On another day you and the child might keep the picture concealed at first. Together, say the phonemes, “s…t…a…r,” with pauses between them. Ask the classmates to put the word together, rewarding them by showing the picture. Eventually, work on elaborations by getting the children to identify their mystery word in a sentence. For example, say “I looked up and saw the first s…t…a…r of the evening,” and Sophia should answer by saying “star,” and showing her picture.
As an elaboration of the letter dictionaries described in the kindergarten section, have each child make a personal alphabet file with 26 folders—one for each letter of the alphabet. They can make the files with folded construction paper. Have them write the letters, both upper- and lowercase, on index cards in each file. (The files can be kept in a box in the child’s desk or cubby.) Over time, have them put names, other words, and pictures into the appropriate letter file. When new words come up in vocabulary lessons, reading, or other activities, ask the children to add them to their files. (An alternative to this is the use of an index card box. Each child has an index card box with dividers for each letter of the alphabet. Children put words, names, pictures on cards and file them under the appropriate letter.)