Friday, May 20, 2011

Playroom Decor: Alphabet Charts

I have one very large bare wall in my playroom that just taunts me daily. Its like begging for art. Or something.

I have all these ideas for it:

  • I want to find large old wooden frames from garage sales and paint them and hang them on the wall. Then tack my kids artwork in them. Cute right? But that would involve having the time to go to thrift stores, and goodwill. (I am determined to still do this one day!)
  • Image from here
  • Sometimes the nerdy teacher in me wants to go into the attic and dig out my old blue pocket charts and staple them up to the wall. I have visions of using sentence strips and putting little black dots under each syllable of every song I hang up. Then I daydream about getting out all my pointers for them to use. And then... I get a block thrown at my head and I realize we aren't there yet.

  • However, today, Kimberly, from Custom Nursery Art posted a link to a free alphabet printable. FREE. CUTE. ALPHABET. I have picture hanging wire I could string across the wall, and tons of wooden cloths pins. I love it. I really do.
But there is one, little, minor, problem. I am neurotic about alphabet charts and ABC books. It is pretty much my only pet peeve with teacher stuff. The rest I let slide. These things are created by people who have never taught little children to read.

For example: The letter Ee will have a picture of an elephant. Great right? Elephant starts with the letter Ee. What is the problem you ask? It isn't the right sound. In Elephant the e makes the /l/ sound. There needs to be a picture of an egg. Get it. E /e/ egg
Or my other favorite:
Ii, and they show a picture of Ice. Then you have to teach the kids about 'magic e' and how the e at the end of the word makes the vowel before it say it's name and not the letter sound. So I would rather see a picture of an igloo... at least there you get the correct sound.

Which brings me to my post.... I decided to get an alphabet chart to hang up there! I will make it a teachable wall rather than just a cutesy wall.
Here is my favorite alphabet chart of ALL time. This company was founded by a teacher. She has done workshops for my old school. Her stuff is awesome.

However, the free one is precious and cute and FREE. So if you aren't the crazy alphabet police, then I doubt you will find issues with it!!


  1. Suzie, I totally agree that teaching with a bad Alphabet Chart is horrible. The poor kiddos alway trip up and you have to explain or say ALL of their sounds. Ha ha. Sometimes I would print out a better pic and tape over it.

    You know, Teaching Blog Addict has TONS of free printables. Let me see what I can find!

  2. name is Monica Schroeder and I am another author with TBA. I would love to be on your list of teacher approved materials. I blog at and sell many of my teacher made units at One thing that makes my materials different is that they are tried and tested right in my own classroom. I post videos to go with lessons and also build SMARTboard lessons to compliment those units.

    I can't wait to hear more about your list:)

  3. I agree with the alphabet chart! The english language is complicated enough to our little learners. You know what was the worst? Teaching my kinder kids the letter n, and they kept saying "knee" and "knife". That was fun to explain! I love the cute alphabet chart though, I am already thinking about how I could frame them and arrange them on my playroom wall - that's another thing that drives me crazy about our alphabet - 26 is such a hard number to organize and divide :) Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  4. My little subtropics students always look at m for mitten and try to work out what gloves have to do with m!

  5. Yes, I couldn't stand the fact that "hen" was the picture shown to teach the short e sound on a chart I had in the classroom! In the south it's not /hen/; it's /hin/.

    I'd love to guest blog sometime. I'm new at blogging myself, but am having a BLAST sharing my ideas and hearing ideas from other in the area of literacy!


  6. Becky-- I will make sure I send your info to Sarah! I think she will work up a schedule or something like that! I can't wait to check out your blog!

    Monica!! I would love to check out your stuff and give you a plug on here!! I will get back to you for sure!!!

  7. As a K teacher, I can totally relate! Teacher-approved and created materials are all I want to use now. I've worked at creating a few favorites like:
    - the Playdough Word Work Pack
    and "What to Say When Your Child is Reading to You"
    Thanks for sharing something we can all relate to!
    - Leslie @ KindergartenWorks

  8. I agree it's hard to find a good alphabet chart. Thanks for sharing a good one.

    I'm glad you added the idea about old frames and artwork. This is something I'd thought of doing before, but I put it off and forgot about it. I plan to do it soon.

  9. Why don't you make your own alphabet chart with your kids? And laminate it and add to the walls? ... OK, just asking ;)

  10. Thank you so much for The Handmade Home link!

    Georgia :)

  11. Michelle,
    Great suggestion! (or question!) That is a wonderful learning activity and is a completely appropriate way to teach/learn about letter sounds. Maybe the kiddos can go on a photo-hunt with the camera to find things that sound like____ at the beginning. Oooo, it can even be turned into a book! So fun!

    And you'd be sure to have a fantastic Alphabet Chart!

    We look forward to doing activities like that when our little ones are ready!!!

    If you try it out with your kiddos, let us know! We'd love to share it on our blog!!


  12. My biggest pet peeve is the use of capital letters. A lot of premade activities come in all caps.
    Why are children making CVC words in all capital letters when we don't read that way. It
    makes it very hard for re-teach children the correct use of capitals ie not in the middle of a word.




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