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Volume 3 Number 8

Harry & Rosemary Wong remind us that, "An induction program is an organized, sustained, multiyear process with many activities designed to help you succeed...."
Preparing for the First Day of School by Jan Zeiger
Classroom Discipline Forum Will Support New and Veteran Educators by Kathleen Carpenter, Editor in Chief
Six Traits of Writing Forum by Kathleen Carpenter, Editor in Chief
Ideas for Welcoming Teachers & Students Back to School by Kathleen Carpenter, Editor in Chief
Classroom Rules??? by Bill Page
Learning Your Students' Names: Fun, Fast, Easy and Important by Bill Page
Making 2002-2003 The Best Year Ever by Bill Page
Your Summer Reading List: The Process of Change in a School System by Dr. Rob Reilly
Beware of the Standards, Not Just the Tests by Alfie Kohn
The Importance of Reading Aloud by Lisa Frase
Dear Old Golden Rule Days, Chapter 2 - Creative Activities by Janet Farquhar
Objection overruled, or You can always go to law school if things don't work out by Taylor Mali
Dealing with Dishonesty by Tom Lucey
The Maiden Week by P R Guruprasad
Is Learning to Read Easier Than Learning to Play the Piano? by Grace Vyduna-Haskins
School was GREAT today because... by Linda Todd
The New Teacher and Coping With Special Needs Students in the Classroom by Dave Melanson
Learning About Community Service by Jay Davidson
Book Reviews - We Can Work It Out: Creating Peace in the Home & Songs for Howard Gray by Susan Gingras Fitzell
Summer Recess by Joy Jones
Tips On Time Management by Jan
Class Books Around the Year Compiled by Terry
Literacy Centers Organization by Catherine Thornton
Why the Center Approach? from The Mentor Center
Classroom Teachers' Management Tips (Part II) from the Chatboards
Why Teach? by Lynda L. Hinkle
4 Blocks Literacy Tips: Storing "Making Words" Materials from: The Mentor Center
How to Encourage Substitute Teachers to Return to Your School by Lucy, Substitute Teacher
Teaching Students To Discuss Controversial Public Issues from: ERIC Clearinghouse
August Columns
August Regular Features
August Informational Items
Gazette Home Delivery:

Teacher Feature...

4 Blocks Literacy Tips:
Storing "Making Words" Materials

from The Mentor Center

The question:

I am just wondering how you store your letters and/or word cards for making words. Mine seem to be a mess!


My letters are stored in a Nuts and Bolts 30 drawer container. My students (2nd grade) collect their letters first thing in the morning on Making Words days as part of their morning routine. Students store the Making Words letters for the day in their making words pocket folder until our Word Block time.

I use a matchbox cars storage case. It works GREAT!

I use a nuts and bolts holder for the letters, also. For the words, I just saw the neatest idea in Mailbox magazine. Use large zip-lock bags, three-hole punch them, and put them into a binder. Just like the more expensive pockets, but you can close them so the words don't fall out. Can't wait to try it!!!

I don't use any storage at all (I'm organizationally challenged) so when we do a Making Words lesson, I write the letters on paper, photocopy it (I put 3 sets on each page so I'm not photocopying too much), the children cut out the letters, trace the vowels in red. We make the words and then they take the letters home to show their parents how smart they are.

My letters are also in a 60 drawer tool box. Half of the boxes hold my letters, half, the kids'. When I need letters for them, I pull out those boxes. My actual lessons on the note cards are in 5x7 manilla envelopes with the mystery word written on the outside of the envelope. Inside is also a sheet of paper detailing: the letters needed, the words to make, and the words to transfer. I keep these envelopes in a cheap plastic "basket" from Walmart that is the perfect size. It must be about 8" tall 6" wide and 12-14" long. The envelopes stand up perfectly in it. I keep it on a shelf behind my desk.

I have a three prong folder for each child in my classroom. I went to WalMart and bought baseball card holders. It takes three sheets per folder. Each section holds a letter. I have the letters laminated and have three of each letter. Every now and again I have to replace a sheet because it rips. I hope this helps.

I also just use paper as Patricia does. I write the letters we need across a page and put 4/page. Then I just cut off a strip of letters and the children cut between the letters…no scraps. Some want to "cut around" the letters, but I insist on one cut so there are no scraps to throw away (for most words anyway). We do our lesson...I model with the pocket chart. Sometimes we glue the end word down and send it home and sometimes I give the children a bag or envelope to take the letters home and show mom and dad the words they can make. This has worked very well for me. I save my letter cards and words for the pocket chart from year to year and keep a master of the letters the children use in the folder with my letter and word cards.

I use 3X5 note cards cut into fourths for the kids to write their letters on. One of my mom's teacher friends designed a homework pocket for making words. So after our lesson in class, my kids take home the letters and make words with their parents. My kids love it! They Love trying to 'stump' their parents on the mystery word.

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