Whew. This preschool thing has been a whirlwind of activity, hard work, tears, smiles, frustration, accomplishment, and joy.
After not finding a curriculum that I loved, I started creating my own. Week after week, I wrote, edited, rewrote, edited, experimented, rewrote, and finally found a system that I am super pleased with.
Not all components are complete. But they're close. :)
Today I want to share with you a favorite from my Fireflies class (4-5 year olds). They're in that early stage of discovering how letters work together to make words. They are writing phonetically and asking me how to write all sorts of words. It's so fun!! Early on, I decided that my 4s were going to leave preschool with a foundation of letter understanding [correct formation, sounds], beginning spelling skills, knowledge of reading [title, words in a sentence, tracking], and a base of early sight words.
We've been using these foldable mini books for a few months now, and it's been magical! ;)
Every day my littles beg for reading time. They can correctly identify the sight words from these books [is, for, I, see, a, the] in other passages and in environmental print. I get frequent texts from parents with their littles pointing to one of these words in the newspaper, in books, and on signs. My heart smiles a little bigger with each text.
We use the first book on Mondays [class meets M/W/F]. First they highlight each time the focus letter appears in the book. Together we identify the pictures and discuss any unfamiliar pictures [umpire for example] so they "know" what the last word on each page is. Then we read together the whole book. I watch carefully for correct tracking and correct as necessary. Each student circles the word "is" on each page and checks with their partner for accuracy. Each student then draws a line under the word "for" and checks for accuracy. Next, they whisper read to themselves. Again, I'm watching for tracking. Finally, as they color, I go to each student and have them read at least one page from the book to me. This book goes home to read and keep.
The second book we use on Wednesdays and Fridays [I just keep their copies on Wednesdays and send the books home on Fridays]. Because the books use both "a" and "the," they're a little more challenging. We go through the books in a similar fashion as before. We simply focus on the word "a" on Wednesday and the word "the" on Friday. "I" and "see" are reviewed each day.
Our complete ABC curriculum includes these mini books, an upper/lowercase sort [Mondays], an initial sound sort [Wednesdays], and a tracing/alphabet activity page [daily].
You can find the foldable mini books here [Teachers Notebook] and here [Teachers Pay Teachers].
The sorts and activity pages will be finished and listed soon.
I love the print and go ease of these books. I love that my littles beg to read them. I love how quickly they're giving my Fireflies a base of high frequency sight words. But mostly, I LOVE teaching preschool!!