Monday, July 25, 2011

Record Keeping for Sandpaper Letters

This Fall will mark the beginning of my sixth year in the classroom - where has the time gone?!  While I have learned much over the years, I have yet to find an ideal method of keeping records specific to Sandpaper Letters.  Last year, I kept a separate notebook for keeping record of introduction of sounds and Sandpaper Letters.  At first, this was ideal in the sense that I could easily find each child's record and see which sounds and (later) letters had been introduced.  After a while, however, it felt as if I was loosing track as to which letters the child had already mastered and which ones still needed practice.  For this reason, I wanted to find a solution and better way to keep record within the records!

Thankfully, during the Language Oral Exam at the beginning of this summer, one of our instructors shared with us an interesting method of record keeping for Sandpaper Letters.  First, each child has their own booklet with the entire alphabet on the inside cover while the remaining pages are blank.  There are enough pages for one letter per page.
 
I've made one booklet for each child - they are delightfully small, only about 2x3 inches.
  Here is a closer look at the alphabet on the inside cover:

Handwritten in cursive.
 Once a child is introduced a letter, a mark is made like this (on the letter on the inside cover...):



As the child works to master the letter, a second mark is made:



When the child masters the letter, a final mark is made, completing a triangle around the letter:


As each letter is mastered (not necessarily in order), the teacher (or child) writes the letter on a page in the booklet.  The booklet stays at school until all letters are complete.  Eventually, the entire booklet has one letter on each page which the child can use to review.


I plan to keep them in the classroom using this adorable basket on a shelf...Seriously,  how much fun will this be to carry to each lesson?!
 I appreciate how this method not only helps the teacher keep track of progression within the lessons of the Sandpaper Letters, but also the child has a beautiful booklet to take home and share with family.  I know that the children in my class LOVE to take home booklets that are part of lessons we've had together!  Additionally, I feel this method gives the child more opportunities to see the written symbols (inside cover) as we work through the letters.  Likewise, my assistant can easily surmise by looking at through the booklet which letters the child has worked on and which ones still need a lesson.

It will be exciting to implement this new method of record keeping for Sandpaper Letters in the classroom this Fall. In case you are wondering, yes, we use cursive for teaching writing in my class...  you can read more about it in this post.  Also, I'd be most interested in hearing how others record lessons for Sandpaper Letters in your classrooms!

14 comments:

  1. This is a great way of record keeping because it doubles as a sort of "scrap book" of the child's lesson to take home. We've just marked the letters off on a chart, but your idea is so much better! I've featured a link to this post and to your Planes of Development post over at my blog today. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Susana, Thank you so much for sharing on your blog too! I'm glad you like this idea for record keeping - you are right, the child has a sweet momento to take home...
    Sasha

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh my god. This is exactly what I have been looking for. I have a lot more kids in my classroom than I use to and this is a brilliant (and cute) way to record everything!! Thanks for sharing. I am getting to work now and make my own.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Have fun! I'm glad you found it to be useful in your classroom!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for sharing this most brilliant idea! Now in my 4th year, I have been searching for a more effective way to record keep and I think your idea will be helpful and fun for the children!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm so happy you find this information useful! I can tell you, now that we've been in school for almost three months, the kids LOVE this! Honestly, there is new life with the Sandpaper Letters because the kids want more letters in their booklets. Also, they are having fun reading their booklets to each other - what a perfect way to practice letter reconition and sounds while building friendships... I know that any Montessori classroom will benefit from this set-up for Sandpaper Letter record keeping...good luck with it! Sasha

    ReplyDelete
  7. Symone
    Thank you Sasha for your wonderful advice. I will be starting my second year teaching in a Montessori school that I helped to found. I am determined to be more organized this year with record keeping and I love your letter book idea.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks, Symone. I'm so glad you find it useful - you will find too, that the kids will love it! Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Sasha,
    thank you for thes great idea for keeping record! I put this on my blog http://smartilearning.blogspot.de/
    I hope this is ok for you!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Susanne,
    I 'm glad you've found it useful! Thanks for sharing.
    Sasha

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello! It was such a pleasure to visit your blog and to read this article. I also wanted to ask you something considering this blog. Did you try guest blogging?

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love this idea as it includes the child in how they are doing during their learning journey. This may seem a silly question but how are the pages on the inside used? You said there was one page per letter, so does that mean when a letter is introduced, you write it on one of the blank pages, or does the child write it on one of the blank pages? Are the letters written when introduced or once mastered? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  13. ^ i was wondering the same thing! i need to make these!

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is super MEGA cute, and I'm copying you :)

    With Peace from Providence,
    Jessie

    ReplyDelete