Usually about 3/4 of my class attended our district's PreK
program which teaches the kids letters/sounds. Of course
that doesn't mean they have all mastered the letters, but at
least they were exposed. Then the other 1/4 come from
varying private preschools, Head start or have not had any
Prek. So, like most teachers, I have kids with varying
skills at the beginning of the year.
My district uses Treasures and we do our own guided Reading
program which we start after Christmas. Treasures basically
is still "Letter of the Week," but I work on all the
letters/sounds in the fall and basically most of my kids will
know the whole alphabet and most sounds by the time we start
guided Reading in January. Before we start Guided Reading,
however, we are still learning sight words and beginning to
put letters together to start CVC words. With the Treasures
series, for example, the first 3 letters we cover in
September are Mm, Aa, and Ss. So, by the 3rd week we are
already blending the letters to spell "am" and "Sam." We
then add Pp and Tt and can start to spell "sat," "pat"
etc.... We also work on sight word readers and predictable
text in the fall too.
I know a lot of schools start guided reading right away, but
we have found that starting it a little later in the year
when most of the kids have mastered the alphabet and sounds
is a lot less stressful and enjoyable. Our kids do really
well with guided reading once we get to it.