What’s Missing?

Children can be really good at “rote” memory – they can sing their ABC’s all day, but that doesn’t always mean that they know their alphabet inside and out.

It is also very common for a little one to mistake a letter for a number or a number for a letter.   

So, I made these ABC and 123 sentence strips using di-cut letters (hand-written looks just as good) so that I can help my little ones use their ABC skills to figure out which letter OR number is missing from the alphabet/counting order.

 This is an activity that you want your little one using their problem solving skills to figure out.  So, don’t fuss if they sing their ABC’s to get to the letter in order to figure it out (that is a resource for them).  This is good practice for your little one to start recognizing letters and numbers with increasing observation.

I have made another FREEBIE for you, a printable for your little ones to practice as well.  It is a fill in the blank of upper and lower case letters and one fill in the blank of counting.  These are activity sheets with only ONE letter/number missing at a time.  But I will make two letter, and three letter missing fill in the blanks soon.  So, for now, start with the freebies below and see how well your little one can fill in those blanks! 🙂

ABC fill in the blank

123 fill in the blank

Handprint and Footprint ABCs

My sister came over yesterday with purple t-shirts and yellow-gold puff paint so that we could gear up for the Fall – cheering on our LSU Tigers.  We wanted to incorporate our kid’s handprints or footprints so we came up with this:

I will definitely be wearing this to the LSU games 🙂

So, this gave me the idea to make a book of the alphabet making each letter formation out of footprints, handprints, fingerprints, or a combination of all three.  This would be up to you and your little one to brainstorm ways to make each letter because that way it forces your little one to concentrate on the letter and problem solve in order to allow for better memory storing of the letter and letter recall.

If your little one is concentrating on letter sounds and words that begin with the letter sounds then you could make a handprint/footprint art book of pictures that start with A (angel) B (bear) and so on and so on…..if you choose to do the activity this way, I recommend this site: http://funhandprintart.blogspot.com/

If you do either one of these books, PLEASE  share pictures on the Mommy Teacher Facebook Page….I would love to see them 🙂

Sorting Letters of the Alphabet

Two days ago I decided that my next post was going to be on sorting letters of the alphabet because every time I teach letters I make my own sorting mats. This is a great skill for children to practice, not only because it is a grade level expectation for children, but because it is a skill that teaches children how to organize data and focus on grouping based on similarities and differences.  When children can do this with letters of the alphabet it gives them a stronger memory recall for the letter formation and the aspects that make up a letter.

Usually the mats I make have three columns and usually look something like this: Alphabet Sorting mat.

Other ways to sort include 1) upper and lower case, 2) tall letters, short letters,  and letters “with a tail.” 3) letters in my name vs letters not in my name, etc.

Casey must have read my mind because she shared with me this AWESOME idea from a cool blog.

You can make your own game pieces the way she did, you can use magnetic letters, or other loose alphabet pieces you have around the house, or you can cheat all together and buy the following game from lakeshore:

Sort & Learn Alphabet Center


What’s Normal?

I was talking to Casey the other day about the reality of reversals that children have when learning letters, learning to read, or writing words like their name.  I know, how many people talk about this kind of stuff on the phone?  I can name two.

But the truth is that when children are writing their letters backwards when they already “know” the “right way”, it can be very frustrating for parents and even teachers who are not aware of typical brain development. Reversals such as writing “b” when trying to write “d” or writing the name Jessica “acisseJ” or some form of mirroring the name is NORMAL. Why is that normal? Because the brain makes some of the greatest changes in children throughout their early years. The brain has a lot of maturing to do in the way that children process information, store it into their brains, and recall the info from memory.

But there is hope…here are some of the ways that you can help your kiddos get through this process: 1) teaching pre-reading skills in sequence, 2) teaching letters and numbers using hands-on forms of the letters so children can use more than one of their senses, 3) repetition of one letter at a time instead of introducing “d” and ‘b” together, etc., 4) NOT getting frustrated when they make mistakes or have reversals 5) helping the process of maturing the brain through exercise and interactions. 

You want your little one to enjoy the process of learning and a big part of their brain development includes your POSITIVE GUIDANCE.  I want you to imagine if you were in China tomorrow, with no one who spoke English. As different as the oral and written language is from your own, can you imagine if your teacher was getting frustrated with you while you are trying to learn such a foreign language.  You will naturally have to study the basics over and over again, and even after studying, you will still mix things up a bit when you are writing. 

So, I hope this gives you a little more insight into your child’s learning struggles that are natural and normal and all that good stuff. 

Today’s “assignment” is to be gracious as you practice the basics today!

 *This article shares about some typical writing behaviors to expect from a young child. but if you have serious concerns about your child’s learning abilities then consult a specialist.


Formation Fun with CARS

When I was chatting with my friend about her 3 year old, very active little boy, she told me how hard it can be to sit him down with a writing utensil of any kind.  She often does other tactile (syn. tangible) means of getting him to write like writing in shaving cream or rice, but when I suggested “highway letters” – writing with cars, she printed them right away knowing that he would love this activity! So, here is a link to the Highway Letters  from makelearningfun.com and this is how I suggest using them:

1)      Print each letter onto cardstock (bought almost anywhere paper is sold…walmart, hobby lobby, etc)

2)      Place them (back to back) in sheet protectors.

3)      Focus on a few letters at a time.

4)      Give them 5 minutes to free play with them first so they get their excitement out.

5)      Show your child how to drive the car along the “A” to make the right formation.  Teach them to “stay on the road”.

6)      Drive the car with your child “Let’s try it together” by holding his/her hand while you do it.

7)      Let your child drive without your help.

For more activity ideas that go along with these letters Click Here!

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