At Cornerstone Center, children learn the names of alphabet letters and numbers at their own paces, by being exposed to them naturally through daily use. We don't "drill" children with flash cards or worksheets. Instead, we read a lot, we write a lot, and we give children many opportunities to solve real problems in the classroom. By the time Cornerstone students enter kindergarten, most are very knowledgeable about names of the alphabet and numbers.
But it's even more important that children understand how written language and mathematics work. If youngsters don't develop that awareness, knowing the names of the alphabet and numbers is just empty memorization.
•Children learn to read by reading (by handling books, by making sense of pictures, and by being read to).
•Children learn to write by writing (by experimenting with marks, by dictating stories to teachers, and by helping the class compose letters and lists, etc.).
•Children learn to use numbers by using numbers (by playing with "countable" materials like sea shells and buttons, by passing out napkins for snack, or by playing simple board games).