Learn Letters - information for parents and teachers Learn Letters helps children learn the names and

shapes of the letters of the alphabet, the first step to reading. Learning the shapes of the letters of the alphabet is one of the most important, most basic things a child needs to learn. It is never too early to become familiar with the letters of the alphabet. Without the shapes of the letters being familiar, it is hard to begin to learn to read; without knowing the names of the letters, and being able to identify the correct letter, it is difficult to refer to letters or words. The modern shapes of our alphabet are quite arbitrary. Our A is derived from a simplified drawing of the head of an ox - not an everyday sight to most modern children. That letters look this way and no other seems natural to us, because they are so extremely familiar, but to a child they can be confusing and arbitrary. Once these letters of our alphabet start to become familiar to children, knowledge of the letters is constantly reinforced, from the environmental print that is all around us. There is a snowball effect of increasing familiarity. Children, even if they don t read yet, can still derive meaning from a combination of letters such as their name. To make it more difficult, the letters a child tries to make often do not look like the original. They may be wobbly and off-center. Not only can it be frustrating to the child when his letters do not look like the ones in a book, it can be confusing. As adults we have learned which are the critical parts of a letter, and which are optional, decorative, or vary with the type face, but none of this is known to a small child. A circle is an 'o' and circle with a short stem on the right is an 'a', but the stem can be straight or curved or curved with its top going back over the circle, but in any case if the stem is too high it becomes a 'd'. The upper case 'A' has even more possible shapes. To avoid these difficulties, Learn Letters uses a simple lower case alphabet, very similar if not identical to the one a child prints. Most early reading books uses a similar type face, one that is clear and is similar to how a child is taught to print. Learn Letters deal with the lowercase letters, because they use more consistent shapes and because they vary much less with different type faces. Most of what we read is in lower case. This makes letters and then words familiar and easy to recognize. Learn Letters allows the child to make letters without writing, to further acquaint the child with the shapes of letters. Your child builds letters from their component shapes, so that she has a firm knowledge of what each letter is supposed to look like. This separates hand/eye coordination from the task of learning to read. The multi-modal learning that a computer allows: sound (hearing the name of the letter), color, animation and kinesthetics (the

Use the "ESC" key to return to the main menu or to exit the game at any time. and the child can select a different shape. Show your child how to click on the circle (the o shape) and drag it into the box. because it combines colorful pictures with sound and interactivity. You might want to ask your child how many shapes are used to make a certain letter. Your child will hear the name of the letter. because the child has to assemble the letter with only a brief hint and the name of the letter. A computer is even better than any workbook. The b and the rest of the letters are assembled the same way. The letter a can be assembled from these two pieces in either order. It is easier to learn to write a letter when a child knows exactly what the letter should look like. . but the f . with the richness of language. It is fun. auditory and kinesthetic modes of learning are brought together. you would want your child to have a well-printed color book. How to Use Learn Letters Start by selecting Level I and click on "Start". On this level the letters appear in random order. while the name of the letter is heard. As the letters become familiar. Most of the letters require two shapes. Clearly. and then the short stick (like the letter I without the dot). and the w has four. Level 3 is the most difficult. to perform a new task and "get it right". If workbooks were all that was available. it does not replace writing. not frustrating. flashing on and off. It is gratifying to a child. You wouldn t want your child to learn letters from a blurry black and white workbook. Not only do we want our children to know the letters and their names. If the child uses the wrong shape to construct a letter. By combining the visual elements that make up the letter with the sound of a letter s name. The more ways a child is acquainted with letters. the child will "see" them in his surroundings. Learn Letters provides the child with instant feedback. but is meant to supplement it. visual. children will read. that shape simply slides back to where it was on the screen. Level 2 has the letters appear faintly on the screen. If learning to read is fun. l and o are single shapes.interactivity of putting the shapes in the right place) all help to reinforce memory of the letters. we want them to be associated with the fun. The finished letter will turn black. s . The outline of a letter a will appear. because it is more fun. or to anyone. m and z need three shapes. and the satisfaction of doing it right as he learns more and more letters. The c . the more familiar they will seem. and insert itself in the alphabet at the bottom of the screen. pointing them out and naming them as old friends.

We very much appreciate your feedback.yourchildlearns. Our e-mail address is: owlmouse@yourchildlearns. we would appreciate your mentioning it to your friends.com/owlmouse. If you feel there are places where we could make improvements.htm . Find it at: www.If you and your child like this game.com SEE ALSO: "Letter Sounds" to learn the sounds represented by the letters. we would like to hear about them.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful