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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
Haley23 07-03-2019 06:29 PM

I have really specific rules for the sand in my room and have had only that one plate spilled in 9 years, which is a pretty good track record, I think! That one time was during a pretty violent temper tantrum with a child who is now in a residential facility.

I tell the kids each and every time when I'm passing it out that it stays flat on the table and that they are to use one finger for making letters only. They're not drawing other shapes, blowing on it, picking up clumps of sand, or swirling it around with their other fingers. Towards the beginning of the year, I give one warning and then take it away. After awhile, I just take it away and they lose it for that day. After a certain point there is just no excuse when we use it every single day and I restate the expectations every day. They have to use their finger to make the letters on the table instead. Typically I only have to take it away once for them to see that I mean it, and then they use it appropriately from then on. I go around and personally pick up the trays myself when we're done. I tell them this is so that if the sand spills, it will be my fault and not theirs.

If a kid has legitimate sensory issues with touching the sand, I would find an alternate activity. I've only had that be the case with one student and he used a whiteboard and dry erase marker to write the letters instead. The vast majority of kids really like using it.

WGReading 07-03-2019 06:17 PM

This sounds like a good idea and would help keep the sand contained! But it was mentioned in our class several times that it's important for the kids to be able to feel the grittiness of the sand...that there are many nerve endings in the finger pads and that helps the brain to remember the words. While they would be able practice making the letter, they wouldn't be able to feel the sand. I'm just worried that the sand is going to go everywhere.
I haven't had issues with sand spills, and set parameters about playing with the sand (kids get a minute to draw or make a pyramid with the sand, but they aren't allowed to pick the sand grains up off the tray or the tray up from the table) and how the trays are passed out and put away. Occasionally someone will knock a little off on to the table, but I just brush it back in a tray when we clean up.

re: tactile needs - I have students from our Autism special programs classroom in my reading groups sometimes. One girl in particular last year really had trouble with the feeling of the sand on her fingers. I started collecting up different tactile objects for her to use, and would occasionally mix it up with the other students as well - plastic grid, sandpaper of different grains, bathroom rug cut into squares, etc. I lost the ability to see the letters after they were written, but I could watch her write them and it was our best option to limit the stress for her.
RetiredKat 07-03-2019 03:57 AM

How about using rice or small peas in a sealed bag? Do you think those would be too large?

I know the bumpy boards are helpful and fun but of course they're for a different purpose. They are so inexpensive that it was no problem providing them to take home and practice. The little kindergartners thought they were the greatest gifts.

Hawkeyegirl1 07-02-2019 09:53 PM

This sounds like a good idea and would help keep the sand contained! But it was mentioned in our class several times that it's important for the kids to be able to feel the grittiness of the sand...that there are many nerve endings in the finger pads and that helps the brain to remember the words. While they would be able practice making the letter, they wouldn't be able to feel the sand. I'm just worried that the sand is going to go everywhere.

irises 06-28-2019 11:39 AM

That's what I was thinking! Since I'm moving up from first, I already know my "strugglers." I need to stay in touch with you as I venture into 2nd.
I bought round cake pans in Walmart for 88 cents a piece as my sand trays. They are a little small when you need to divide the tray more than in half but they did the trick. I never thought of multiple card sets, great idea! Thanks WGReading for your suggestions.

RetiredKat 06-27-2019 10:05 AM

I had to look this up. Would it be possible to keep the sand in sealed freezer baggies? If it works it would be less of a mess.

Hawkeyegirl1 06-26-2019 05:18 PM

Irises...I teach second! I'm hoping to use it with my struggling readers during out guided reading group.

Hawkeyegirl1 06-26-2019 05:17 PM

I've done "trainings" with colleagues....I totally get it and laughed so hard when I read that in your response! I was just thinking today about how much I got out of this training because it was the official, intensive training...not a water downed version PD. I did pay for it myself- my district kicked in a little bit of money. But the training was excellent!

Thank you so much for the information. I really appreciate what you said about the sand trays because I was thinking about getting those. Think I'll start with the plates you mentioned.

Thanks again!

Hawkeyegirl1 06-26-2019 05:14 PM

Oh my gosh! This is SO helpful! Thank you! I never thought of multiple sets of cards...I'm going to need to look into that. I learned so much, but it's great to hear from someone who also knows the nuts and bolts of organizing all of the materials. Thanks again!

Haley23 06-26-2019 10:00 AM

I use parts of it as I only got part of the training. My sped director in my first district went to the real thing and then tried to teach it to us. God knows what I missed as she was pretty much an idiot . I'd love to do the real thing but am not willing to spend the money on my own.

I still do the three part drill with a lot of groups. I organize the cards similar to how WG described. The cafeteria style trays for the sand were way too big for my space and waste a lot of sand, IMO. I use paper plates for the sand- the square kind with the big edges. One bag will cover about 5-6 plates. I just keep the plates stacked on top of teach other- this year I started storing them in a drawer so that I didn't have to worry about kids walking by and touching them or their safety in the event of a violent outburst . In 9 years of teaching, only one plate has been dropped!

I also quit using the blending board after awhile. It's much faster to just put the cards out in front of me on the table, and the kids can see them just as well. I could see how if you're doing it whole class you'd need the board. I start putting the cards down in order for blending while I'm doing the first part, again to save time during the lesson. So I'll have them do c, put at the beginning, say the next one is a, put that one in the middle pile, etc.

WGReading 06-26-2019 07:49 AM

I’m a reading specialist and use O-G model for multiple groups a day. Are there specific materials you are concerned about?

I have multiple sets of cards for the 3 part drill - one set per group. I have a plastic tub for all of the cards each group hasn’t gotten to (rubberbanded together in sets and labeled with a sticky note). I have another smaller tub that sits by my blending board where I keep the current cards for each group and their hand visual for pounding/tapping spelling.

I have plastic crayon boxes (for 24 crayons) with just red and just green crayons. I use a bathroom organizer for other hand held manipulatives (vowel intensive sticks, magic e sticks). I keep sand trays in my shelf unit where I have the box of materials for each group. The group boxes have student notebooks, connected text, and the folder I use for data collection.

I also have a file cabinet drawer where i keep sensory materials for sound writing (sandpaper, cut up bath mat, plastic grids, etc) along with other random materials like stamps, beads, etc.

Everything but the tub of unused cards and the file cabinet drawer are easily and quickly accessible by me or the students for when we need them.

Hope this helps!

irises 06-25-2019 04:41 PM

I did the training last July and struggled this year with organizing the sound cards!! I was always searching for what I needed, so I could use advice as well. I will be teaching second grade in the fall for the first time after 15 years in first grade. I'm not sure if I will use it quite as much in second.

RetiredKat 06-25-2019 03:54 PM

YouTube has some mini lessons you can view. They call "sight word" red words. I've used their method with kindergartners for sight words with the bumpy boards. The kids loved it.

That's the extent of my knowledge but our school is fortunate to have other volunteers who are trained.

Hawkeyegirl1 06-25-2019 02:15 PM

Thank you!

hiker1 06-25-2019 01:50 PM

O.G. stands for Orton Gillingham. It's a multi-sensory approach to phonics/reading. The Wilson and LindaMood Bell programs are similar.
I keep everything in bins so it's within reach.

ConnieWI 06-25-2019 12:34 PM

What is O.G.?

Hawkeyegirl1 06-25-2019 08:23 AM

I just took the training and it was amazing! As I'm preparing to use it this school year I'm wondering how you keep all the materials organized. Do you keep everything on a bookshelf, an organizer of some type? I'm trying to find the best way to keep materials accessible and organized. Thank you!

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