Now, after reading more about the reasoning behind it, I realize there are more important reasons for co-creating an alphabet with each class. When the kids work together to make it, they take pride in the product that they collaboratively made. They were part of the whole process! They decided together what they wanted it to look like, what art mediums they wanted to use and what should be on it to represent each letter. When they see the finished product, they feel as though they did something important! They feel a sense of pride. They are more personally invested in the product. Because of this and the memories of working on it together, they tend to use it more. Here is the process of co-creating our Alphabet this year.
First we started learning the letters. We focus on a letter and a friend in our class ever day for the first month of school. This gets us familiar with the letters and sounds and to make connections with our names and our friends names. Then the kids came up with a list of things in our room that they have used or noticed to go on the word wall. Pardon the messy handwriting! I was writing things down quickly!
They wanted to make the backgrounds colorful and chose water colors to paint them. They also were adamant that they have glitter on them so we decided to make the letters out of glitter.
Our next step was to add things that began with each letter to help us find and learn the letter sounds. We checked our list and started taking pictures of our friends and objects to add to our chart. Here is an example.
We taped them onto our backgrounds and voila! We have our letter wall!
We left room on each one so that we can add each sight word as we learn them. That way they can use this wall as a tool to help them spell sight words and their friends names correctly. They can also find the pictures with the sound they hear when they are trying to spell a word but don't know what letter makes that sound. They will use this wall to aide them in learning independently.
It was after creating this word wall with the kids that I noticed how important it is for each class to create their own. They were so proud and I see them using it all the time. It truly is personal and has meaning for them.