Teaching early reading skills requires listening to and matching letters to sounds. Then matching letter sounds to words. When working with young students it is often hard to visualize a beginning word sound without the concrete objects. Teaching tubs filled with phonemic realia allows the students to identify and sort a variety of miniatures objects and build vocabulary skills. Each self-checking tub comes with 6 high-quality, educator-approved objects, even included hard-to-find items like an igloo, X-ray, quilt, and a working yo-yo. These items come in 26 presorted tubs with the corresponding beginning letter sound. Included is a storage rack built to hold the tubs for the teachers to have right beside them as they work with students one on one or in small groups.
To further build on early reading skills the use of magnetic letters is a very valuable tool to improve literacy instruction. There is a wide variety of strategies on how to use magnetic letters; for example, educators use them to teach spelling principles, syllabication, preview vocabulary before reading, and to practice sight words (also called frequently used words). As teachers, we struggle with the sorting of various materials to use while teaching young students as the cleanup, sorting and missing items cause us to lose precious instructional minutes with our students. Julie Otis from Kings Beach shared how she purchased and organized the tools for her teachers through receipt of an Excellence in Ed grant, which we are hoping to replicate for Truckee Elementary teachers too. Each teacher K-2 teacher would receive 5 magnetic trays, with a letter template for the magnetic letters and an IKEA storage tray for storing the trays so that it is easily accessible. Set up and clean up takes seconds, instead of minutes!
This grant would fund one complete set up for 12 teachers at our school. It would include one set of Teaching tubs and storage rack, an IKEA storage tray, 5 magnetic trays to hold letters, and 5 sets of magnetic letters. Each teacher would have the opportunity to utilize these materials to improve literacy instruction.