Magnetic letters

If you come into Room 12 you will notice that there are many magnetic letters covering the metal surfaces within our room. They all have a purpose.

Each student has different needs each day, and it it makes the lesson go more smoothly if there are multiple teaching areas that can be quickly chosen to suit those needs.

An array of letters is used for quick identification. The student becomes faster at recognising letters as he / she says each line from left to right. Letters are chosen because they are well known to the student and gradually new letters are introduced.



Random letters can be sorted in different ways,  e.g. by colour, by shape, or by size. The purpose is for the student to be aware of differences and similarities between letters, and to quickly search for specific detail.


A student is sorting these letters into 2 groups. 1 group will be lower case letters and the 2nd group will be capital letters.




Sometimes letters are matched to picture cards to reinforce some common sounds, e.g. b-bee, q-queen.





These letters have been chosen for a student to make some specific words. He is learning to use a known word to make or solve a similar word.





He was asked to make a known word- dad- from the selected letters. This was very easy for him. He was then asked to make ‘sad’ which he did. I asked could he make any other words like dad using the letters. He made ‘mad’ and ‘bad’ with a little prompting.


A greater challenge was to make ‘glad’ which required searching for 2 letters to represent the ‘gl’ sound.




The student may be asked to use sound boxes to learn to listen for the individual sounds within words. The word is said aloud as each letter is pushed up into a box, e.g. g-o-t.

Vowels (aeiou) can be quite challenging. This student is ready to listen for the sound and choose the appropriate vowel to go from ‘ran’ to ‘run’.


Another task is to add an ending to a known word, e.g. look, looks, looking, looked.

‘ay’ words were a focus here, e.g. stay, way, lay, play, played

Known words are also broken into parts, e.g. play-ed and with-out. This will help to solve words as he / she is reading (and writing). Students are shown to always search for the biggest known chunks.


These are just some examples of the many tasks that are experienced each day in the Reading Recovery room. Each student will usually only spend a few minutes on 1 or 2 of the tasks within the daily lesson.

Term 2

The holidays have come and gone and Term 2 is well under way. It is pleasing that the students retained most of their new learning. I did notice that some old habits crept back in, especially reading in a more stilted voice. Please remind your child to sound like a ‘good reader’ by saying something like ‘run your words together like talking’ or ‘don’t sound like a robot’. (See Why do we want students to be fluent readers?)

It’s unfortunate that there will be 2 days without lessons next week just as the momentum is picking up again. Of course Anzac Day is on Wednesday (and we all enjoy a public holiday!). On Tuesday the Intervention teachers are covering grades again so that the classroom teachers can learn some more about writing from Alan Wright. The Friday of the following week is a Curriculum Day so that will be yet another missed lesson.

In the last post I reminded everyone that the homework (pasting) book can be used as a book for your child to read when there is a break from lessons. See how many past sentences can be read. Invite your child to go on a word search. Circle similar words, e.g. day, today, yesterday. Look for smaller words within bigger words, e.g. into, playing, grandma. Find all the words containing ‘th’. I’m sure that you will think of more challenges. Or your child will!