I totally forgot that this is the first Monday of the month, and I have a project to link up at Monday Made-It at Fourth Grade Frolics. (Oh, my, just went to link this up and realized that last Monday was the first Monday of October. Sigh. Linked up anyway.)
Many, many thanks to Tara for doing all the work of keeping this favorite linky going through the school year!
The idea I'd like to share today is not original, but I hope that I can add a few hints to make it a bit easier for you to do.
This Sound Box project starts with a divided plastic box with a lid. I found mine in the scrapbooking department at Michaels (think 40% coupon, people!), but I've also seen them in needlework departments. My box has 20 sections, so when I labeled them with alphabet stickers, I doubled up on c/d, i/j, o/p, u/v, and y/z. It's not a problem to do that, since the items you'll be putting in the sections are all small.
Now it's time to start collecting tons of little items that begin with each of the letters. The most fun for your little guys (and the most memorable for learning) is the realia. Scout around your classroom and home for some really cool hands-on stuff, like shells, coins, rocks, band-aids, ribbon, yarn, buttons, pasta and candles. The light blue thing at the far right in the picture below is a piece of velcro - v is one of those tricky-to-find letters! In case you're wondering, the gum package is empty, but the object of much happy sniffing! I worked diligently at convincing the kiddos that the mini-marshmallows in the plastic bag were old and icky, so nobody even thought about eating them (well, I'm sure some of them thought about it...)
Looks kind of like a page in an I Spy book, doesn't it?
After you've wracked your brain and still have some empty letter boxes, head back to Michaels, this time to the wood department. Now it's time for the "20% off your whole purchase" coupon, since each of these little trinkets is really inexpensive, but lots of them can mount up. If you're not a craft person, you'll be happy to know that these are pre-painted. I'm crazy, but not that crazy.
Your alphabet box should be really filling up by now! You're aiming to get at least 2 or 3 items per letter.
Mini-erasers (like those at Oriental Trading) are a good possibility.
When you're totally stuck, you can always print up some clipart or cut apart an alphabet chart, but only when you have no alternative, because paper is just not as much fun as STUFF!
So, how can your students use the Sound Box? Oh-so-many ways!!
* Focus on one letter at a time. Take out all of the objects for that letter and say the names aloud, almost like reading an alphabet chart: "B, button. B, butterfly. B, book."
* Empty the letters out of about 5 or 6 sections. Mix up the items and put them back into the correct sections. (Warning: If your little guys empty out all of the sections, they'll still be putting objects back in while the rest of the class is headed for lunch.)
* Work with a partner. Take turns switching items in 2 sections while the partner is hiding eyes. Then the partner tries to "fix up the mix-up"! Then switch roles.
* Use the items in the box to complete a unique alphabet book or alphabet chart. It's a snap to make an alphabet book. Stack 14 blank pages on top of each other, hold in landscape orientation (so technical :) , and fold in half side to side. Staple together on the fold, and that's that!
Here's a blank alphabet chart you might want to use. It prints fine in black and white, too.
How else would you use the Sound Box with your class?