Sunday, January 11, 2015

Tactile Word Bracelets: A Multi-sensory Word Technique

Earlier this semester, I had the privilege of undergoing a week-long training workshop through Orton Gillingham. During this training, we learned a specific Red Word technique to use with our students. (Red words are more commonly referred to as sight words or high frequency words.) During this technique, students have a repeated, multi-sensory experience with each word by first writing the word in "bumpy writing." The plastic screens available in the sewing section of most craft stores are excellent for this exercise. Students place the screen behind their paper as they write the word. Then, they can trace over the word and feel it as they spell/reread the word multiple times. We use the red word technique throughout the week, and we are creating books of our words, which the students will take home at the end of the year. 
The activity I want to share with you today is one extension of the red word technique that I use to help students review prior words, and it could easily be incorporated into your classroom through small group sessions or center activities! However you choose to use it, this provides a wonderful tactile experience for young readers and can be quite beneficial in supporting word recognition and fluency. 

In this activity, students create bracelets with words they have previously learned through the red word technique. These may be words with which they are still struggling, or simply words which require repeated exposure. I create the bracelets by folding one piece of paper, accordion-style, and writing three or four words on each space. I cut the paper into individual strips to create the bracelets.

The students place the plastic screen behind their bracelet and trace over the word with a red crayon, spelling each word aloud as they write.
Then, attach the ends of the bracelet with a small strip of tape. Students have a tactile word bracelet they can wear, touch, and reread throughout the day!

Note: Students should wear the bracelets on the hand they do not write with, so that they may use their dominant hand to trace the words.