the letter people in pre-k classrooms - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 01-22-2004, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
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is anyones child using this in their pre-k classroom. it is designed to teach early reading skills, which i'm not crazy about. and it also uses dittos, which again i don't like. but it has gotten dd interested in the alphabet and reading and she just turned 5.

has anyone had experience with this?
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#2 of 10 Old 01-22-2004, 11:23 PM
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hi jannan, I'm not sure I know what you mean by letter people. Is it like letters that are shaped like people? Can you give an example? I don't think my children ever had anything like that.

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#3 of 10 Old 01-23-2004, 05:00 PM
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The letter people are big drawings of letters drawn as people, along with a little jingle to show the sound of the letter. So, you'd have a big picture of an "I" drawn as a person scratching itself, with a caption, "Mr. I is ITCHY."

They used the letter people in my dd's kindergarten. She already knew how to read at that point, so I don't know how effective they are, but she thought they were funny and liked coloring them. I thought they were cute, and wouldn't have had any objections to using them in preschool. However, I'm not opposed to teaching children to read at an early age.
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#4 of 10 Old 01-24-2004, 02:18 AM
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I don't know the letter people, either, but if your dd likes them, and she's allowed the freedom to take what she wants from them, then I'd let her have fun and develop some early reading skills. I think the problem with early reading programs is when the children resist them, but adults push and push. If a child is receptive and happy, then I'd say let her be.
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#5 of 10 Old 01-24-2004, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
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you are right, best job. it just that if i were to do letters with pre-k kids i'd have them make letters out of playdough shapes........not sit and color a ditto.
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#6 of 10 Old 01-24-2004, 07:56 PM
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They used letter people in my older daughter's kindergarten, but it was more than just coloring dittos. They had inflatable little letter people & tapes of letter people songs. The kids got up & danced around to "Mr. M with the Munchy Mouth", etc. It seemed to work fine & wasn't too much of having them just sit around.

I guess that it depends on how the teacher is using it.
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#7 of 10 Old 01-25-2004, 03:11 PM
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My husband teaches kindergarten and uses the letter people. He says his students like most of the songs and really enjoy singing them. He has inflatable ones that get hung on the wall. He does much more than use the dittos (Although, he does use them for when the students first come in. His students don't have to finish them, but they are there for when they finish all of their morning stuff like hanging up their coat and taking care of lunch orders, etc.).

I know that in the last few years introducing letters in pre-school has become more of the norm because research (I haven't read it, but this is according to a highly qualified and respected head start coordinator) showed that kids are developmentally ready to learn a few letters at 4. I believe with head start the goal was for children to learn 4 or 5 letters.

If your daughter is interested that is one thing, but I'd want to investigate the level to which the pre-k room expects children to know letters and what other activities they do during the day. Really, some children just aren't ready for letters at 4 and literacy should really be more subtle at that age, rather than letter people, in my opinion.
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#8 of 10 Old 01-25-2004, 04:02 PM
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I'm a little bit confused. *What* are kids who are 4-5 supposed to know? Are they trying to teach them to read? The alphabet? What letters look like? DD had a very non-academic 3s preschool and now is unschooled, so I just don't know what is "normal" to teach to a 5 year old (DD turned 5 this month).




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#9 of 10 Old 01-28-2004, 04:45 PM
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IRT TiredX2: In my experience (as an early elementary teacher) there is a wide range of experiences for 5 year olds which could all qualify as "normal." In some areas, 5 year olds are in kindergarten already, while in other places, parents wait until closer to 6 to send their children. In some kindergartens, there is a stricter sense that children should be reading at a certain "level" by the time they exit the grade, while other kindergartens tend to expose children to literature, letters, etc. but not hold to specific standards or objectives about reading. Much depends on whether the school is public or private, and which state the school is in if it is public. I have seen very academic kindergarten programs in which almost all of the kids can read at the end of the year. The problem is that for those who were not yet developmentally ready, what was the sacrifice? I have seen kindergarten programs that did not expect any reading, but half of the students were reading on their own anyway. I have lost track of my point, but I guess what I'm trying to get at is that most of these children grow up to be readers, even given the variety of methods and times for introducing the skill. This is not the same as saying, "Anything works" but rather that many different approaches can work.
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#10 of 10 Old 01-31-2004, 05:41 PM
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My boys preschool does the letter of the day. They try to make the day all about the letter. Such as S, they will make snakes, color snakes, use the number 7 and skip when they have music time, and maybe eat spaghetti. My oldest was reading by the time the 4's program was over, but he knew all his letters and the sounds before going to that program.

I myself had the letter ppl when I was in K, which was a LONG time ago :LOL and those teachers also incorporated food into it as well.

I think bestjob said it best, as long as she is taking what she wants from it and is enjoying it I don't see the harm. I would however be concerned if she were getting graded on knowing the letters, not necessary in my opinion at that age.

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