Bb for buttons

Letter of the week

It’s Monday today and week two of teaching Sam, so we have a new letter of the week ‘Bb’. I’ve decided to teach the upper and lower case letters alongside each other. I’ve also decided to teach the alphabet in alphabetical order. I did debate doing it in different ways-upper case letters first then lower (or vice-a-versa), or letters he knows first, or English letters that have the same phonetic pronunciation as Welsh ones, or in letter families etc. I’m sure all of those would have worked and all have advantages and disadvantages but I think it is simpler to teach upper and lower case letters alongside each other and in alphabetical order. I also think it will be easier for me to keep track of what we have done and where Sam is at with his learning etc.

I’ve started to get in to letter of the week now and have more ‘creative’ ideas for what we can do this week and how I can expand on these and link them to other areas like maths etc. Today we did ‘Bb’ for buttons. I drew and cut out a ‘B’ shape in card and packed it on to another piece of card to make it stronger. Sam then used craft glue to stick on different buttons. He loved it. It’s just dried and it also looks pretty cool on display. We then sorted the remaining buttons in to different colours and shades ‘light/dark blue’ and I asked Samuel to guess whether the button piles had more/less than other colours. I then got him to count the buttons to check whether he was right or not. He really enjoyed the tasks especially sticking and sorting his buttons! We then followed this up by reading a book called ‘Moomin and the birthday buttons’ with me pointing out all the words in the story beginning with a ‘b’ sound.

I also wanted to reinforce the letter ‘a’ sound so during the afternoon (a for afternoon hehe) I pointed out words beginning with the sound around the house, on our walk, at the dentist etc. Sam seemed to get the idea and before bed (most likely a clever and effective ploy to stay up later) he was asking me ‘c for…’ etc and I was asking him in return. He correctly made suggestions for letters we had covered, so ‘a’ and ‘b’, as well as correctly suggesting ‘m for mouse’ which I gave him loads of positive praise for and was actually genuinely very pleased and impressed about #proudmummoment.

I’ve got a rough idea of other tasks we are going to do so ‘Bb’ for: bubbles (with blowing and popping bubbles and either counting the bubbles or suggesting things that begin with ‘b’ as we pop them); banana (with a banana snack and find the banana game-I’m going to draw and hide 10 banana pictures around the house for him to count and find-perhaps the banana snack will be the ‘prize’); balloons (I’m going to blow up and write the letter ‘B’ in upper case on half the balloons and  lower case ‘b’ on half and ask Samuel to sort them in to upper and lower case. We might both do it as a race to make it in to a game and then count the piles to see who is the ‘winner’). All of this alongside practising forming the letter correctly in upper and lower case, identifying it, playing phonic eye spy, counting and working on number recognition etc.


I’ve decided to focus on Sam’s counting this week as he tends to get excited/lose concentration so count one (or two) too many/less. So, I tried to show him with the counting buttons today that we stop after we have counted them all and that we have to count (and point at this stage) to each one individually and that counts as one-not more or less. I’ve also decided to stick to number recognition of 0-10 for another week as Sam still gets 2, 3 and 5 confused (although I’ve definitely seen an improvement in the past week).


I’m really enjoying doing the little learning activities with Sam or ‘craft’ as he calls it. A lot of it is preschool stuff that I probably should have done with him sooner but when I was working and stressed it’s just not something I felt able to do-physically or emotionally, but I am glad that I am doing it now and that we have this time together. And I am so proud of him for trying,enjoying learning and progressing. I’ve also realised just how creative and imaginative he .is and how much we both enjoy doing things together.


Some other fun things we tried this week/weekend:

Roll & Pound Math Game for Preschool. This was so much fun and Sam loved it! (Great way to recycle the ‘pound-a-peg’ toy which to be honest was no longer played with and almost on it’s way to the charity shop!). There’s also a phonics version if you search the site.

Roll & Pound Math Game For Preschool

Number line scavenger hunt. We did 0-10 and leaves for an autumn theme. Again he loved it! Will be playing it again when we cover 0-20. It’s also by ‘no time for flash cards’. I love the site and it has brilliant, simple ideas for both at home and in a nursery/school set up. I really rate it.

Shamrock Number Line Scavenger Hunt

Batman activity pack. We haven’t actually done this one yet but it looks like Sam would really enjoy it (and it links to the letter of the week-extra bonus). The pack is a free to download and print off. I’m not sure if some of the activities are a bit’young’ for Sam but I think I could easily adapt them. It looks great for preschool kids who are superhero fans!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading (I enjoyed writing). Will blog again soon (hopefully with photos!). Bye for now.


Author: TeachingSam

Hi, I’m ‘Mam Samuel’ (or ‘Samuel’s mum’ in English) and I live in North Wales with my son Samuel (who has recently decided that he prefers to be called ‘Sam’). He started full time school last week and this blog is about my attempts to teach him to read, write and count in English at home.

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