Default Style Register
Daycare.com Forum
Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Quick Question
littlemonkeys 10:48 PM 02-02-2011
Those of you that do a preschool curriculum with the dck's do you start teaching them uppercase or lower case letters first? Or does it even matter? Most of my dck's can identify the letters by sight, but I think they are ready to put the pencil to the paper and start doing some tracing activities and just wanted to see what you recommended to start them with.
Reply
lvt77 12:34 AM 02-03-2011
Lower case. Only 5% of letters are upper case letters when you read.
Check out zoo phonics. Great program
Reply
MissAnn 02:57 AM 02-03-2011
I do both. I use Letter People finger puppets. Uppercase letters are on the front and lower case are on the back. I teach the sounds and how to "draw" the letters at the same time too. I teach the kids that their name starts with an upper case and the rest are lowercase.

Kind of a funny story.....when DHS came for relicensing....one of the boys wanted to draw a picture for my program evaluator. He asked her how to spell her name.....She said "E"......and he said.....is that a upppercase wetter or a wowercase wetter?

Doesn't it drive you crazy when you get a new kid who writes his/her name is all uppercase letters and you have to do some retraining?

I also have a sign in sheet for the kids....just like the parents. When they are ready, I also add their last name to it.
Reply
Little People 03:22 AM 02-03-2011
That is a cute idea!! To have a sign in sheet for the children.
Reply
Danielle 03:22 AM 02-03-2011
I teach both at the same time along with the sounds and writing. For example, my son doesn't know all the letters yet (all most!) but this week we're talking about teeth and the tooth fairy and he asked me what "tooth" says. So I say lets sound it out... "T" says __, the 2 "O"s say __, "T""H" says __. Then we say the sounds very slowly, then a little faster, until we're basically saying the word. He's 3. Even without knowing all the letters, he can spell and write his name.
Reply
WImom 05:03 AM 02-03-2011
I just read recently to teach uppercase writing first because it's a lot easier to learn to write. Interesting, I'm going to look into Zoo phonics.
Reply
AfterSchoolMom 05:04 AM 02-03-2011
I can tell you that the K teachers that I know HATE it when a child writes their name in all caps. I'd do both, but emphasize lowercase.
Reply
SilverSabre25 05:12 AM 02-03-2011
Originally Posted by WImom:
I just read recently to teach uppercase writing first because it's a lot easier to learn to write. Interesting, I'm going to look into Zoo phonics.
It's easier to learn to write them, maybe, but harder for them to learn to write properly later on. Teachers really, really appreciate it when children have been taught correctly from the beginning--both upper and lower case used in the appropriate places.

Handwriting Without Tears is another good curriculum to look into; they have a Pre-K curriculum and HWT is used in a LOT of schools right now.
Reply
Danielle 05:21 AM 02-03-2011
Originally Posted by SilverSabre25:
It's easier to learn to write them, maybe, but harder for them to learn to write properly later on. Teachers really, really appreciate it when children have been taught correctly from the beginning--both upper and lower case used in the appropriate places.

Handwriting Without Tears is another good curriculum to look into; they have a Pre-K curriculum and HWT is used in a LOT of schools right now.
I've heard many wonderful things about Handwriting Without Tears on my homeschooling forum.
Reply
WImom 05:34 AM 02-03-2011
I actually haven't started yet with the writing but with our letter of the week I do both already. Good to know about not using all caps for K4. I know I taught both my kids the upper and lower so when I read the article it made me wonder.

The zoo phonics site is very cool. Thanks for the info.


What age do you guys start writing? I've started the lines (slanted, horizontal, etc) for prewriting with my 2.5-3y olds but should I be starting actual letter writing for under 3y?
Reply
QualiTcare 05:37 AM 02-03-2011
it's really a matter of preference - you could ask ten K teachers and get ten different answers.

i think it's best to teach upper and lower case together.meaning - if you are teaching about the letter A then teach both A and "a" - i think learning uppercase and then lowercase is like doing double the work.

you said that most of your kids know the alphabet by sight. can they identify the letters even if they're out of order? just curious. a lot of people think their kids "know" the alphabet but they really know the song. they can't SAY (speak) the alphabet to save their lives or identify the letter A if it's not in the front.

like i said, it's a matter of preference, but when teaching WRITING the alphabet, the letters aren't usually taught in order of a,b,c,d....
it's usually "round letters" o, p, d, if you're focusing on writing only or "stick letters" k, t, y. if you're focusing on letters, sounds, words it's good to start with letters that are most common and easiest to blend like r, s, t, m. throw a vowel in there and they can make a ton of words "tar, mat, rat, sat" but there's not a lot of words you can make with a,b,c,d,e.
Reply
Cat Herder 05:57 AM 02-03-2011
Originally Posted by Danielle:
I've heard many wonderful things about Handwriting Without Tears on my homeschooling forum.
I LOVE Handwriting Without Tears. I also used it for my own kids while we were homeschooling...
Reply
littlemonkeys 07:14 AM 02-03-2011
Originally Posted by lvt77:
Lower case. Only 5% of letters are upper case letters when you read.
Check out zoo phonics. Great program
That's pretty interesting. I think I heard this somewhere and I've been doing both. I've been hearing a lot about Zoo Phonics lately and just started looking into it.

Originally Posted by MissAnn:
I do both. I use Letter People finger puppets. Uppercase letters are on the front and lower case are on the back. I teach the sounds and how to "draw" the letters at the same time too. I teach the kids that their name starts with an upper case and the rest are lowercase.

Kind of a funny story.....when DHS came for relicensing....one of the boys wanted to draw a picture for my program evaluator. He asked her how to spell her name.....She said "E"......and he said.....is that a upppercase wetter or a wowercase wetter?

Doesn't it drive you crazy when you get a new kid who writes his/her name is all uppercase letters and you have to do some retraining?

I also have a sign in sheet for the kids....just like the parents. When they are ready, I also add their last name to it.
What a cute story. Was the DHS representative impressed? How old was the kid?

The little puppet fingers are so cute and my kids love puppets, but they are a bit pricey.

Originally Posted by Danielle:
I teach both at the same time along with the sounds and writing. For example, my son doesn't know all the letters yet (all most!) but this week we're talking about teeth and the tooth fairy and he asked me what "tooth" says. So I say lets sound it out... "T" says __, the 2 "O"s say __, "T""H" says __. Then we say the sounds very slowly, then a little faster, until we're basically saying the word. He's 3. Even without knowing all the letters, he can spell and write his name.
Cute! I've been doing the sounds with the letters as well.

Originally Posted by AfterSchoolMom:
I can tell you that the K teachers that I know HATE it when a child writes their name in all caps. I'd do both, but emphasize lowercase.
I have a few teacher friends myself that teach K. They told me the same thing, but most kids come in only knowing how to write in caps.

Originally Posted by WImom:
I actually haven't started yet with the writing but with our letter of the week I do both already. Good to know about not using all caps for K4. I know I taught both my kids the upper and lower so when I read the article it made me wonder.

The zoo phonics site is very cool. Thanks for the info.


What age do you guys start writing? I've started the lines (slanted, horizontal, etc) for prewriting with my 2.5-3y olds but should I be starting actual letter writing for under 3y?
We've also started tracing lines, etc. here. I was trying to remember when my older DS's were in preschool. They were both writing their names by 3 years old. But I'm curious to know what the appropriate age is?

Originally Posted by QualiTcare:
it's really a matter of preference - you could ask ten K teachers and get ten different answers.

i think it's best to teach upper and lower case together.meaning - if you are teaching about the letter A then teach both A and "a" - i think learning uppercase and then lowercase is like doing double the work.

you said that most of your kids know the alphabet by sight. can they identify the letters even if they're out of order? just curious. a lot of people think their kids "know" the alphabet but they really know the song. they can't SAY (speak) the alphabet to save their lives or identify the letter A if it's not in the front.

like i said, it's a matter of preference, but when teaching WRITING the alphabet, the letters aren't usually taught in order of a,b,c,d....
it's usually "round letters" o, p, d, if you're focusing on writing only or "stick letters" k, t, y. if you're focusing on letters, sounds, words it's good to start with letters that are most common and easiest to blend like r, s, t, m. throw a vowel in there and they can make a ton of words "tar, mat, rat, sat" but there's not a lot of words you can make with a,b,c,d,e.
Yes, a couple of my 20 month old dcg's know all there letters by sight (all caps) even when they are out of order. My 17.5 mo old son knows about half by sight (again, all caps). I've been following the letter of the month with MGT, but I haven’t bought a curriculum yet. I'm still trying to find the right one that's affordable.

Originally Posted by Catherder:
I LOVE Handwriting Without Tears. I also used it for my own kids while we were homeschooling...
I saw that someone else mentioned this too. What starting age is this geared for?
Reply
QualiTcare 09:21 PM 02-03-2011
Originally Posted by littlemonkeys:

Yes, a couple of my 20 month old dcg's know all there letters by sight (all caps) even when they are out of order. My 17.5 mo old son knows about half by sight (again, all caps). I've been following the letter of the month with MGT, but I havenít bought a curriculum yet. I'm still trying to find the right one that's affordable.
well...if 20 month olds know their letters by sight then i'd say you are WAAAAY ahead of the game. that's not typical nor expected.
Reply
kendallina 04:34 AM 02-04-2011
As others have said, it's best to teach both at the same time. Children will almost always be able to pick up on the uppercase letters first because they are easier. But, that's a good thing. It helps them to gain confidence and motivation when they are trying to master the more difficult upper case ones and the lower case letters. Teach them their name in upper and lower case letters.

I do sign-in sheets daily with the kiddos (as PP mentioned), which I start when they're 2-1/2. For the first several months they generally just scribble over it, then they start drawing smallish circles to represent letters, then they start trying to make letters, generally their first letter first.

I also ask them to put their name on their paper starting at 3 or 3-1/2 every time we do an art project. It often starts out with just scribbles or little circles represent letters, but soon they're writing their first letters.

I also teach them the sounds of the letters as we are looking at them. We do a lot with the children's names in my preschool, so they quickly learn to recognize eachother's names (my daughter could recognize everyone's names just a month or two after I started the preschool, and she was only 20 months). We play a lot of games with names and talk about our names at circle time often. Their names are displayed in the room prominently.
Reply
Cat Herder 05:29 AM 02-04-2011
Originally Posted by littlemonkeys:
I saw that someone else mentioned this too. What starting age is this geared for?
K-12 offers it with their 3 year old program (I feel it is geared more to K-4th), but I use it a bit with 2-3's . (since I have ALOT of the supplies left over)

They rarely write anything resembling a word, but they are learning how to hold a pen, pencil, crayon, colored pencil and dry erase marker.

They are learning I don't let them "play with them" anymore if they try to eat them, and I don't like it when they bang the tips on the table..

Some get pretty close to recognizable letters/words occasionally..
Reply
littlemonkeys 05:31 AM 02-04-2011
Originally Posted by QualiTcare:
well...if 20 month olds know their letters by sight then i'd say you are WAAAAY ahead of the game. that's not typical nor expected.

One of the 20 month olds mothers is a teacher and she reads with her all the time. She started with me at 12 months and she could say the word "opposite". asI have been SO impressed with her and work on things with her too here. She knows ALL her basic colors and shapes and numbers to 9... When she see's the number 10 she says "1" and "o". I call her my baby Einstein. I wasn't going to buy a preschool curriculum until August, because that's when they will all be 2, but she's so smart I thought I could start her now since she's thriving to learn. As for the other 20 months old she only knows her letters, a few numbers and colors. I think she is definitely ready to move on as she's emerging in many areas.

I agree its not typical and definitely not expected. My DH often is worried because our 17.5 month old doesn't know ALL his letters or colors, etc. He makes me feel sometimes like I'm doing something wrong with him. I just have to explain that she's way advanced.
Reply
Tags:preschool, preschool curriculum
Reply Up