by C. Elkins, OK Math and Reading Lady
I read an interesting blog post about checking children’s ability to distinguish between letters, words, and sentences. While I always considered that a reading skill related to “concepts of print,” it dawned on me that this relates strongly to a child’s successful writing experience too. This whole concept is what I will explore in today’s post – along with my opinions and ideas about teaching handwriting / penmanship.
Do you want to see if your students can distinguish between letter, word, and sentence? Try something like this from www.kindergartenchaos.com.
Here are some other links to help your children practice this.
- Letter, Word and Sentence Sort (Free @ TPT)
- Kinderblossoms.blogspot lesson using poem to teach letter vs. word vs. sentence concepts
- Word, letter, or sentence cut-n-paste (free @ TPT)
- Pocket chart concepts of print (free @ TPT)
Using poems on a weekly basis (as with the spider poem in video from #2 above), make it easy to highlight these features (letter, word, sentence) as you continue to practice emphasizing the difference.
So when I want KG or 1st graders to write and I model how to write letters, and put space between these letters and words to write a sentence, they will hopefully have this concept under control. It seems to be pretty common that students aren’t always “seeing” this because they string everything together in one line with no differentiation in spacing between letters and words. Or they confuse letters with numbers.
Another blog I was reading had a great visual that I started trying regarding ways to teach spacing within words and between words when writing. Call it “spaghetti and meatballs.” When writing words, the space between the letters (within the word) should be really close (so that a skinny piece of spaghetti will fit in between). When writing a sentence, the space between the words should be the size of a meatball. Placing an uncooked spaghetti strand is a great visual aid! Regarding the meatball, however — I would tell students, “We can’t lay a meatball on our paper, but one or two fingers might work because they are about the same size.” Or if possible, provide a popsicle stick to each student to use as their spacer. Continue reading