How long Should You Spend Teaching a Letter?

I often get asked how long I recommend spending on each letter. There isn’t a definitive answer to this – your students may dictate the time frame more than you. Generally, if you feel the children have learned the sound, it is time to go on to the next.

That said, a general rule of thumb is probably about 3 days on each letter. I would spend the first day reading the story, making the picture cue/letter sound connection , listening to the song and singing along, and perhaps making rainbow letters with Blackline Master 5. My Kindergarten teacher usually did a picture chart with words the children generated that started with the letter. The second day could involve a second reading of the story with the phonological awareness practice, review of the sound and song, printing practice with Blackline Master 2, an art activity with the picture cue or a drill and practice with the game cards or Interactive Games CD. On the third day, begin with another review of sound and song, initial sound identification with Blackline Master 4, more drill and practice if necessary. As letters are learned, the words to read and spell activity can be done on day 3 with individual white boards or gelboards. On each day, I would also encourage a quick review of all sounds learned to date. The Teaching Guide also suggests alternate books and follow-up activities for each story and you can incorporate these into other times during the day (circle time, math time, art, story time, etc.) to further reinforce the picture cue concept.

As more letters are learned, you may find you want to take an extra day occasionally to do a thorough review of all sounds and formations. HAVE FUN WITH ITCHY!