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Sandpaper Letters

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Material

The letters of the alphabet, lower case, cursive; cut out of sandpaper and each mounted on a separate board made of strong cardboard or thin wood. The consonants are mounted on pink or red boards and the vowels on blue. The cards vary in size according to the size of the letter.   

The double sandpaper letters are mounted on green cards. The cards vary in size. The double sandpaper letters are sounds which cannot be made with single letters.  

Presentation

  1. Start by telling a child that you are going to show them what a sound “looks like.” 
  2. Bring the box of sandpaper letters to the table.  
  3. Perform hand sensitizing activity, sensitizing dominant index and middle finger. 
  4. Choose a letter. Say the sound. Trace it several times, repeating its sound after each trace. 
  5. Ask the child to do as you did. 
  6. Flip the letter over on the table, to conceal the letter. 
  7. Choose another letter. Preferably a vowel. Repeat the same process that you performed for the first letter, saying the sound and tracing. 
  8. Ask the child to repeat. 
  9. Flip the letter over. 
  10. Choose one more letter, repeating the process. 
  11. Ask the child to repeat. 
  12. With all three letters on the table, perform a three-period lesson. 
  13. Once the three-period lesson is complete, show the child the record keeping sheets. 
  14. Explain the purpose, write his/her name on the sheet and circle the letters which have been learned. 
  15. On the 2nd or 3rd day, select a green sandpaper letter from the phonogram box. Bring only the letter, not the box. 
  16. Repeat the process of saying the sound and tracing, and ask the child to do the same.  
  17. Continue this process with new letters, day after day, keeping the momentum going until the child learns all the letters and sounds. 

Exercises

Exercise 1, as presented.
Exercise 2, Letter Game. With your fingers, write a letter on the table, in the air, or on the child’s back. This is an assessment of what the child has learned and remembers.

Language

Sounds of the alphabet and phonograms.

Control of Error

The sandpaper.

Direct Purpose

To bring the child to awareness of the symbols that represent sounds in words, uniting visual and muscular memory to the symbol.
Preparation for writing.

Age

3 to 4

Notes

With sandpaper letters, we are creating an experience of memory that is visual, auditory, verbal, tactile and muscular.
Sound games, as well as the Rough & Smooth tablets, are prerequisites.
Practice tracing beforehand to make sure you demonstrate proper tracing/writing.
Check periodically with each child to be sure the child remembers that which he has already practiced.

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