The Educational Bricks we use are absolutely fabulous.
But, you can have the best product or resource ever and its only any good if it is actually used.
I had mine for years but hardly used them partly because I didn’t realise just how good they were to teach phonics & blending but mostly because they were a pain in the neck – cumbersome & time consuming. I used to have them in a big plastic container and it was hard to find the ones I wanted quickly.
These days we use them DAILY in our centre because they’re good and we’ve worked out how to set them up for ease of use.
Want to know why they’re good? Go to our blog on using the educational bricks for blending here.
To make the bricks easy to store and quick to locate (so we don’t waste time ferreting around) we have ours clicked onto a large base plate.
I then use a smaller red base plate to make the individual words.
As children become more competent, I add more digraphs to the large board (in groupings).
eg all the er, ir, and ur together.
I like to put the consonant letters in alphabetical order along the top, in rows. I have doubles and triples of some letters. The lower case alphabet set does have doubles of common letters, but to have yours set up like mine, you would need 2 packets.
I separate the vowels by putting them along the bottom of the base plate.
The common digraphs and letter strings that are important in the first stages of learning to decode (read) are then also placed on the base plate in the middle.
I then use a small base plate as the teaching plate – for making words.
Want to see this in action? Check out the youtube footage below.
I always return them to their ‘spot’ on the large base plate at the end of each session. The kids love to ‘help’ which gives them extra hidden learning opportunities given they are in alphabetical order, on vowel or digraph groups. Love it.
I keep spare letters on a separate large base plate (still in alphabetical order, and with the vowels separate). These might be used when kids want to make sentences. You can also have capital letters displayed next to each lower case letter.
If kids are making sentences, then we would suggest they have a large base plate to work on.
Another option is to stick large base plates on a wall or table, or as we have done – on an easel.
We have a complete range of graphemes on separate base plates. We like to group them according to ‘like’ sounds. for example the “ai” & “ay” are together and the “or”, “aw” & “au” are together. You can do the same thing with the sets of onsets & rimes as well as blends & word families.
Want to check the packs out? Click on each pack to find it in our online store.
Of course, you can easy drop into our store in Kiama at Starfish Education Centre. We always have them in stock. You can check out our easel and even ask to see how we have them set up ‘in the flesh and we’re always happy to help and share.
Sharing is caring. If you have great ideas, don’t be shy!