What is the fastest way to teach letter identification? We have a half day and some of our students are ELL.

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I would say that in order to teach good letter recognition, interactive writing of the letters is key.  Associate each letter with something the child sees in his/her every day life.  For example, when introducing the letter, have the student write the letter over broken models (tracing), while simultaneously providing them with things like banana, button and bear for B.  This way, they are associating the letter with something they already know, so they are more apt to understanding the letter and being able to recognize it at a later date.

Students remember things that are FUN for them.  I know one of the kindergarten teachers has letter parties every few letters they learn in the classroom.  That way, students can partake in treats or dress up like things that start with the letters they have learned in the last few weeks.  If they enjoy it, they're bound to remember it better!

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I'm assuming you mean a half-day kindergarten...I've worked with a lot of kids in that age group, with a variety of disabilities. It can be hard for kids to retain that info. Try to incorporate it into everything you do--walking down the hall, signs around the classroom, songs.  Singing, especially, has always seemed to me to help kids with learning disabilities remember information.  Some kids may need more help, and have different learning styles; for some, physically manipulating materials helps. I've used magnetic letters, playdough, shaving cream, and drawing the letters with their fingers in sand. Cutting letters out of sandpaper so that there is a more tactile sense, can help some. Strategies that help kids w/disabilities also help the typical learners.  Good luck  :)

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