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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Say it, Move it, Write it {A Multi-Sensory Early Literacy Intervention}

For the past few months, there's one activity I've kept in constant rotation with my first graders who are working on CVC words: Say it, Move it, Write it. This is a multi-sensory routine to build one or multiple beginning literacy skills. 

Materials Needed:
*Laminated Workmat (Click the picture below to get your free copy)
*3 Chips, Cubes, or Manipulatives per Child
*Vis-a-Vis or Dry Erase Marker (Vis-a-Vis works so much better)
*Eraser or Dry/Wet Paper Towels

Since this is a routine, I try to keep my language the same each time. When explaining/demonstrating the steps, I will put my words in bold and my students' responses in italics.

1. Choose 1-3 words to work on during your small group time. If I plan to spend more time manipulating a word, we will only work on one or two words. 

2. Phoneme Segmentation Portion:

Say sat. Sat
Say sat. Sat
Say the sounds in sat. /s/ /a/ /t/
Say the sounds in sat. /s/ /a/ /t/
Move your chips & say the sounds in sat. As they move the chips: /s/ /a/ /t/
Write the word sat. Students will write the word sat in the bottom boxes.

3. Phoneme Manipulation Portion:
During this portion, you can have your students change one letter or sound, flip letters/sounds, etc. What you have them do will really depend on their level at that time. For example, my group is only able to switch one sound at a time but you may have a group that can flip the beginning and ending sounds successfully. 

Here is an example of how one part of the manipulation portion may look like in my room:
What word did you write? sat
Touch the chip that sounds like /t/. Students will then touch the third chip.
Change the /t/ to /m/. Students will erase the t & write m. 
What's our new word? Sam
Say the sounds in Sam. /S/ /a/ /m/

*We may change letters more than once, time and attention span permitting. 

To begin a totally new word, they erase the whole sheet and put the chips back in the circle. When you first begin this process, it will take a little bit longer because they won't know the routine. After a few times, they will know the routine and it will work like clockwork!
Note: This intervention can be/is tailored to hit a lot of areas: decoding, encoding, phonological awareness, & phonemic awareness. Make sure you put your own spin on it if my way isn't doesn't exactly fit the needs of your specific students.


  1. I LOVE this activity! I've been working on CVC words with my first graders as well and this routine would be a great addition to our lesson. I, too, like to keep my lessons routine based to build on their skills and provide that practice. Thanks for sharing this!

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