We began a new Skills Block activity this week called "Star names." Each child has their name in a cup and the child who was the "star student" the previous day gets to pull out a new name. The star student gets a special sticker and gets to sit in a special chair. I write the child's name on the board, modeling that each name begins with a capital letter and the rest of the letters are lowercase. I interview the "star student" and write their answers out, again modeling sounding out and writing from left to right! We talk about what we notice about the letters in the their name and also words that begin with the same sound. We put their name into a song and also make a puzzle with their name. We cut the letters apart and ask another student to put the letters back together in the correct order. This Skills Block activity allows students to practice many phonetic skills in a fun and interactive way! Students also go back to their seats and draw a picture of the "star student," trying to include some of the things that the "star student" shared in their interview. Students are encouraged to sound out the things that they drew. For example, if they drew a soccer ball, they could write /s/ to represent the first sound or /scr bol/ to phonetically sound out the words. Each student works at his/her individual writing ability.