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Sandpaper Letters are an optional tactile aid to help teach children how to write the English alphabet. SWR Lowercase Cursive Sandpaper Letters was created by sandpaperletters.com with the help of Wanda Sanseri, author of Spell to Write and Read (SWR). SWR Cursive Sandpaper Letters have guidelines, a starting point at the base line, a red stopping point at 2 o'clock on the clock letters (a, c, d, g, qu, o), and end connectors. The base for each letter is a 5" x 3" piece of pine with a white top finish. The letters themselves are color coded. The vowels are blue and the consonants are green. Because Y is both a vowel and a consonant, we have two copies of the Y, one in blue and one in green.
I have used the letters in the traditional way where the student says the sound(s) of the letter and then, using two fingers, traces the shape on the sandpaper letter starting with the point on the base line.
I have also found other ways to use these attractively done letters.
1) As a display. I put the letters on the chalk tray to our blackboard. My students have found these helpful. Sometimes I find the girls back at the blackboard, looking at a letter and carefully shaping it in chalk on the board. This added tangible tool seems to increase their confidence and inspire accurate, independent, penmanship practice.
2) As a verbal phonogram quiz. In SWR we "read" our regular phonogram cards. The teacher holds up a card with the letters in book face and has the student say the sound or sounds it can make. With the sandpaper letters we can alternate the activity using cursive letters on some days instead of book face.
3) For the game of memory. I made a set of book face letters the same size as the sandpaper letters. We put the sandpaper letters in one pile and the book face letters in another. Scramble the piles. Each player turns over a letter in one pile and then tries to find the match in the other pile. If he finds a match and can correctly say the sound(s), he keeps the set and gets to go again. If he is wrong, the next person gets a turn. The winner is the one with the most sets at the end.
4) rubbings. Take the paper off a crayon. Put a blank sheet of paper on top of a sandpaper letter. Use the side of the crayon and rub over the letter. The letter shape will seem to magically appear.
This product is durable and could be saved to pass on to the next generation. Happy teaching.
See review of this product by Morning Star Learning