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Riceball_Mommy
08-20-2010, 10:04 AM
First of all I'm not sure if I'm in the right forum, so forgive me if this is in the wrong place.

We've been going over the alphabet with two different sources, the main Calvert Kindergarten curriculum and with two work books (Disney School Skills and Kumon). Calvert covers uppercase and lowercase at the same time, they go in alphabetical order, while the workbooks have two separate books for uppercase and lowercase, and go in order according to how the lines are in the letter (both workbooks have the same order). Now my question is should I follow what the workbooks seem to encourage and do uppercase then lowercase, or both at the same time.
So far I've been focusing more on uppercase letters while still touching on the lowercase. And we've been fine with the mixed order. There's a good bit of the Calvert workbook that we'll be coming back to later after we cover it in the other two workbooks.
Calvert gives no real instruction on how to write the letters in the workbook and no practice, you trace it once then write it on your own.

When teaching letters did you focus on uppercase then lowercase, or both at the same time?

Teri
08-20-2010, 10:09 AM
My kids all learned to print when they were toddlers and too young to really give "instruction", so I started with cursive. :p Sorry, no help here.

StartingOver
08-20-2010, 10:22 AM
Personally I would stick to upper case first, simply because the letters are easier to form. Then introduce lower case. Most programs will start with letters like L, E, F, H, T, first, then in in slants K, M, N, V, W, Z, A, then the bubble letters, B, D, P, R, then the more complicated, U, C, S, etc.

If your child is having no trouble at all with making small circles, or loops, curvy lines, slanted lines, etc. Then you could put them all together.

I always print off extra work, or start copy work soon after the basic shapes are learned.

AshleysMum
08-20-2010, 10:23 AM
When my daughter was in kindergarten and 1/2 of first grade in PS, they covered Upper and then Lower case letters in writing. I found that she was rather confused after doing lower case and I think it would have been better to do both together. We're having to teach her what case to use as she gravitates towards using uppercase when she gets confused, even in the middle of a word. We've not touched on proper case for all words, just proper nouns and are having her practice words in just lowercase. We've just started 2nd grade.

Hope this helps!

hockeymom
08-20-2010, 01:08 PM
DS insisted on learning his letters a few months before he turned 2. We showed him upper and lower case together and there was never any confusion. Sorry I can't be of much help, but it makes sense to me to do both at once.

SunshineKris
08-20-2010, 01:20 PM
I think lower case are super-important. Read this. What do you see? Mostly lower case letters. When you read a book with kids and are encouraging them to "read" along, they see mostly lower case. But we always concentrate on the upper case letters. I've made it a priority to teach lower case letters. I made my own letter matching cards for upper and lower case (match the lower to upper case). Now, my little guy just doesn't' feel like writing though I try to all it "drawing" the letter. Maybe one day he'll care to make the effort. But in general I am focusing more on lower case since that what he, and me and you see most often.

Sarbare0704
08-20-2010, 02:28 PM
I think lower case are super-important. Read this. What do you see? Mostly lower case letters. When you read a book with kids and are encouraging them to "read" along, they see mostly lower case. But we always concentrate on the upper case letters. I've made it a priority to teach lower case letters. I made my own letter matching cards for upper and lower case (match the lower to upper case). Now, my little guy just doesn't' feel like writing though I try to all it "drawing" the letter. Maybe one day he'll care to make the effort. But in general I am focusing more on lower case since that what he, and me and you see most often.
I love the matching game idea!!

Riceball_Mommy
08-20-2010, 07:43 PM
Thanks all for the feedback. My instinct was to do them at the same time, but the Kumon books seem to be set up for uppercase first then lowercase, and after asking a few people I was just even more confused.
We did a version of that matching game today. I read about a game where you write upper and lowercase letters with sidewalk chalk on the ground. You stand on one letter and say it then the other person runs to the matching letter. We already have letter cards so I might do a matching game with those though.
I think I'll do more review with lowercase letters now though with flash cards. I haven't been using those as much as the uppercase ones. The game should be an easy fun way to implement a review though.

Busygoddess
08-22-2010, 08:41 PM
It depends on if you're talking about letter recognition or writing the letters. If you're talking letter recognition, I always did both at the same time, playing fun games with letter cards (memory, matching, etc.). When it comes to writing, though, it's different. They usually teach writing capital first, because they're easier to write. As Jana pointed out, the capital letters are generally taught in a specific order - easiest to hardest. Lower case letters are taught later, when the child's fine motor skills are more developed.

Riceball_Mommy
08-22-2010, 09:01 PM
It depends on if you're talking about letter recognition or writing the letters. If you're talking letter recognition, I always did both at the same time, playing fun games with letter cards (memory, matching, etc.). When it comes to writing, though, it's different. They usually teach writing capital first, because they're easier to write. As Jana pointed out, the capital letters are generally taught in a specific order - easiest to hardest. Lower case letters are taught later, when the child's fine motor skills are more developed.

Thanks for your help, Calvert is presenting them both at the same time (kind of writing and recognition). I've been covering both but doing more focus on the writing for the capital letters. I think she needs more practice just in recognition for both and she's been doing some letter review with Star Fall and they cover both upper and lowercase. I'll still hold off on the lowercase workbook though, and just focus on the recognition.

Fiddler
08-22-2010, 09:16 PM
There are some great Montessori-like materials where the student has to attach a clothespin matching a lowercase letter with an uppercase one. Not only does your child learn which letters go together, but s/he gets great practice strengthening that pincer grip--so necessary for writing!

Here's where I found the pdfs: http://sunflowerschoolhouse.com/thebeehive/clothes-peg-alphabet-volume-3/

Warning: site is decidedly NOT secular, though many if not most of the free pdfs are.

laundrycrisis
08-23-2010, 07:48 AM
I do lower case first, in the order of most frequent use (I used The Reading Lesson for this). Upper case letters are rarely used. I want them to learn to read and write lower case until those are easy for them, then upper case later.

Kylie
08-24-2010, 07:58 AM
I would tend to steer to the side of both. To me it just makes sense to do them togetehr rather than have to go back and start again. For my daughter lower case letters are still a struggle though so really only writes in upper case. Probably one of the reasons most programs start with upper, easier for little fingers. I think if the child can handle the lower case font then I personally would do both at once.

BackLitLeo
08-26-2010, 12:23 PM
DD learned most of it on her own, but she started with upper case. It would make sense to teach lower case first, as it is used more often, but upper case was easier for her to write.