Only other teachers can appreciate my LOVE of magnetic letters! 🙂 Seriously, they are so versatile! In this post, I thought I would list some ways we have used them this past semester (yes I might be slightly behind in posting photos from our school days) along with photos of those uses in progress.
Since I have multiple learners at different levels, you will find uses for multiple level learners in this post too! Grab your favorite cup of coffee, tea, soda, water … and be inspired. Oh, and please share in the comments any ways you use magnetic letters.
1). Vowel Pairs
We use our large magnetic board all the time, and one way I’ll use it is just to show my 2nd grade peeps how different vowel blends or pairs can sound the same. They find this frustrating at times and so do I quite frankly (from the teaching side), but there is nothing like being called to come up to the board and try your hand at it (hands-on!) to help their little minds to grasp this concept.
Different letter combinations can say multiple sounds AND different letter combinations can say the SAME sound.
It can be hard to understand why ea for instance sounds one way in one word and another way with a different word. I have found repetition and hands-on practice to be the most effective way to solidify this often difficult aspect of the English language.
In working with those letters on the board, I realized an independent, hands-on activity with the similar goal of repetition and experimentation with vowel pairs was in order! So I whipped up a resource which is a go-to resource around here and which my 2nd graders have enjoyed using all the while reviewing those tricky vowel pairs.
I will sometimes give them just one set of vowel pair cards OR I will mix it up and give them different vowel pair cards that can have the same sound.
These cards offer so much differentiation as I included 3 cards for each vowel pair so that children can add word endings, add beginning sounds and add ending sounds with their magnetic letters.
I have all of my vowel pair build-a-word cards on a metal ring for an easy grab-n-go word work activity, plus the resource includes three different recording sheet options as well for busy teachers!
I would love to give away a set of these to one of my faithful blog readers, so go ahead and comment if you’d like your own set. I will change it up a bit this time and choose one random winner from those who comment.
2). ABC Matching
I saw this super easy idea on Pinterest and had to try it. It didn’t disappoint!
You just take black paper and randomly lay out your magnetic letters. You will need to do this outside on a sunny day. I had my letters out on the sidewalk on a bright, sunny day for just 30 minutes. That was all it took to fade the black construction paper around the letters. You might notice I had a certain little, impatient someone who moved my papers so we had some shadowing going on but I made new ones after this photo was taken (without a certain little someone nearby). 🙂
You could use uppercase or lowercase. I used uppercase because that is what we have and this is for three-year-old Li’l Bit.
Li’l Bit has asked to do this activity again and again. If you have lowercase letters, it would be a great extension for learners who are working on matching uppercase and lowercase to use this same approach. You could give them just the lowercase letters to match to the corresponding uppercase letter on the sheets.
This is another great tool for assessment. Just ask your little learner to name letters as he/she matches them to the paper!
3. Name Practice
While I was waiting on the sun to work its fading powers on the black papers above, I had a lightbulb moment: this would be great for her name too!
So, I made another sheet with the letters of Li’l Bit’s name, and this has made a great activity as she has learned to spell her name (accomplished!).
Up NEXT … Magnetic Numbers: Oh the Possibilities!