Teaching Tip for JAN 2011

Those of you who have attended one of my presentations know that I strongly recommend teaching letter sounds rather than letter names.  As I was reviewing my presentation the other day, I thought of yet another reason to stay away from names.  There are 19 letter names that have some other meaning attached to them which may cause confusion for children.  For example, if we are talking about the letter name ‘b’ are children thinking of bees?   When we talk about ‘i’, are they thinking I or eye?  When we say the name ‘m’, does their mind go to m&m’s?  All of these connections to a concrete image may add confusion to the already difficult task of learning letters and sounds.   If we just talk sounds, children will have a much greater chance of success with reading.