Alphabet Pebbles | Wonderful Word Building

Following on from my Alphabet Project post, I created these little alphabet pebbles in lower case letters a-z. They will be great to use in the classroom for the kiddies to create simple three and four letter words. There is a significant step from when children have learnt the letters of the alphabet - to actually writing simple words. It's called word building. When using materials such as these pebbles, children do not need to remember how to write the letters, it's more about recognising the letters and putting them together to create words (mum, dad, cat, dog are great words to start with).


As I've mentioned a few times before, my school applies the Jolly Phonics approach to teaching Literacy. At the core of Jolly Phonics is the notion that there are 42 sounds in the English language, many more than just the 26 letters of the alphabet. So as I got thinking about this project a little more, I then bought some extra pebbles in a different colour to include the additional two letter blends (eg sh, ch and th - see below). This opened up the possibilities for children to create many more words, and provided opportunities for extension. After trialling them in my classroom, we realised that words such as; will, duck, egg etc could be more effectively created with a third colour pebble for tricky and irregular sounds and blends. Then I got a bit excited and thought, why not make pebbles with numbers 1-20 on them as well? What a simple classroom resource! (By the way I bought them from Bunnings).

L-R & T-B | Jolly Phonics Blends | Examples of Word Builging | Numbers 1-20 | Tricky & Irregular Sounds

So what to do with them? Here's some ideas
  • Make your child's name, and other family members or pet's names
  • Put the letters in alphabetical order
  • Put the numbers in order
  • With numbers in order, ask your child to close their eyes, take away a number and they have to guess which is missing
  • Ask you child to "Get me a 2" or "Get me the letter m"
  • If your child is school age and has sight words or spelling words, make them with the pebbles
  • Choose one letter and find things around the home that begin with that letter to make a treasure basket
  • Match letters with objects from around the home or classroom (e.g. a - apple, b - ball)
  • You could make another set in a different colour again for the capital letters. With this additional set you can match the lower case to the capital letter, and when making names, you can use the correct capital letter (what a neat way to teach proper nouns!)


Sometimes by trying something new, using different 'hands-on' materials and changing it up a bit, you can motivate and encourage your child or students and inject something special into their day.

Lauren

LovetoLearnLinky

13 comments

  1. these are cool as!! suddenly i think i need to go to bunnings! how are you using them with Miss M?

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    1. Benita it's funny you should ask! M points to them and says 'school', and knows she can't put them in her mouth (she goes to do it and then says uh-uh with a cheeky grin). Anyway, I'm using them mainly at school at the moment :)

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  2. What a great idea. I think it is great to mix up the learning to keep kids engaged. I think this is another weekend activity for us to try. Love it.

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  3. Such a fun idea Lauren. I want to make them in rainbow colours, attach magnets to them and write beautiful sentences on my fridge! :) Thanks for sharing. xx

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  4. Thanks for your comments ladies. Love the magnet idea Sarah Jensen.

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  5. This is fantastic! I was just pondering over the question of what gifts to give to little kids that might stimulate some imagination, not just another commercial toy from a department store. This is perfect :)

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  6. Such a great post Lauren! I'm going to be featuring it this week in my Early Writing Tips roundup from the Love to Learn Linky. Thanks so much for linking up! Best, Sue

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    1. Thanks Sue! Great to hear. Glad you liked this post. Activities like these are definitely beneficial for children in the early stages of writing.

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  7. Love this one! We will definitely do this. I'll get the kids to paint them and I'll write the numbers and letters. Love concrete learning.

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  8. What fun! Where did you find the colored pebbles?

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    1. Hi there Nancy, I got them from Bunnings - if you're not from Australia you might not have heard of them :)

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    2. Lauren, I have not heard of them (I am from Texas), though I am going to check them out online. Thanks!

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    3. I found this link Nancy! Hope it helps
      http://www.bunnings.com.au/tuscan-path-1kg-aztec-orange-decorative-pebbles-_p3460079

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