kinderhearted Classroom

The students love making their own books and I love all the practice they get with each letter.

Teaching Letters Activities Instruction Differentiation  Assessments Progress Monitoring The Kinderhearted Classroom


Teaching Letters Activities Instruction Differentiation  Assessments Progress Monitoring The Kinderhearted Classroom

Inside each book, the students practice writing the letter, adding the letter to words, and reading their book.  I know, I know, I know what you are thinking.  "But my students can't read yet!"  You're right - mine can't either.  That's what each book comes with a video of the book being read so that the student can follow along.

Teaching Letters Activities Instruction Differentiation  Assessments Progress Monitoring The Kinderhearted Classroom

And what's even better than a video that reads each book???  How about a QR code on the cover so that students can independently scan the book to be read.  They can scan it at school or home too!  I have had more than one student come to class beaming because they got to "read" their letter book at home with Mom and Dad.

Guess What - you can get this same activity set for CVC Words too!  I love using similar activities during center time, because after I teach the class what to do, I can set them free to work independently.

Here's a little video to show the CVC book in action!  The ABC Book is very similar, just with a letter as the focus instead of a word family.  From the video you can see all the different activities available for each book.



Try a FREE sample from the ABC Books or the CVC books 
by downloading the preview at Teachers Pay Teachers.
Teaching Letters Activities Instruction Differentiation  Assessments Progress Monitoring The Kinderhearted ClassroomTeaching Letters Activities Instruction Differentiation  Assessments Progress Monitoring The Kinderhearted Classroom

More Alphabet Activities

Teaching Letters Activities Instruction Differentiation  Assessments Progress Monitoring The Kinderhearted Classroom

My other go to resource for alphabet activities is this huge bundle of alphabet and phonics activities.  Each set comes with tons of activities for practice, centers, small group teaching or even homework.  AND . . .  you get everything you need for assessing and progress monitoring too!  You can find all about it in my blog post (just click here 🚀)

I hope this gives you some ideas that you can take into your classroom as you teach letters and phonics.  I don't know who loves these activities more - me or my students!  That's a win-win if I've ever seen one!


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