Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Now I know my ABCs

I have never sang the ABC song so much in my whole life....not even when I was little.

My co-teacher loves me working one on one with students on their letters of the alphabet that now she has me working with other students on their alphabet.  Before, we would take turns, and part of the time she would have me working on speaking with blind students.  That makes me feel good that she likes what I'm doing.  We have using the musical instruments, the magnetic letters, the magnetic board, and play-dough to practice our letters.  The students are responding really well to it.  They love the musical instruments so much that my co-teacher is now using them some on her own with the students.  She also ordered more instruments for us, and they came today.  Real maracas!  That makes my heart smile and gives me warm fuzzies.
My co-teacher, Gayong, with our new maracas

Now I have never taught kindergarten, when students learn their letters.  I'm just making it up as I go.  Luckily, one of my big strengths as a teacher is creativity, so I am trying to be creative in teaching my students here at the blind school.  Some lessons are more fun and creative than others.  Some students are easier to work with than others.

Today, I worked with a middle school boy on his letters. He struggles with his consonants, so that's what we worked on.  I would show him a letter using the magnetic letters (I have three different colored sets which is nice).  I put it on the magnetic board, and he would bring it right to his face so he could see it.  Then he found the same letter from his pile of magnetic letters and would put right next to mine.  Then I would say the letter, the sound it makes, and words that begin with that letter.  He would repeat them.  When we got to the letter "M", we said "M", the sound "mmmmmm", and then I said "mooooooo".  That made him jump and laugh, which made me laugh and want to say it again.  So I did.  When we would learn new letters, I would come back and review the previous letters.  Every time I said "mooooo", he would jump back and laugh.  It cracked me up.

In my elementary grade 6 class, I had been working on speaking with 2 students.  Today, my co-teacher had me working with a boy who has learning disabilities.  He is really low and struggles in the class of 3 since he is so far behind the others.  He usually doesn't participate, and just sits there or acts up.  So I wasn't really sure about this, but I said "sure". Well he LOVED it!  We used the magnetic letters and the play-dough just like I did in the other class.  He is working on letters A-G, so we started at the beginning and did the same thing.  He got a lot of "high fives"....he loves those.  I also taught him "pat your back", which made him laugh every time and "oh yeah" while raising your hand in the air.  I also got a piece of paper and wrote down the letter in marker after he learned it.  If he did a good job, he got a sticker (he always did a good job).  He enjoyed those stickers, let me tell ya.  He would count them each time we added a sticker.

After doing that, I wanted to get him up and moving.  So we got the spoons for banging and the tupperware maracas and headed out into the hallway.  I'm sure my co-teacher wondered what in the world I was doing.  We banged to the beat and sang the ABC song.  He still doesn't know it very well but knows the "LMNOP" part.  I figure the more we sing it, the better he will be.  I need to write down the letters in order so I can point to them as we sing it.  That's on my list of things to do.  Then we used the maracas to sing.  The best part was when we marched up and down the hallway singing our ABCs.  The smile on his face was a mile long.  I loved it.

Do you have any other ideas you would recommend in teaching the ABCs?  I would LOVE some more ideas!  I know many of you have way more experience teaching the younger kiddos than I do.  I'm used to teaching the older kids.

Here are some pictures of our musical instruments:
Homemade maracas, made of Daiso ($1 store) tupperware containers, rice, and beans
Tambourines found at Daiso 
Spoons for banging
Drums, aka tupperware containers
Chopsticks and big sticks - the picture turned out fuzzy because it was too much beige I guess. I took several pictures but this one was the best. 


  1. If you could get your hands on a Leap Frog Letter Factory DVD (and if it would play there, and if the kids eyesight would let them see it), it is GREAT at teaching the alphabet. We LOVE that movie here! The song it uses gets very stuck in your head.

  2. I worked with 2 VI students. One of them didn't recognize the letters in his name. I typed his name in large font on the computer for the screensaver. He liked the scrolling movement and that it was his name! He learned to spell it aloud and never tired of it. Thinking back makes me smile at his giggling at being successful!