Using Letter Tiles to Teach Reading and Spelling
Color-coded letter tiles are a fantastic way to help your child learn to read and spell! Whether you’re using the Letter Tiles app or the physical letter tiles, letter tiles enable your child to quickly and easily grasp new concepts.
Here’s a short video demonstrating how letter tiles can be used to teach reading and spelling. This particular lesson from All About Spelling teaches when to use K and when to use CK at the end of a word.
Do you see how easy that concept was for our student to understand? Letter tiles are awesome!
7 Benefits of Using Letter Tiles
Whether you use the Letter Tiles app or the physical letter tiles, the benefits to your child are the same.
- Letter tiles help you explain reading and spelling concepts very clearly.
Concepts and ideas become something your child can see and manipulate.
- The different colors help students visualize the different roles that letters have.
In the video above, for example, colored tiles helped Oliver distinguish between vowels and consonants.
- Your child can try out the rules and see how they work.
With letter tiles, concepts are no longer abstract or difficult to understand.
- Letter tiles hold a child’s attention…
…especially a child who has attention issues or auditory processing difficulties.
- Mistakes are no big deal.
It’s much easier to exchange tiles than to erase and rewrite a word.
- Letter tiles make it easier to stay on task for longer periods of time…
…especially for younger kids who are still developing fine motor skills and for whom writing is more tiresome.
- Letter tiles lay the groundwork for the accomplishment of bigger goals.
Letter tiles don’t take the place of spelling words with paper and pencil. Instead, they act as a fantastic learning tool that will enable your student to learn to spell more quickly and accurately, helping him get to the real goal: writing.
Color Coding Makes Learning Easier
Color coding makes it easy for students to see the role that each type of letter plays in a word. For example, consonants are blue, vowels are red, and phonograms representing the sound of /er/ (such as ER, IR, and UR) are purple. The chart below shows all our letter tile colors.
Letter Tiles App or Physical Tiles—Which Should I Choose?
You can’t go wrong with either the Letter Tiles app or the physical tiles. They are both great options! Here are some considerations to help you decide:
With the Letter Tiles app:
- It’s easy to capitalize words
- You can hear the sounds of the phonograms as you teach
- No more worries about lost letter tiles
- Lessons are easy to teach “on the go”
- Need to switch between students? No problem! Simply select your current lesson in All About Reading or All About Spelling and you’re ready to begin.
The Letter Tiles app has been our most requested product of all time, but the physical letter tiles have devoted fans as well.
With the physical letter tiles:
- No tablet is required to complete the lessons
- Larger tiles are easy to read
- It’s easy to incorporate hands-on alphabetizing practice
- Tricky word parts can be highlighted with markers
- Timeless and traditional educational tool
As you’re deciding between the app and the physical tiles, consider which option would be the most engaging to your child. Which one would your child want to use? Some clues to consider: Does my child prefer colored pencils, or does she like computer games? Is my child used to learning from technology, or is he more comfortable with traditional methods of learning? Does she prefer to read paper books or eBooks?”
And be sure to consider your preferences as well. Do you like the larger format of the magnetic white board? Do you have a place to store the board, or are you attracted to the compact nature of the app?
The bottom line is that teaching and learning will be the same no matter which option you choose. What’s most important is that you have a way to teach the concepts and your child has an enjoyable way to practice and experiment. The physical letter tiles and the Letter Tiles app both provide interactive methods that make spelling and reading concepts more concrete for your child.
Additional Resources for the Letter Tiles App
The Letter Tiles app is intuitive and easy to use. Here are two videos to show you the basic and advanced features.
Where to Get the Letter Tiles App
Follow these links to purchase the Letter Tile app:
Additional Resources If You Use Physical Letter Tiles
How to Set Up Your Letter Tiles
You can use your letter tiles on a table, but it is much easier to use a magnetic white board. You can get magnetic white boards at stores such as Walmart or Staples. Two feet by three feet is a good size because it will hold all the tiles while still allowing work space in the center of the board.
When you first set up your magnetic white board, you’ll only include the tiles that have already been introduced. You don’t want to clutter up your board with tiles that your student hasn’t learned yet. If you are just starting out in Level 1, then, your set-up will look like this:
By the time you get to the end of All About Reading
or All About Spelling
, your board will contain all the phonograms
Here at All About Learning Press, we know that even in the most careful households, letter tiles sometimes disappear. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s Rachel with all the details!
How about you? Do you use physical letter tiles or our new letter tiles app? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!