A Few of My Favorite Things

resources Mar 17, 2021

Hi friends. Working with so many students that are in different places in their journey with reading and dyslexia means that I need to be diagnostic and prescriptive in my approach, but there are some key components and materials that seem to work themselves into most of my lessons. This week, I am sharing a few of my favorites! Comment and let me know if any of these are on your list.

Plastic Letters

I use my plastic alphabet letters for so many different activities. They are a great way to incorporate multi-sensory learning and practice into our sessions. The letters can be used to build skills from letter naming, to letter sequencing, to teaching accent and phrasing, to alphabetizing – the possibilities are endless! I like the letters from abcedarian.com because the plastic letters are consistent in their shape, are available in both English and Spanish, and the price it hard to beat. You can purchase the entire alphabet, certain letters, and upper-and-lower case letters. They also have plastic letter strips if you want to move away from the alphabet arc. Regardless of which letter set you choose; plastic letters are a great tool for your lessons. 

This picture shows how the student placed each letter as she named them, starting with A and going through the alphabet in order. She then identified that there are 26 letters in the alphabet and that the alphabet is made up of vowels (V) and consonants (C). The red markers were then placed under each vowel letter by the student as she named the vowels. This student needed additional reinforcement, so I placed sticky notes on the end of the fingers, and we touched each finger as we named the vowel letter. There are lots of ways to differentiate multisensory learning.

Alphabet Strip and Alphabet Arc 

These are wonderful tools to accompany the letter knowledge component of your lesson or practice. I keep this portion of my lesson short, usually 2-4 minutes depending on the skill being practiced. Teaching the terms initial, medial and final using the letters is a helpful skill that transitions to spelling later on. You can download the alphabet arc for free under the education tab-consumables tab from Neuhaus Education Center https://www.neuhaus.org or purchase them online through several other vendors.

Sand Tray 

The colorful sand trays are a hit with all of my clients, regardless of age. Creating a multi-sensory sand tray is easy and can be used for many different skills. It helps create learning pathways in the brain by engaging a multitude of senses. Having students use the tray for handwriting, spelling practice, sound introduction, etc. are all great ways to create that link between the senses and our learning. Students use touch to write, and the sand allows for the tactile pull or drag to be felt. As students say the sound or letter name, they are engaging their auditory skills. The visual connection, as they look at the tray, all create a terrific culmination of multi-sensory practice. 


Small manipulatives, such as pom-poms or mini erasers, that can be used as little moveable tools are an engaging way to assist in learning. The list of uses is endless, and the new craze with mini erasers means there are so many choices - I pick up a new bag just about every trip I make to Target.

OG Deck App 

For some, creating sounds (phonemes) in insolation may be difficult, and parents and educators may want ways to reinforce and practice the sounds. For phoneme isolation, the OG Card Deck app is a great resource. This free app does a great job in its sound production, and even includes the name of the letter, the sound, a keyword, and a video showing mouth formation. It’s one that I share with educators and parents alike. 

Florida Center for Reading Research Student Center Activities

This website is phenomenal. It’s a fantastic resource for educators, therapists, tutors, and parents. The student center activities are broken into the key components of reading instruction (letter knowledge, phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, comprehension) and sorted into grade-level ranges. My favorite part of these activities is that you can print them off and everything needed is included. The games and activities are engaging, and my students enjoy them for reinforcing skills and concepts introduced in our sessions. Teachers love them because they are great for centers or small group work, and parents can easily print them off for practicing skills at home. Such an amazing resource – definitely worth checking out.

Small Notebooks 

The Target dollar spot is my go-to for finding the cutest little blank notebooks. Letting my student choose their own notebook helps with the engagement. We use these for so many different things, from spelling deck practice, to prefixes and suffixes work, to Greek and Latin combining forms, to mini comprehension notebooks. The sky is the limit! I keep them well stocked at the center.

Thanks for letting me share just a few of my favorite things. I love serving the world by sharing strategies and ideas to implement into classrooms and therapy sessions and providing information and support in reading and dyslexia. Comment below and let me know a few of your favorite things, or tag me on Instagram as you share them with your community!

Have a great week!

Casey @ The Dyslexia Classroom


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