Activity-Based Alphabet Assessment

I was catching up on laundry and trying to organize our language materials in the library today.

A certain little someone was nearby as usual and was saying, “P-UH-lease play with me Mommy!” I decided a break from laundry was needed.

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She wanted to play with the packing materials again. If you’ve ever purchased the squishy styrofoam peanuts that can be moistened and shaped into objects … these are just like those except all white and repurposed from a package Grammy received.

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Well Li’l Bit loves playing with a tub of them. Today I decided to hide magnet letters in them and ask her to name them as she placed them on a dollar*tree cookie sheet.

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She loved doing this and had no clue it was “work”! I was able to assess which uppercase letters she can identify and which she can’t. I put most of them in there at least two times, so I feel like my informal assessment is accurate.

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She had so much fun that she wanted to hide some for me to find too. I always give her “tools” as well like old measuring cups and spoons as well as various containers.

Please share ways you extend fun activities for purposeful learning and/or assessment of your preschooler or early elementary students! I love hearing other ideas for purposeful play!

Today’s Time-tested Tip: When reading a picture book aloud to a non-reader who is eager to turn pages, tell them to wait for you to tap the bottom corner of the right page twice before turning it to the next page.

(This really works and quells any desire to pull your hair out as you read to a non-reader who seems more interested in the turning of the page than the story itself. I’ve used this trick since our oldest was a toddler and he is now 14!)

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