As a tutor who uses Orton-Gillingham methods for reading instruction, I love to find innovative ways to reinforce early literacy skills such as spelling CVC words and alph could find and I saw several options for letter beads but all of the bead sets had all upper-case letter beads. I did not find any lower-case letter beads as I had hoped but I bought two packages of the beads anyway. The upper-case letter beads worked well for the alphabet sequencing activity I had planned. For this activity, my students add the letters of the alphabet in order from A to Z and each time they add a new letter, they go back to the beginning and recite (but not sing) the alphabet, stopping at the last letter added. Most importantly, as students say each letter out loud, they have to touch the bead for that letter.
Another way to use these beads is to make an individual string of beads for sight words and spelling words. Cut the string into small pieces (about 2-3 inches long) and ask students to spell their sight words or word following specific spelling patterns. Students can keep these individual strings of beads to practice their spelling, reciting the letter on each bead as they touch it. At the end of the word, they should say the word spelled out loud (e.g. “s-a-i-d spells said”).
Another activity I like to do with the beads and string is a word change activity. I make a word with the beads and then I ask my students to switch out the beginning and ending sounds with different consonants. Then, they fingertap the sounds, blend them to read the new word and tell me if the word they just read is real or nonsense.
All of the beading activities require that the beads are added in a left-to-right orientation for the purpose of developing print awareness skills.
Below are a few product suggestions for this activity:
For the beading string, I recommend buying a set with an assortment of colors. One of my favorite products is linked below:
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