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April 25, 2024

Reading is as easy as A, B, C: Learning letters with my student

When I first met kindergartener Mya*, it was the day of her first lesson. In this lesson, students practice the ABC song. With full-throated vigor, Mya couldn’t wait to show off what she knew. She sang: “a-b-c-g-f-n-p…” and then kind of petered out. I immediately thought, “This is exactly the program for her.” 

You see, in each of our Emerging Readers lessons (the level of our curriculum Mya placed into), we introduce two new letters of the alphabet. 

Over the course of fifteen lessons, students practice the name and sound of the two letters and use them to complete a tactile practice activity. This could be tracing sandpaper letters, forming the letters with pipe cleaners or playdough, writing the letter in various colors, or some other fun way to engage with the letters.

As we practiced the ABC song and new letters, Mya blossomed. She gained confidence and would give me these looks of, “Of course, I know what sound that letter makes.” She can now sing her ABC song with pride even though “l-m-n-o-p” is still a bit tricky–but honestly, who is that tongue-twisting portion not tricky for? 

Mya’s confidence has grown greatly and while when we first started working together she used all the avoidance techniques in the book, she is now eager to learn and prove how much she can do. 

Earlier this week, Mya and other students at the school had a choice to end their tutoring session early to go and join a special school activity that they would miss part of due to being at Reading Partners. Without even blinking an eye, Mya decided she wanted to stay for her full session. It was more exciting and engaging to her than what the special event could offer. 

*Name changed for privacy

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