Do you use letter sound anchor charts in your classroom? Here are the benefits of using a personal letter sound chart for early readers and writers.
Visual documentation of growth over time
A personal letter sound chart is a record of the sound / symbol associations for an individual student. Like its counterpart, the Personal Alphabet Book, it is a bank of knowledge. The chart’s single page view being more like sprouting seeds in a garden provides a quick, at- a-glance perspective that students understand.
Single page documents are generally easier to update as students make more sound / symbol connections throughout the year. Personal Letter Sound Charts work well for students who already have some sound / symbol associations established. Here is a quick, fun way to assess their literacy skills.
Multiple copies, at-a-glance – anywhere
In the years I spent teaching Reading Recovery, I made personal alphabet books with my students. Classroom teachers, speech pathologists and parents sometimes asked to use it outside RR time. As there was only one, work-in progress, reference copy we used daily, it was a risk. When it left the Reading Recovery room, it did not always find its way back!
Scissors and glue stick in hand, I began making letter sound charts alongside my students. As they added new sound symbol images to their Alphabet books, I pasted a duplicate on their chart. Every so often, I provided a photocopy of the updated chart to those who requested them. In recent years, I have returned to kindergarten.
My kindergarten students’ personal letter sounds charts are
- in the writing center
- in the front of their individual journals
- in their home reading folders
When students have their charts so accessible to them, at-a-glance, they feel more motivated and confident to try writing on their own. It gives them a starting point, and something fun to read around the room.
Easy to create, edit and personalize digitally!
With the pandemic…another benefit appeared. Once we figured out how to properly secure the Clip Art images for a resource, the Editable Letter Sounds Chart with 200+ images was born (for others to use!) I had been doing Personal Alphabet books with my year one students and a few year two students who did not yet have many sound / symbol associations. Most of my year two students had working versions of charts since Thanksgiving.
The charts are essentially a digital version of my bestselling Personal Alphabet Book Kit with 200+ images. This TpT Google resource can be edited and personalized for each student, turned into a PDF and sent to parents or next year’s teacher. Edit by adding photos, using some of the 200+ images included or others. This allowed for us to continue to add new images during distance learning.
Meaningful to student, confidence building
The point of the chart being ‘personal’ is that memory is improved with emotional, and meaningful connections. Prime example: In all of my years of co-creating personal alphabet books / charts with students, I estimate that less than 5% of my students have put anything other than ‘Mom’ for the letter ‘Mm’. Those who deviated from the norm usually did so because their own name started with ‘Mm’!
Here are some more details on the selection process for images to represent each letter.
How do you help your students remember letter sounds?