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Learning letters - upper or lower case?

(23 Posts)
Gem13 Wed 16-Mar-05 08:53:11

DS (2.8) is showing an interest in letters and I was looking at sets of wooden ones to play with -don't have a magnetic fridge door and DD (13m) has been eating our foam ones.

I have seen a nice box of lower case letters but was wondering if I shouldn't start on upper case first.

Not a major issue I know but one of those things I wonder about sometimes!

Kelly1978 Wed 16-Mar-05 08:54:30

Children learn lower case letters first.

PinkWebby Wed 16-Mar-05 08:54:55

I wouldnt worry to much as they completly learn it again at school let her play with either.

dabihp Wed 16-Mar-05 08:57:06

I started with upper case. magnets on the fridge really were the way to go... now I just alternate between them...

marialuisa Wed 16-Mar-05 09:09:27

Schools start with lower case and the letter sounds rather than the letter names.

dabihp Wed 16-Mar-05 09:11:08

yes, they also spend a week on each letter, anyone else worried their child will be bored when they get to school??

hewlettsdaughter Wed 16-Mar-05 09:17:08

If it's a choice I'd go with lower case.

dabihp Wed 16-Mar-05 09:18:38

Just posted this on another thread as well.... Why not start watching Countdown with your little ones? my dd loves it, adn it really helps them learn to recognise letters and numbers!

marialuisa Wed 16-Mar-05 09:31:34

Dabihp-the "letter of the week" thing doesn't mean they spend all week working on one letter and that's it!

misdee Wed 16-Mar-05 09:34:13

get lower case. dd1 is unusual as at five she writes her name with a N instead of n at the start. correct way to do it, but not what they are taught at 5.

Kelly1978 Wed 16-Mar-05 09:37:41

At dd's school they do a letter or number for a day, about 3 a week I think. Always lower case atm tho, she is in reception.

misdee Wed 16-Mar-05 09:39:18

and its all about sounds these days, not just saying the letter.

SoupDragon Wed 16-Mar-05 09:41:48

Lower case, although I wouldn't worry too much about it.

RudyDudy Wed 16-Mar-05 09:44:38

misdee - I know it might be a bit hard by writing but can you explain what you mean by sounds (sorry if I'm being a bit dumb). Do you mean 'a' as in 'cat' rather than 'aye'? Or is there something new I haven't heard about?

misdee Wed 16-Mar-05 09:48:29

the sound a letter makes rather than what it is. so h becomnes a sorta huh sound.

RudyDudy Wed 16-Mar-05 09:49:18

thank you

misdee Wed 16-Mar-05 09:50:07

i find it very odd, and reciting the alaphabet is a whole new experience for me

Miriam2 Wed 16-Mar-05 09:57:51

Definitely lower case, except teach them to recognise the capital at the beginning of their names. I've heard reception teachers saying children come into school all proud saying they can write their names but as it's all in upper case, they get quite demoralised having to relearn it in lower case with just a capital at the beginning.

PuffTheMagicDragon Wed 16-Mar-05 10:10:10

Definitely lower case letters as others have said, plus focusing on the sound of a letter rather than its name in the alphabet. He'll find life easier in nursery and reception (when he gets there) if you do this.

Gem13 Wed 16-Mar-05 10:13:45

Thanks all. I shall buy the box then! Here it is for those who might be interested.

rosebunch Thu 17-Mar-05 08:26:00


I asked this question last month. You may have all you need here but if you want any more views on this question you could page down the education link until you find it. I think last entry was something like 25 February. Sorry, no good with links.

AuntyQuated Thu 17-Mar-05 09:05:08

remember with sounds tho' it is 'mmmmmmm' not 'muh'

because muh-ah-nuh (as we were taught) does not say man.

but mmmmm-a-nnnn does

Jolly Phonics is the scheme widely used by schools and is available at Early Learning

if they can cope teach sound and name - tell them its name is double you and it makes the sound www

Catflap Fri 18-Mar-05 21:07:43

Kids will use lower case for writing and will read it in all their books but of course will see capitals around int eh home and street before they go to school, so experiencing both is useful but an emphasis on lower case will be more meaningful for them.

Attaching sounds to letters can be very odd to a child who hasn't secure phonological awareness e.g. to understand what that is all about, they need to appreciate that:
1) our spoken words are made of individual sounds
2) our posken words can be recorded in writing
3) letters are there to represent those individual sounds

(maybe I should have bulletted those a) b) c) etc!!)

Just beware of this before launching into letters and sounds - perhaps leave it as a play thing and making words - "that says your name!" and see where the child takes it so you know what it means to them.

Also - if you do go with introducing the sounds - do beware of attaching one sound to each letter - the letetrs are there to work togther to illustrate 40+ sounds, not the other way around. It can be awkward for a child to know 'a' as in 'ant' only and then of ocurse mmet it in the sounds 'oa' 'ai' 'ea' etc

By the way - for those of you talking about pronunciation of sounds here, esp AuntyQuated (who makes a very good point! - we really should be ditching this awful sound+'uh' way we were taught!) how do you reckon the 'w' sound is actually said??

I began thinking about the sounds very carefully during my teaching years and I think we are so preoccupied with and have thought no further than our teaching, we still attach the traditional 'wuh' 'yuh' and 'kwuh' sounds to the letters 'w', 'y' and 'qu'.

However, my kdis had such secure phological awarenss after their synthetic phonics teaching, it was they who pointed out that the 'y' sound in the beginning of words such as 'yes' adn 'yellow' is actuall a really quick 'ee' sound: 'w' is more like a 'squashedd' 'oo' sound and 'qu' is a c+w which sounds more like a short 'coo' sound.

Just food for thought!!!

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