Sandpaper Letters - Summary
- The teacher wants to give the child an idea of how the letters
are used in words. She places a letter in front of the child,
e.g., "t", and says, "Listen. Can you hear 't'
when I say table, when I say Tom, when I say hot , or in kitten?"
She suggests a number of words containing the sound of "t."
The teacher takes the other letter "s." She asks the
child to listen for the sound "s" in the words she
says. She uses words like sun, snake, hiss, strong, Sally and
vest. She is careful to put the sound in different places in
words, not always at the beginning. She finishes the lesson by
letting the child know that she, too, can think of words containing
the sounds she has learned. She says, "If you think of any
words with 't' or 's' in them, come and tell me."
- Sometimes the child has learned the names
of the letters before coming to school. In this case, the teacher
must explain to him that each letter has a name and a sound.
Because he knows the names, she will only have to teach him the
sounds. At no time in the lessons does she use both.
- The phonetic sound of a letter is the sound most commonly
used in words. When letters do not have the phonetic value, they
are usually following a rule in spelling or may be irregular.
In the following words, the letters have their phonetic value:
- an, bun, cat, dog, fox, get, hat, ink, jam, kid, log, man,
nut, on, pig, quit ("q" is always followed by "u";
together they give one sound), run, sun, top, up, van, win, box
(no word begins with the phonetic sound of "x"), yes,
- The phonetic sound of the vowels is the "short"
- "a" as in "at"
- "e" as in "met"
- "i" as in "it"
- "o" as in "hot"
- "u" as in "hut"
- The phonetic sound of each consonant which sometimes has
more than one sound is:
- "c" as in "cat"
- "g" as in "get"
- "y" as in yes"
After learning the sound of a letter, children
often enjoy beginning writing activites such as feeling a sandpaper
letter and then tracing it in cornmeal or colored sand. This pre-writing
activity helps the children practice the shapes of the letters
they are learning. Initially tracing with just the index finger,
the children progress to using a pencil to form the letters.
The eye-hand coordination and skill in holding a pencil gained
from working with the Insets for Design transfers well into writing