By: Laura Lambert
Most preschools and early child care centers implement some type of system or program to help children understand and gain better knowledge of the alphabet. At The Learning Tree Preschool, we successfully and enthusiastically use Zoo Phonics!
For those of you that may not know, Zoo Phonics is a learning program that allows all types of learners to feel connected to the English language and all it has to offer. This means that the program uses the three main learning styles (auditory, visual, and kinesthetic) as cues, projects, and activities to enhance education as well as involve every single student in the learning process. Each letter of the alphabet is designated a “character”, sound, and physical gesture. For example, the letter “Aa” is designated the character of Allie Alligator, the sound is “aah” (as in apple), and the hand movement is clapping both arms together in a vertical direction, as if an alligator is chomping.
At The Learning Tree Preschool, each classroom is given a set of cards and each card has a letter of the alphabet and a specific character that goes along with the letter. Each card also states in small font the physical gesture and sound that goes along with each letter. We also use other tools such as books, worksheets, While implementing Zoo Phonics somewhat varies from each age group, The Learning Tree teachers discuss the curriculum to ensure that we are all on the same page and that the students are getting all that they can from Zoo Phonics.
Zoo Phonics not only helps with writing and reading but also in many other areas of learning. For example, we are able to explore the character of the weeks’ habitat, lifestyle, physical features, etc. which can incorporate a variety of activities including science, reading, art, math, etc. We are also able to improve fine and gross motor skills by tracing the letter as well as using our entire bodies to create each letter. There are numerous games and songs we use on a daily basis as well which are fun ways for the students to learn the Zoo Phonics characters and letters.
At home, we encourage you to ask your child about Zoo Phonics! For more information about Zoo Phonics, you can look here: http://www.zoo-phonics.com. There are also numerous videos on youtube that you can check out by typing in “Zoo Phonics”! At The Learning Tree, we are continually engaging and observing your children and by using Zoo Phonics, we have found a program that allows them to learn while having fun!
Gordo Gorilla art project
Circle time with Inny Inchworm: white board writing