St. Mary's Junior Kindergarteners have made learning the ABCs look as easy as 1-2-3! Throughout the year, JK students studied the alphabet by devoting a week to each letter.
Research shows that girls are six months ahead of boys in beginning language development. St. Mary's early childhood students are introduced to phonological awareness and literacy skills early on.
"Letter-sound-learning is the foundation for proficient reading, writing, and spelling. When students are taught recognition of letters and their corresponding sounds at an early age, they are set up to be confident, capable writers and readers," said Early Childhood Head Brennan Adrian.
The teachers ensure the students are immersed in this curriculum in kinesthetic ways.
"The JK curriculum includes the students as they learn about each letter in various ways, such as object sharing, creating alphabet books, and having events based on certain letters, like a Pajama Party for the letter P. Real-world activities such as these foster so much understanding in young students," said JK Teacher Sarah Marshburn.
Last week, Junior Kindergarteners participated in the culminating alphabet activity, a tradition called the "QU Wedding," followed by the Alphabet Parade.
"The first time I read the story of Q and U joining together forever, I thought it was so clever. What a great way for children to remember that words spelled with Q always include U as well," said JK Teacher Megan Ford. "Q is also the last letter we cover in our JK curriculum, so it makes sense to wrap things up with a celebration!"
In recent years, the QU Wedding has expanded into an Alphabet Parade, which allows each child to represent a letter. The students take the parade very seriously and are proud of their letter-inspired costumes!
"This year, we had a wide range of costumes, from candy corn for C, to Hermione for H, to octopus for O. It was extra exciting to have the girls in the other early childhood classes cheering the girls on as they paraded through the halls," said Mrs. Ford.
While the event was certainly memorable for the students, the lasting impact will be their success next year in Senior Kindergarten as they explore the fundamentals of reading and writing with confidence in their alphabet knowledge.
"While often teaching a child to read and write can feel magical, it is a science, and our early childhood educators bring this into both student's work and play," said Mrs. Adrian.
- Early Childhood