My teacher friend, Deb, has a super easy (and cheap!) way of making privacy screens for the students in her classroom. She simply purchases boxes from our local Office Max and cuts out one side. So easy! Deb says these privacy screens are durable and they are the perfect size. The students can still see her as she is providing directions (other screens are too high) and they fold up nicely and are easy to store. Upon Deb’s direction, students get up and get a privacy screen from the box and quickly set it up. I love it because it makes for a quick and easy transition so instruction can begin right away.
I know what some may be thinking…these boxes may look a little plain, you might want to “cutesie it up” a bit. Just remember that students typically use privacy screens when taking tests or doing work which requires concentration. I love it that the boxes are simple! That means there’s less distractions.
You’ll want to be sure to purchase the correct box size.
Ever since posting the DIY tactile letters, I wanted to create templates to make tactile words for the first three lists of the Dolch 220 sight words. I’m such a believer in a multi-sensory approach to teaching that, despite the amount of time they’ll take to make, they’ll be so worth the effort! Once made, they should last you for years.
So, this is what you’ll need for your project: 1. Adhesive Outdoor Tread. I purchased this tread at my favorite home improvement store–the Home Depot in the paint section. 2. 9 sheets of 3 different colors of 12×12 cardstock (scrapbooking cardstock found in most large department stores). 3. Clear contact paper if you do not have access to a laminator.
To make your tactile sight words, follow these simple steps:
1. Print the pdf with the sight word templates and the letter templates and cut them out.
2. Mount the sight word templates on the colored cardstock and cut them leaving a border around the template. I use my scrapbooking tools, but scissors will do. You will be able to get three sight word templates on a 12×12 cardstock. I color-coded my lists. For example, list one was mounted on green, list two on blue and list three on red.
3. Laminate or cover each mounted template with clear contact paper.
4. Gather the letters for the word on the card. Turn over/flip the letters for the word on the backside of the tread and trace around the letter with a fine point Sharpie marker.
5. Cut the letter from the outdoor tread.
6. Simply peel the paper off the back of the tread and adhere on the template.
Well, that’s about it. Pretty easy to make. These tactile sight word cards will make a great addition to your small group intervention toolbox. One helpful hint…you’ll want to have some Goo-Gone on hand to clean your scissors after cutting the tread.
Click the following link to download your pdf file of the sight word templates for lists 1-3 of the Dolch 220 Sight Words. Templates for the Tactile Sight Words
Teaching students to identify “chunks” in words is an important step in learning to read. Identifying these “chunks” helps to build fluency as the student will not have to stop and blend each individual sound. Word families are groups of words that share the same ending. For example, the words: can, Dan, fan, man, pan, ran, tan, and van all belong to the “-an” word family. Learning these “chunks” and patterns within words also helps students spell when writing words. Word Sliders and Word Wheels are helpful when introducing word families. Try this little freebie when teaching word families in your classroom.
To assemble the word family sliders you will need:
1. Print pages 1-6 of the attached pdf on the full sheet labels and pages 7-10 on cardstock.
Click HERE to download the pdf of the cards and letter strips
2. Cut word cards along the dotted line and cut out the letter strips
3. Peel the backing from the word cards and place over color coordinating paint sample.
4. With an Exacto knife, cut a line on the dotted lines on the cards.
5. Weave the corresponding letter strips though the slits. The colors of the strips should match the card and the word family is typed toward the bottom.
When you assemble this activity, you will have 18 Word Family Sliders to use during your small group intervention!
I’ve always wanted to make my own tactile letters, but even the thought of cutting the sandpaper with scissors sends a shiver up my spine. Tactile letters can be so expensive, that purchasing them is a little hard to swallow on a limited budget.
I was in my favorite home improvement store (that would be the Home Depot, of course) waiting for my garage wall paint to be mixed when I gazed down only to find the most fantastic option to sandpaper possible for making tactile letters! It’s adhesive outdoor tread designed to be placed on steps. It’s absolutely perfect–it’s easy to cut with scissors AND has a sticky backing so no gluing necessary!
All you’ll need to make your tactile letters is the outdoor tread, a copy of the letter templates (print pdf below), 2 poster boards, a pencil and scissors.
Step 1: First measure and cut 4″ x 5″ squares from the poster board.
Step 2: Cut the letters from the template. Be sure to cut the inside white of each letter too.
Step 3: Flip the letter over and trace the letter on the back side of the outdoor tread.
Step 4: Cut the letters from the outdoor tread with scissors.
Step 5: Peel the backing from the letter.
Step 6: Adhere the letter to the poster board.
Click the following link to download a free pdf of the letter templates. Tactile Letters
Ever since posting the video on how to use these blending cards to help students blend CVC words, I’ve been receiving emails asking for the directions on how to make the boards. The students at our Career Tech Center made blending boards for every kindergarten and first grade teacher in our schools with scrap wood they had laying around so getting specific directions was a bit difficult. Kind of reminded me of my grandmother’s directions on how to make her delicious potato pancakes (a pinch of that, a little bit of this…). So I trucked on down to see the friendly folks at the Home Depot for expert advice.
You will need: 1″x 4″ board, 5 mm underlayment for the backing, general purpose door stop molding, finishing nails
1. Cut 14″ from the 1″ x 4″ board
2. Cut 14″ from the molding
3. Cut the underlayment board into a 14″ x 4 1/2″ section
4. Using a table saw, cut an angle approximately 1/2″ deep at a 110 degree angle approximately 1″ from the front of the board. Depending upon your saw, you may need to pass twice. The 5 mm board must be able to fit in the crevice.
5. You may want to use a jig saw or a scroll saw to curve the top edge of the 5 mm board.
6. Using the finishing nails, fix the molding to the front of your board.
7. Sand rough edges and paint if desired.
Click the following link to download a printable pdf of the directions Blending Board Directions
Click HERE for the link to the past post where you can download FREE blending cards
It is so, so important that our kindergarteners and first graders learn those short vowel sounds. It’s amazing how those five little letters can cause so much havoc in learning to read and write if learned incorrectly. The vowel sticks activity is a great activity to teach and reinforce short vowel sounds. Not only can this activity be used during small group instruction, the self-checking feature makes this an awesome literacy center activity too! To make this activity, you will need large craft sticks, black and red fine point Sharpie permanent markers, a clothespin and a small foam star (optional). I purchased a package of stars at Office Max in the teacher supply section. Be sure to make a set for each student in your intervention group.
Step 1: Print the pdf file with the vowel discs on cardstock. Cut out the discs along the dotted line.
Step 2: Glue the vowel discs at the end of each large craft stick.
Step 3: Write vowels on the craft stick making sure one of the vowels is the correct vowel for the picture. I wrote 3 vowels on the sticks for this particular activity. Differentiate this activity by writing all 5 vowels.
Step 4: With the red permanent marker, place a dot on the backside of the stick behind the correct vowel for the picture.
Step 5: Adhere the star to the end of the clothespin.
Your students will name the picture, decide which vowel is contained in the word and then clip the clothespin over the vowel. Students then turn the stick over and if the clothespin is covering the red dot, the answer is correct.
Click the following link to download the Vowel Stick pictures. Vowel Sticks
If you need more activities for teaching short vowel sounds and consonant-vowel-consonant words, be sure to check out the Response to Intervention Short Vowels/CVC Activity Pack. The pack contains 15 hands-on activities!