2nd: Learning the Alphabet

Name: Jack

Student level of proficiency
Oral: Level 3 (SOLOM)
Reading: Developing (Developm. Reading Rubric, Hill & Ruptic)
Writing: Level 3, Developing (holistic)
Grade level: 2nd grade

Rationale for choosing these activities:

Jack is able to write simple sentences and speak simple sentences, however during the first to meeting it was apparent that Jack knew his alphabet in Spanish, but he didn’t know the alphabet in English. It should be fairly easy to teach Jack the alphabet and it is a fundamental cornerstone of knowledge. Once he masters the alphabet, my intention is to help him develop a better understanding of phonics. I believe this will help with master his oral language skills while simultaneously developing his literacy.

Alphabet Assessment
Alphabet Order (Worksheets 7-3 Esl Smart!):
Alphabet puzzle
Tic Tac Toe
Word order

Lesson Objective:
The objective is for Jack to understand the concept of alphabetical order and learn the pronunciation of each letter.

ELD Standards:

ELD Standard Writing: beginning, copy the English alphabet legibly. Writes the English alphabet legibly.
ELD Standard Reading: identifies different characters and settings in simple literary texts using words or phrases.

Anticipatory set-into-motivation: For my into motivation set I borrowed an alphabet book from my teacher. It was extremely simple and had helpful colorful graphics. I had Jack pick his favorite letter and draw a picture that began with that letter.

Activities for speaking/listening/reading/writing: These activities all overlap in my lesson plan. As far as speaking I had Jack read the alphabet to me after he assembled and alphabet puzzle. I allowed he to recite it in Spanish first in order to familiarize himself with the letters. For listening, I sang the alphabet song to him a few times. Also, writing was integrated into the worksheet where I had Jack rewrite the provided words into correct word order.

Check for understanding: I was continually assessing Jack. After each worksheet I made sure he could solve the puzzles on his own. He was able to successfully complete all of the worksheets I provided. If I noticed he was struggling I would simplify the words or guide him the in correct direction.

Closure: At the end of the lesson I drew two pictures for him. One was a Kangaroo with a giant letter K. (He struggled with the letter K) The other letter was the letter G. For this I let him pick out a word that began with G. He choose Goat. (This was an animal in the set-into motivation book I had read. He also needed practice with the letter G)


Above and beyond Jack loves the attention I give to him. He is eager to please me and is very obedient. This makes my lessons so much easier. He responds well to corrections and isn’t afraid to ask questions. As far as on the alphabet assessment he knows the first half of the alphabet perfectly. Jack is confident in pronouncing A-H. Something that really impressed me was he asked me what “obviously” meant. This wasn’t a word I was using, rather he heard it on TV and remembered to ask me what it meant. Although, it was off subject I wanted to encourage him to learn and ask questions on his own. I decided to utilize the word in my lesson plan. I used the letter B and said this letter is obviously B. Next I showed him the letter W and asked him if this was obviously W. He said yes, but then I flipped the letter upside-down and it became an M -no longer obviously a W. I think he understood my example. I am going to try to remember to quiz him on the word next time. Jack also did surprisingly well on the Alphabet tic tac toe. I began by initially demonstrating what I wanted him to do. He then followed my instructions and successfully completed the entire worksheet. I think it’s Jack’s positive attitude that is going to allow me to make a good impression on him. Overall, I believe despite his learning disabilities Jack is a bright kid if taught appropriately.

Jack finds it very difficult to let go of his Spanish. He often turns to Spanish when he can’t come up with the appropriate words. This isn’t necessarily a weakness however, I find he relies on his Spanish to learn. For example, Jack first would say the alphabet in Spanish before he tried to say it in English. The problem occurred when he came across the letters K, H, Z, and J. He pronounced the letter K as a Z. I can’t explain this other than he was just randomly guessing. Also the letter H, he could only say in Spanish…Hache. He could say a-chhhh (H). Then next problem occurred with the letter J. This was another letter he could only pronounce in Spanish. Even though I tried to help him he seemed to not retain the new information. Later after talking to his learning resource counselor I was informed that Jack has multiple learning difficulties. Apparently he not only is a second language learner, with learning disabilities, but he also evidently has psychological problems that the specialists are just now discovering. The counselor explained to me that all of these problems attribute to his poor memory and varying degrees of ability. All and all this creates quiet a challenge, but I definitely like a challenge I just don’t think I am qualified to do what I am doing. Anyhow it is this practice that will help for my future situations similar to this one.

What I would change:
As far as my choice in lesson plan I wouldn’t change any of it. What I would change, however, would be my strategy to convey the information to Jack. I would of liked to spend more time on memorizing the specific letters he kept missing. I also would of like to integrate and entirely new worksheet concentrating on the letters I and E. Which he commonly reversed due to his Spanish. Something that I do as well when I practice my Spanish. I also would of liked to try a few more tic ac toe puzzles. These really captivated his interest and proved to be very successful. I would of liked to have him create his own puzzles and practice quizzing me. This way he is doing the order of the alphabet on his own. I may not of need the word order worksheet. I think I could of used this time a bit more efficiently. However, as tedious as this ditto was he did learn from it. So with that in mind, it must of been worthwhile.

Connect to current course theories:
According to the reading in the Law book I maximized learning by following the five major teaching strategies. I was able to provide comprehensible input. I used clear, predictable teacher talk when discussing the alphabet. I did this by monitoring my speed and simplification of my words. I tried to focus on visual cues. In addition, I made the environment as stress free as possible. During the lesson I took Jack out of the classroom and brought him into a private room where there were few distractions. I also started the lesson with an informal conversation, this way he was able to feel comfortable talking with me. Additionally, I wanted to provide opportunities for Jack to hear vocabulary and practice speaking to me. I was very supportive and applied very clear and unmistakable guidelines. According to chapter four of Law I developed a pattern language. When introducing the alphabet I integrated frequent repetition, this was so he could use this pattern as building block- he could make generalizations from this pattern and can move on to create his own sentences.