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The Alphabet Knowledge Crisis

Many kindergarten students are doing well in school but are struggling with their early literacy development. Kindergarten data suggests that many kindergarteners do not know essential alphabet principles like letter naming or distinguishing between lower and uppercase letters. Some children also have difficulty writing letters or spelling three to four-letter words when guided.

Understanding alphabet principles is critical to future academic success - not only in kindergarten - but for years to come. However, the current alphabet knowledge crisis shows that many young children will continue to struggle in school if they do not learn fundamental alphabet principles. Here are some of the most critical alphabet principles children should know as they enter kindergarten and ways that educators and parents can help students learn these crucial skills:

Essential Alphabet Principles
Within the first few days or weeks of school, teachers begin to informally assess students' abilities to recognize and say letters of the alphabet while forming letters on paper. Beginner reading books also include three-to-four-letter words, some blends, and sight words that are often unknown to young learners. Teachers can then gauge student performance within several early literacy measures to help them track how well students will progress and can indicate future literacy achievement.  

 

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