Recently I read that the National Association for the Education of Young Children presented a report that two thirds of kindergarten teachers say that students are coming to school without the basics of knowing letters among other concepts. http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1bdZC9/www.good.is/post/kindergarten-teachers-say-students-are-behind-on-day-one/
Before I had kids I taught third and fourth grade. I left teaching for a few years to be home with my girls when they were young. When my first daughter entered preschool I began to wonder what skills would be optimal for her to have, coming into kindergarten. I gave one of my former colleagues a call that happened to teach kindergarten at the time. One thing I remember her saying is the importance of students to identify every letter in the alphabet and ideally know the sound attached to each letter. It was helpful information for me at the time.
This brings me back to a post I had last year and the power of Environmental Print (another concept I was not aware of as a third and fourth grade teacher). This includes all the billboards and signage we see every day out in our community with our little ones in-tow. When you consider Environmental Print, it is very convenient to have all these gigantic letters up around us daily! We drive down a shopping drag and there is Target in big red letters, McDonalds in their Trademark yellow and Home Depot in orange. Why not kill two birds with one stone and use both letter identification and color identification conversation with our little ones. A little really goes a long way, but I would advise that consistency is key. Before long they will be identifying the letters and colors before you even have a chance to.