Hello there! We’re back after a long break with another Tuesday Teaching Tip! We hope your year has gotten off to a good start and that you’re starting to gel with your new crop of munchkins. Today’s idea started out as a failure and turned into a success. Isn’t that often the way?
We LOVE Lakeshore’s sandpaper sight words. They’re a great tactile, hands on learning tool wonderful for tracing words, making crayon rubbing and so much more. BUUUUT…some of the words your kids need to learn aren’t available. They’re very durable, but that means they’re also pricy. So, when we saw bright red sand at the dollar store the other day, an idea was born. What if we wrote out the sight words we wanted, traced them with hot glue and then quickly sprinkled the sand over it?
It seemed like a sure thing. Only, no matter how quickly we got the sand on there, it just didn’t stick all that well. Notice how the “i” has absolutely nothing stuck to it? The “s” didn’t work out any better. Sigh.
While brushing off the mess of sand, though, it was suddenly obvious we didn’t NEED sand. Hot glue dries to a rubbery finish. It provides plenty of resistance for tracing all on its own! The raised surface is also high enough that it works really well for doing crayon rubbings, as well.
If you’ve used a glue gun before, you should find tracing the words fairly easy and quick (it took me less than 30 seconds/word). If you haven’t – prepare to become an addict! Glue guns are cheap (> $5 at your local craft store; glue sold at Dollar Tree) and useful for so many different things! Even if you’re a confirmed glue gun master, though, you might want to pace yourself with this project. I made 20 of them at once and my hand was pretty tired afterward. This would be a great time to recruit a crafty parent or two and have them help. Or just plan on doing it in a few sittings rather than banging it all out at once.
Best of all? Perfection is definitely NOT required. Once you’re making that crayon rubbing, little wispy extra strands won’t matter. Even when just using them for tracing with a fingertip, it really won’t make a difference if you had to go back over a bit you missed, or have a few stray little strands.
Now, what to do with all that red sand?