Using Sand Trays for Multisensory Handwriting Practice

Summer is a wonderful time to relax and play in the sand. Using sand trays is a fantastic way to sneak in some multisensory pre-writing strokes and handwriting practice!

I have found that students of all ages love to use the sand tray in our therapy sessions. The use of sand trays provide kinesthetic practice for pre-writing letter formation and letter practice. The drag, or pull, in the sand helps build connections for the learner through what we refer to as multisensory practice, or when we are engaging at least three of the senses at the same time. When we use multiple senses at the same time, we have a higher chance of retaining the information.

Setting up a Sand Tray

  • Sand trays can be made with any kind of flat tray with sides (to keep the sand inside). I like cookie trays as they are magnetic, stackable, and reasonably priced. I painted my trays with black chalkboard paint prior to provide contrast in color - bonus is that they can be used as chalkboards too!  (I LOVE...

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Navigating the Emotional Response to School Closings - My Guest Blog Post on The Literacy Nest

Summer is usually one of my favorite seasons filled with daytime adventures, the delight of a more laid back schedule and late nights relishing in the laughter of my children and friends around the pool. This summer is unlike any other, and the amount of stress and trying to plan for the unknown has weighed heavy on me. 

I was looking through my blog posts and I came across the one that I wrote as a guest blogger for the amazing Emily Gibbons, owner of The Literacy Nest. I originally wrote the post for the immediate emotional response to schools closing in the spring, however, I feel that so much of it remains true even today as we begin to try and plan for what fall schooling will look like. If you haven't had a chance to read it, or even if you did and need a little boost in strategies to help navigate our children's anxieties about school and these unusual times, check out my post that gives 9 tips to help you navigate the emotional response to school closings. 


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What is a CALT?

The title of CALT, or Certified Academic Language Therapist, was one that was new to me in the year 2008 even though I was eleven years into my career as an educator. I had worked as a classroom teacher, lead teacher and literacy coach, reading interventionist, district literacy facilitator, and curriculum writer. Even with all of this experience and trainings, I had never heard of the CALT certification.  I had been trained in many different approaches and programs, and yet I knew that there were students that were falling through the cracks. 

This sent me on a personal mission to learn more about dyslexia, and to seek out training to better help all students and educators. Twelve years later, I know that seeking highly focused training in the science of reading was the best decision that I made, as it set me on a new path in my educational career and provided me with the necessary skills and knowledge to best help students with dyslexia. 

A Certified Academic...

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