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Oh Those Challenging Letters!

A few weeks ago I noticed that some of my earliest readers were still struggling with letter recognition. I know this happens every year, but this year it has been especially apparent. I was having a tough time getting those little readers to read the most basic leveled text and even just simply decode words. That’s when I started to realize it’s because they still didn’t know all their letters! If they were struggling with identifying letter names and sounds still, well, then sure, reading words when trying to apply sounds you don’t actually know is a true challenge!

As a result, I took a step back and focused a little less on leveled text and more on texts that allowed these little readers to see the same letters and hear the same letter sounds over and over again. I am so glad I did this! Now these same students are able to make quicker connections to letter names/sounds and in turn able to decode more words….annnnd read more! Yay!

I wanted my little readers to hear words with each letter more often, so I use my full color teacher version of the passage to read to my little readers. We then discuss the letter that pops up frequently in the story. My little readers then go to their own journal which includes the same story, but in b&w. They then go through and find all the uppercase and lowercase letters that we discussed. I have them highlight each time they see the letter within the story- no matter the location in the word (doesn’t just have to be at the beginning of the word) because I just want them to really see the letter and recognize it right away! The next step for my little readers is to label pictures from the story that begin with the letter we discussed. This provides each reader with another aspect of recognizing the letter.



I have one passage for each letter of the alphabet (each passage has a colorful teacher version and a b&w student version) and I love that I can pull these out whenever I notice a specific letter that is still challenging for my earliest readers!


These passages are great to use to introduce letters whole class, review letters in small group/one-on-one or even to send home for homework! You can check out these passages by clicking here or the pic below! I hope these passages help out your little readers as well. 🙂

Here’s a video showing how I use these passages in my room to help my struggling readers!
Have a great day!


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Aylin Claahsen

Providing resources and support to engage all readers.

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Hi, I'm Aylin!

I’m so happy you’re here! I’m a certified reading specialist who loves talking all things literacy. I have a huge passion for providing resources and support to engage all readers!


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