In What Order Do You Introduce the Letters of the Alphabet?

It's one of those things that I don't believe there is a right or a wrong, there are pro's and con's for all the different ways so I thought I would share with you my own personal thoughts and experiences.

First of all to me teaching the alphabet, letter recognition, letter names, and their corresponding sounds are crucial to both reading and writing, so I have always placed a big focus on the alphabet in kindergarten (Yr 0 here in N.Z.)  I teach letters in the McCracken order but I haven't always so here follows my learning path on introducing letters.  When I first started teaching a long time ago, I was kind of thrown in the deep end, I was really just given my class and left to it so I just began teaching the letters and their sounds in alphabetical order, how else would you do it right?  At the time it just seemed obvious, I taught both upper and lower case letters together and I had never heard of any other methods.  I didn't actually give it a thought it seemed to work fine and my kids learnt the alphabet well I think they all did.  I never thought to question the way I taught the alphabet, let's face it there were far too many other things to think about and do.

I then moved to a bigger school where the letters were taught in a specific order.  This whole idea was new to me, I was kind of like so you don't just teach them in alphabetical order, of course, it got me thinking and I began my own exploration into this concept.  At this new school, letters were taught in order of the way the letters are formed.  It basically meant you began with the easiest letters to write ie l, i, t and then moved on to
the hump letters, etc.  I, of course, taught according to the school system.

 At this school we also began teaching handwriting with lower case letters only, then once we had cycled through the whole alphabet we would then do both upper and lower case during handwriting time.  This idea I still use and I like for many reasons firstly the majority of letters we read and use are in lower case, I am also a big believer that teaching and learning correct letter formation is important but it's not easy for many children, therefore starting with 1 letter is just that little bit easier and quicker.  Of course activities, puzzles, alphabet charts, etc. within the room incorporate both upper and lower case letters and we definitely explore both in our learning but when it came to handwriting we began only with lower case.  I followed this routine until I left this school.

 Another idea I have heard of but never tried is to start with the letters in children's names, as children tend to be able to recognise the letters in their name and often can write their name, hopefully.  But for me the concept of teaching every child different letters is just way too difficult, I would much rather the whole class focusing on the same 1 letter.  I always provide ample opportunities for children to learn, write and identify their own name.

 I now introduce the alphabet and their sounds in the McCracken order, the basic idea behind the McCracken order is that you start with the letters that are both the easiest to hear and say.  This just made sense to me, I found as I was checking children's letter knowledge (I have always kept a checklist) their knowledge seemed to progress in this order ie. many children came to school with a knowledge of m and s.  I liked the way that this gave them the feeling of success and confidence and the more I thought about it, it just seemed right for me and my class.

What order do you teach the alphabet?  
Do you have reasons for this?  
I would love to know your thoughts.  

Thanks for stopping by Annie :-)

 You can buy the book and read all about it Spelling Through Phonics - The McCrackens.

Magic Water Bottle Labels

Do you use Magic Water?  
I often find in times of crisis kids just need a little bit of attention, they may be tired, feeling a bit overwhelmed and just a little squirt or dab of magic water seems to soothe minor little bumps, ouches and clear up crocodile tears.  
I suppose it's a bit like a placebo for kids but if it works, why not?  

Simply print off a label, and glue onto a clean water bottle and you're ready to go.

You can grab these labels for FREE here 
I have included 2 sizes.

Thanks for stopping by Annie :-)

PLEASE only use for very minor bumps and ouches, I always believe in erring on the side of caution with injuries especially bumps on the head.

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