Promote Name Recognition with Your Preschoolers
Now that your preschoolers have become adept at verbalizing their name and the names of their classmates, the next stage of development focuses on recognizing these well-known names in word form. Bridging the gap between sounds, letter recognition, and words can be quite challenging, requiring a lot of concentration and patience. Deborah Stewart of “Excellence in Early Childhood Education” offers insight on how to accomplish this task.
Because most young children respond best to hands-on learning environments, Stewart suggests creating a game to build these essential recognition skills. Divide your preschoolers into pairs. Each child should receive a sentence strip with their name on it using both upper and lower case letters. A second sentence strip should be created and then cut apart so that each letter is presented on a separate card. For each pair of students, shuffle their letter cards and place them face down on the table between them. Students then take turns drawing from the cards in front of them. If the letter matches one in their name, they keep the card, placing it on top or behind its corresponding letter on their sentence strip. If the letter does not belong in their name, they return the card to the middle. As Steward says, “this isn't a win or lose game - the idea is to have the children help each other find, recognize, and build their name one letter at a time!”
For extra difficulty, divide students into groups of four or have them build their classmate’s name.
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