Monday, August 30, 2010

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

For the past year, I have been using these letter cards to help teach Elijah to read. We use them to identify beginning and ending sounds, to form words, and for games. Each sheet contains 10 lowercase letters and 2 capital letters (this sheet already had a strip removed).

Perplexed on how best to arrange the cards after they had been torn apart at the perforations, I opted for bunching them together and securing them with a rubber band. Not unique and definitely not very user-friendly, you could usually find Elijah and me fumbling through the stack looking for the letter he needed to form each word.

While shopping at Target for school supplies almost a month ago, I stumbled across this blue, 5 row card holder in the $1 section that I thought would work perfectly for holding each letter as Elijah (and now Alli) learn to form words. So on school day #1, we pulled out those rubber-banded stacks of the alphabet and I eagerly grabbed my new card holder when it was time for Elijah to form vocabulary words. But we encountered a problem. The pockets were too deep to see the letter. I sighed, assuming it would be a worthless purchase until inspiration struck.

With the help of a black Sharpie, I turned the pocket holder into a place to store all the alphabet cards! Now we could separate all the letter cards, thus assuring that we would always have enough "T's" and "S's" for any word the kids had to form.
And since it is free standing, I can just set it up on the table or counter and both kids can pick out whichever letter they need, without my help! Then we fold it flat and it takes up almost no room on the bookshelf. Now you might call me simple, but this really made my day!
Alli had to help tear each letter apart, which resulted in a few misshapen cards, but she loved the responsibility and I loved having her help.

Not bad for a $1 Target find!