Friday, June 22, 2018

Word Builders for Small Group Instruction

Students use these easy word builders in small group phonics instruction.

Word building is such an important skill for students to practice.  If you're like me, word building materials make you absolutely crazy!  Kids lose the pieces between lessons.  They can't find the letter they need because there are too many pieces.  I've been looking everywhere for something that is easy, practical, and cheap.  I finally figured out a simple solution.  Index Card Word Builders.

1.  First, print out the alphabet in long strips.  To make the letters large enough for students to work with easily, you will need to break the alphabet up and glue the strips together.  You can download my template here.  If you make your own, make sure you leave a large space before 'a' and after 'z.'  (Check out the blue arrow.)  Make sure you laminate the letter strips for durability.

2.  Find the middle of your index card/piece of cardboard.  Hold a strip up to the card and mark on either side.  (You can see my pencil marks.)  Use an Exacto knife to cut the slits.  Slide the letter strips into the card. 

3.  Place a bit of duct tape on each end of each letter strip.  This will help prevent kids from pulling the strip all the way out of the index card. 

4.  Slide the letter strips up and down to build words.  

It's fast and easy for kids to make new words.  There's no searching for pieces.  Just a quick slide and kids can find the letters they need.

Students use these easy word builders in small group phonics instruction.

If you make your Word Builder with 5 spaces but want kids to make a 3 or 4 letter word, kids can move the letter strips at the end of the word to the white space before 'a' or after 'z.'



  1. I love this idea, Karla! I usually wind up saying turn one of your letters over and write your missing letter on it. This will be so much easier. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

  2. This is such a clever idea!! I really like to do making words activities with my students but hate seeing the random letters in the floor the rest of the day. You could do this with making words and save myself and the custodians so much work. I also love how it's such a tactile activity-I'm sure this will be super fun my kinesthetic learners! Thank you!

  3. Cute idea for word building! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Genius!! Can't wait to try this with my LLI students!

  5. Wow!!! What a genius solution. I love how simple and quick these are to put together. Definitely pinning this to my Back-to-School board so I don't forget. haha


  6. Thank you so much! This is amazing! It took some of my kiddos so long to find the correct letters and then move them into place. This is much faster.


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