Love Those Letters!
Book, DVD, CD, and classroom materials
A partnership project of:
- Family Reading Partnership
- Triad Foundation
- Kionix, Inc.
- Ithaca City School District Office of Curriculum and Instruction
- Ujeni Fund of the Community Foundation of Tompkins County
“Love Those Letters!” is a book, DVD, CD, and a set of classroom materials that includes an alphabet poster, desk strips, alphabet charts and alphabet cards. Each letter of the alphabet has one image and a simple sentence that inspires conversation about letter and their sounds. The DVD introduces a new alphabet song, dance, and sign language for each letter. Pre-K, Head Start, and Kindergarten classrooms receive a set of materials to use at school and children receive a “Love Those Letters!” book/DVD/CD to take home.
- Engage children, families, schools, and the community in learning and loving the alphabet
- Use objects for keywords that can be easily identified by children from a variety of backgrounds
- Reach all types of learners with a multi-modality approach using beautiful visuals, music, movement, and sign language
- Provide a consistent set of keywords for children between grades and schools
- Connect home and school by providing books for children to have at home and in classrooms
In 2010, Ithaca City School District reading teacher Carol Cedarholm used her sabbatical leave to research the alphabet keywords taught in our area schools develop a common set of keywords that could be used across the school district to learn letters and the sounds they represent. She was motivated by her knowledge that when children came to school not knowing the alphabet, it was more difficult for them to learn to read. She wanted to reach children early, before formal school, with an engaging and dynamic presentation of the alphabet that children would also use in kindergarten and 1st grade.
Her vision included a DVD with music, dance, signing of the alphabet, and animated “letter lessons.” Brigid Hubberman, director of Family Reading Partnership, collaborated with Carol to create a book that complemented the DVD. The set was then distributed to a pilot group of pre-k, kindergarten, and first grade classrooms.
In 2011, using feedback from the pilot year, the book was reprinted, the DVD re-filmed, and a CD recorded to make a new and improved “Love Those Letters!” set.
Many people worked on the creation of “Love Those Letters!”
- Greg McQuade, music teacher, wrote the song “Sing with Me the Alphabet”
- Lisa Tsetse, choreographer and dance instructor, created the “Alphabet Dance”
- The “Alphabet Kids” are 5th and 6th graders that sing, dance and sign in the DVD
- Katrina Morse, assistant director of Family Reading Partnership and illustrator, did the layout and design of the book and created the colorful images and a simple sentence for each letter
- Photosynthesis Productions filmed the DVD and created the letter animations
- Cal Walker reads the book aloud on the DVD and CD
Measures of Success
“Some of our kindergarten students who came in without knowledge of letters or sounds have really taken to the DVD. In fact, they are using the motions and words (b = bike) in the classroom from just watching the DVD. Their phonemic awareness has really improved!” ~ Elementary School Principal
“As I was administering the PALS (Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening) in kindergarten, I was amazed that these students who were just learning English knew all the letters and sounds!” ~ ESOL teacher, former Pre-K and K teacher
“Thank you for making it so beautifully inclusive – for making sure all our children can see themselves in it.” ~ School District Administrator
“Quietly working in the class, one student started singing the Love Those Letters! song, then another, and spontaneously they were all singing the song!” ~ 1st Grade Teacher
Find out more at the Love Those Letters website!
Order “Love Those Letters!” books
(Please note that classroom materials are not available for purchase at this time.)
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