For our making our rainy weekend a lot more bright, I’m extending big thanks to my awesome Aunt Pat. She’s a former Head Start and Pre-K teacher who entertained us for years with stories of her students and inspiring classroom ideas.
A few weeks ago, she sent us the coolest, most fun teaching materials ever–she sent us packages and packages and packages of removable wall letters.
I’ve been waiting for the right time to go label-nutty with Maddy, Owen, and Cora, and there was no better time than this past rainy, gray weekend. We had no place to go, no visitors visiting, and the day was spent cleaning and organizing. And labeling. And learning.
- Labeling and Learning: Almost every preschool and early elementary classroom in the country has labels on just about everything in order to help support emerging readers. Simple, laminated cards to identify desks, chairs, centers, and supplies help our little ones become comfortable with letters and sounds and help them to associate an object with its name.
Found on discount, discount, clearance, clearance, my
aunt said she got these for a crazy deal!
I’ve never actually labeled the items in our house before as a teaching tool, but this weekend, when I came across the huge package of letters, I was ready to have my little ones do the dirty work for me.
Still in their pj’s I said, Oh my gosh! Look what I found, my friends! Aunt Pat sent these to us a few weeks ago. Look at this!
I unwrapped a package, peeled off a ‘W’ and stuck it on the wall. Maddy and Owen looked at each other and then looked back at me like I was crazy. Owen said, I don’t think we’re supposed to put stickers on the wall, Mommy. They will not come off.
By then I was on the final ‘L’ of ‘wall’ and Maddy yelled, Wall! It says ‘wall’!
And I said, You got it. And watch this– (I peeled off the ‘L’ and then stuck it back on again.) They’re removable. They stick on then peel off. Try it. Let’s put labels on the things in our house!
So that’s what we did: we labeled. And labeled some more. I labeled what I could, and I hung close to Maddy and Owen to help them when they weren’t sure of a letter.
When Maddy asked how to spell ‘light’, I said, What sound do you hear in the beginning, and what letter makes that sound? to help her get started with sounding it out. Because I know she hasn’t learned the ‘gh’ sound, I gave it to her but said, and what is the final sound you hear in ‘light’? to have her concentrate on the final ‘t’ sound.
Because these letters were so huge and they were putting them out where everyone could see them, I found that both Maddy and Owen were really attentive to the letters of the words. They’d ask and ask again before they stuck a letter on an object.
You guessed it–it’s a pillow.
Owen moved to adding prepositions everywhere he could (under, up, on), I think prompted by his current obsession, the Dinosaurs Love Underpants book, which is a post for another day.
And that’s it. The labels are still lazily labeling, and because our house is a house already filled with Legos, puzzles, coloring books, and puppy toys, the letters everywhere don’t bother me. In fact, I heard Owen chanting, U-P, U-P, up, up, up. . . as he walked upstairs for rest yesterday, so in my mind, the labels are here to stay. At least for a while.
If you’re up for labeling yourself but don’t have the letter wall stickers, I have House Labels as a pdf that I plan to print out and use myself after we take the letters down. It includes the basics and a blank sheet for words I forgot to include. Click on House Lables to download and print.
They’re just for fun, just to see if they remember, and just to hear my kids chanting D-O-O-R, D-O-O-R, door, door, door. . . in a few weeks.
So thanks again, Aunt Pat, for thinking of us! Thanks again for being a super aunt, for the many fun summer getaways at your house, for connecting me to my very first pen pal, for the incredibly awesome care packages in college, and for being a teaching inspiration to me for as long as I can remember! Hugs!