A lot of teachers are jumping on the bandwagon and leaving their practice of letter of the week behind. I believe that students learn best when they are provided meaningful learning activities. But, I also feel that teachers should use a large variety of teaching methods. Children learn in different ways. When a teacher uses some aspects of letter of the week AND provides a literacy rich environment with meaningful literacy experiences, their students will flourish.
I have been using Letter Journals in my Preschool classroom for 8 years. I have made improvements to my journal template several times. I’m very excited about my newest improvement of creating 3 levels to provide differentiation to learners! The outline letters are intended to be traced inside using a marker. Then I have my students use a pencil for writing their own.
I use my letter journals by having students complete a letter each week in small groups. I do go in ABC order. First we use Alphabet Sounds Teaching Tubs from Lakeshore and a giant letter flipchart to talk about the sound the letter makes. Students pick at least one item that starts with the letter to draw in the box. It can be an item we have talked about or they can come up with their own. Then they practice writing the letter. I keep them in their Portfolio. My students love to look back through their Portfolio and review the pages that they have done. Parents love to look at the progress they have made as they look through the letters.
Differentiation ready with 3 levels of each letter
Color cover page
Black and white cover page that children can color