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The Alphabet Kinection The Kinesthetic Teaching Technique Review by Heidi Miller-Ford

Amber Patrick
Tate Publishing
127 E. Trade Center Terrace
Mustang, Oklahoma 73064

As a mother of a ten-year-old son with dyslexia, I am very concerned about how I will be teaching my preschool daughter to read, beginning with introducing the alphabet. Looking back on what I did with my son, my approach was all wrong. This book caught my attention because it targets children with dyslexia, ADHD, and autism (Asperger's) as well as average to hyperactive children who like to learn in a kinesthetic way.

The method in The Alphabet Kinection was created by Amber Patrick, a preschool teacher and parent of a child with dyslexia. It is based on a two-step process of first teaching the actual letters and their sounds. This is done through a fun method of repeating the names of the letters and their sounds. The second step reinforces those skills with a game. The inspiration for the game came from the games Memory and Candy Land. It can be used in a group setting or with an individual student. It's a very simple approach and can easily be incorporated into your preschool curriculum after a little preparation of the game materials. Because the process is so multisensory, the child will also learn to follow directions, visual and auditory discrimination, hand-eye coordination, and gross and fine motor coordination as an added bonus. There are multiple other skills that could be taught with this game as well.

The book has a section with suggestions for things to do before starting the game to make it go smoother and easier to organize. I appreciate the author taking the time to add this to save me time and energy. There is also a part dedicated to learning to write the alphabet using playground terms. I thought this was a creative way to teach the letters that most children would relate to easily. Each letter has a written explanation that walks you through exactly what to say as you teach your student. The letters are presented in the order the author teaches them in preschool, but they could easily be rearranged if your curriculum presents them differently. The last part of the book contains all the reproducible pages needed to teach the letters and play the game.

This is a much more memorable and fun way to learn the alphabet than sitting at a table looking at a book or flashcards. Every child loves games, and this is a great way to introduce the alphabet in an enjoyable way with lots of repetition. With The Alphabet Kinection, the student will be so actively involved he won't even know he's learning.

Product review by Heidi Miller-Ford, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September 2010