Students need to be able to quickly identify all of the letters. Reading Recovery students use magnetic letters for letter and word work every day.
The following examples of letter identification are taken from Learning How to Learn Words by Noel K. Jones.
Magnetic letters are arranged on a whiteboard at the eye level of the student. The letters may be in multiple lines (an array), or they may be in a random group (like the above picture). The student is asked to sort the letters for different purposes.
Sorts to focus attention to the look of letters – examples:
- Find all the ones with circles, e.g. o a, tunnels, e.g. h, n, sticks, e.g. i l, etc.
- Put together the ones that are the same, e.g. f f f f, and different, e.g. y u s p
- Find ones with circle (curves), e.g. a, g, d, c, o, e, u
- Find ones with sticks, e.g. b, h, k, m, n, p, r
Sorts for fast recognition of letters– examples:
- Child pairs or groups letters which are the same, e.g. h h h j j j k k k
- Teacher names letters, child moves them
- Child moves and names letters
Sorts to recognize letters in various forms– examples:
- Sort letters of different colour, e.g. h u t r s m l n b f d h m s c h r b w d
- Sort letters of different forms, e.g. g G g G
- Pair upper and lower case letters, e.g. Tt Uu Mm
- Sound to letter: T says word, child finds beginning letter within array of known letters. Letter to sound: T touches letter, child says word starting with that sound
If your child has some magnetic letters at home you might like to try some of these sorts on your fridge.