Hard to believe another summer has come and gone and we’re back in the classroom again…as though we never left.
Although I have the unique situation of looping most of my students for the three years they’re here in middle school (unless they test out of ESL, of course), I still find myself needing to reassess their fundamental reading skills each September to get an accurate baseline. Some surprise me and blow me away with their summer growth, but sadly, several fail to improve over the summer, or worse, slide backwards a bit.
One of the areas I think is most necessary to have a working knowledge of is their knowledge of sound/symbol relationships and alphabetic order. Most people think that middle schoolers have nailed this down, but with my ELLs, checking and double-checking is part of the game.
I mean games 🙂 We don’t do rote in my class, never have, so I’m always on the lookout for fun, engaging activities that keep my kids interested and on task while learning. This time around, I found several terrific, free resources at Teachers Pay Teachers that taught, reinforced and made learning alphabetic order fun:
Traditionally, my 6th graders come in so overwhelmed by the middle school experience that everything they’ve ever learned tends to evaporate LOL. With them, I start on a level playing field with a pre-assessment of my own to get a feel for their knowledge.
Letter and Sound Recognition Checklist from Imaginative Teacher
Beginners: First letter alphabetizing:
Depending on their level of comfort with the alphabet, we move into first letter alphabetizing. Although two of my 8th graders and four of my 7th graders are at this level, they all liked the activity.
Summer ABC Order and Fall ABC Order Cut and Paste activities from More Than Math by Mo
Intermediate/2 or more letter alphabetizing:
These activities were also a hit with all three grade levels. We did the first as a center and the second as a final quiz grade to prove mastery.
ABC Order Up to the 3rd Letter by 2nd Grade Snickerdoodles
Alphabetize to the third letter by Mrs. Humphries Class