Many students at our school are trying very hard to learn their letter names and sounds. One of the most powerful activities I've seen is to be able to sing the alphabet song as the kids point to the letters. Letter names are a foundational skill for all of us. Kids need to be able to anchor sounds they make to a letter that they know the name of. Singing along as they point to letters helps them to really know their letters on a deep level. As my students have been doing this I've seen great gains, and they've become better readers and writers.
Each day, students have the opportunity to earn a slip to be part of the Prinicipal's Mustang Club by being Kind, Honest, Hardworking and Responsible. These slips are lovingly referred to as "Brag Notes" because students get to keep the yellow copy of it and show it to their parents. Once they receive a Brag Note, they come down to the office to choose a number. This number is where their name is written on a whiteboard in the hallway. Once the board fills up, 10 students are randomly chosen to come down to the office and take home a certificate and a book!