You will need:

  • Glass pebbles (like the ones you get in fish tanks) or ordinary stones
  • Black marker pen

Now that my charge has got all his sounds down, it is time to start thinking about spelling out some words. To help him do this I wrote out the alphabet on the back of the glass pebbles so that he could see them (I put the vowels on different coloured ones). I made doubles of all the letters so that as he progresses to harder words we wouldn’t have to worry about not having the letters to complete them.

To start with I ask him what sounds he can hear in it (they don’t have to be in the right order) and then we work out the order from there. E.g the word cat – he knows it begins with a ‘c’ and he can hear a ‘t’ and ‘a’ in there, so we put the pebble with ‘c’ on it at the front. Then, as we listen to the word again he can hear that it ends with ‘t’, so the pebble with ‘t’ on goes at the end with a space between the ‘c’ and ‘t’.  That leaves only the ‘a’ which as we slow down, the word he can hear it goes in the middle.

This can be used for older children who have spellings to learn, but you may need to make more duplicates of the letters.