accomplishments · OBSERVATIONS · reading

Recognizing Letters

Isabelle has 41 songs on her playlist.
Isabelle has 41 songs on her playlist.

I presented Isabelle with her playlist on my iPhone as she prepared to brush her teeth.

“Pick a song,” I said, as I do every morning.

Instead of scrolling up and down through the playlist with her finger in search of a picture she liked (which matches a song she wants to hear), she settled her finger towards the center of the screen.

“A…,” she began.

“A, what?” I asked.

“A.” She pointed towards the Jackson 5’s song. Then she continued. “A. B. C.” She looked up and smiled.

“ABC, what?” I asked. (I had a feeling about what she was doing, but I wanted to follow her lead.)

“ABC, da song! Dat’s ‘ABC’,” she said as she touched the screen with her index finger.

IMG_2949Next thing we knew, a new screen popped up and we heard the Jackson 5 singing and playing “ABC.”

“Wow! You read that. Instead of looking at the picture, you read the letters a-b-c and picked the song. You should be so proud of yourself.”

Isabelle beamed.

I continued, “That’s reading, Isabelle.  The letters mean something.  This song is called “ABC” and you read the title of the song.  You can learn how to read the titles of all of your songs.”  But then I stopped.  She’s only four.  Why push?  And besides, we had to brush those teeth!


21 thoughts on “Recognizing Letters

  1. Oh, what a moment! Pictures lead to words, and that is what Isabelle did! Love the Jackson 5. What an unknowing service they did for reading with that song, 🙂

  2. What a fun, exciting moment between the two. I especially appreciate your reflections in the last lines.

  3. When my daughter was four, I was grading papers at the dining room table and had A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the table. She came up to me with the book and held it open saying “teach me”. I asked her what she wanted me to teach her and after a series of questions and answers I realized she wanted to know how to read it!

    Watching my daughter learn to read has been one of the most incredible experiences as a mother! Enjoy!

  4. All the opportunities to learn reading. I like how you celebrate, use the opportunity to teach, and at the same time know when not to push.

    1. Thanks Terje. Truth be told, we did some Melissa and Doug letter puzzles for 15 minutes (I set a timer) when she got home from school. I told her I really wanted to work with her for 15 minutes a day on words. She wasn’t enthused at first, but once she saw how much fun it was, we were good to go. (Plus, I told her she could watch two episodes of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” every day she works with me. The thing is, she does that on most days, nowadays, anyway. So really, she’s spending 15 minutes of focused time working with me and still getting what she already had.)

    1. Exactly! And believe me, I don’t want to rush it too much. After all, my husband and I spell out a lot of words when we don’t want her to know what we’re saying.

  5. I think I’ve said this before, but how exciting that you are raising a literate human!!! How awesome that she is excited about learning and excited about reading! I love that she has her own playlist. What a great idea. 🙂

  6. Never thought about the picture support in iTunes — I did not have it when my kids were little. Great way to think about early literacy…. and not a bad song to get you going in the morning! If ever you find yourself in Boston I would love to babysit — I love hearing about her!

  7. It’s the first step & she’ll just grow into it so naturally I bet, Stacey. You do so much literacy background with Isabelle. She may already “see” the words, just not realize that’s what they are. Fun story!

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