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  • Letter Names and Sounds Skill Explainer

How to Introduce a New Letter

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Produced by Reading Universe, a partnership of WETA, Barksdale Reading Institute, and First Book
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Monica Peevyhouse: Okay, we're going to learn a new sound today.

Narrator: Kindergarten teacher Monica Peevy house is introducing a new letter today, the letter 'f'. She'll go through steps that she'll repeat every time she introduces another new letter.

Monica Peevyhouse: Our new sound today is /f/. Say /f/ ...

Student(s): /F/

Monica Peevyhouse: Okay. Very good.

Narrator: She begins by saying the new letter's sound and having students try it on their own.

Monica Peevyhouse: Let's make that sound again. /F/. (Ms. Peevyhouse and the students make the sound together.) Is this a voice sound or an uninvoice?

Student(s): Unvoice.

Monica Peevyhouse: It's off. Our voice box is not moving. It's an unvoiced sound. Okay, so we don't need our voice for it. Say /f/ ...

Student(s): /F/

Monica Peevyhouse: Okay. What is our mouth doing? Where are our teeth?

Student(s): Right here, on the bottom ... (they touch their lower lips).

Monica Peevyhouse: On the bottom lip. Our teeth are touching our bottom lip.

Narrator: Talking about how the sound is made and what your mouth looks and feels like when you make it, helps students get the hang of pronouncing it.

Monica Peevyhouse: It continues. We can make this sound for as long as we have breath. If you have breath for a hundred hours. Okay. Let's see how long we can go real quick.

Student(s): /Ffffff/

Monica Peevyhouse: Okay. Very good. Very good. Okay. I'm going to give you some words. Okay? Some of them are going to begin with the sound /f/ and I want you to give me a thumbs up. If it does not, I want you to cover your mouth. Okay. Here we go. Say fire.

Student(s): Fire

Monica Peevyhouse: Does fire begin with /f/? I should see thumbs up. Good job. Okay, say fork.

Student(s): Fork.

Monica Peevyhouse: Does fork begin with /f/?

Narrator: Playing with words in this way provides an opportunity for students to both hear the sound in words and practice producing the sound themselves.

Monica Peevyhouse: Say flipper.

Student(s): Flipper.

Monica Peevyhouse: Does flipper begin with /f/? 9Students hold up their thumbs to respond yes.) Very good. Very, very good. Okay. Our letter that represents the sound /f/ is an 'f'. Very good. It is an 'f'. Okay. This is our uppercase 'F'

Student(s): And our lowercase 'f'.

Monica Peevyhouse: And our lowercase 'f'. Let's sing our alphabet until we find the letter 'f'. Okay. Here we go. (They all sing the alphabet song together). 'A', 'b', 'c', 'd', 'e', 'f' ... Oh, we found it. Okay. What letter comes before 'f'?

Student(s): 'E'

Monica Peevyhouse: 'E'. Very good. Okay. What letter comes after 'f'?

Student(s): 'G'

Monica Peevyhouse: 'G'. Very good. And what sound does 'f' represent?

Student(s): /F/

Monica Peevyhouse: Very, very good. Here we go. We're going to learn to write the letter 'f', uppercase 'F'. Watch me. We're going to start in the sky and we're going to come straight down to the ground. We're going to come back up to the sky and go across. Then we're going to come to the fence line and go across. Okay. Now I want you to do this with me. This time when we write it, I want you to air write it and I want you to say the sound.

Student(s): /F/ (the students use their fingers to write the letter 'f' in the air).

Monica Peevyhouse: Very good. Now we're going to do lowercase 'f'. We're going to start right here In between the fence and the sky, we're going to curve up towards the sky and then come down to the ground and we'll cross this at the fence. I want you to air write it or write it on the carpet with me this time.

Narrator: Demonstrating how to write the letter on paper while students practice tracing it in the air, not only teaches the letter's formation, it also lays the groundwork for the next step in their journey with this new letter ... dictation.

Monica Peevyhouse: Very good.

Narrator: Enjoyed this video? Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel @RUTeaching. For more information, please visit Special thanks to Prather-Brown Center, Frederick Public Schools, and the Oklahoma State Department of Education. Reading Universe is made possible by generous support from Jim and Donna Barksdale, the American Federation of Teachers, the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, and three anonymous donors. Reading Universe is a service of WETA, Washington, DC, the Barksdale Reading Institute, and First Book.

Monica Peevyhouse: I'm Monica Peevy House and this is Reading Universe.

Reading Universe is made possible by generous support from Jim & Donna Barksdale, the AFT, the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, and three anonymous donors.

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