Learning how to read is one of the biggest accomplishments of a child's early learning development. This is a skill that we use every single day and as a teacher it is the best gift you can give a child. There are so many best practices out there when it comes to literacy instruction. We can all agree that using manipulatives and hands-on activities in reading instruction offers several benefits for students.
When students use hands on materials they are engaging multiple senses, such as touch and sight. This multisensory approach enhances learning by providing students with different pathways in their brain to process information. This stimulation leads to better retention. I also find that when we give our students something to do with their hands, they are better engaged. Furthermore, they misbehave less, especially the students who are little wiggle worms!
Hands on activities encourage active participation from students. This makes reading an active and physical activity, students are no longer passively reading. When students are active in their learning they can make deeper connections and truly be present in their learning. This leads to a sense of ownership and pride when learning these new skills.
From letter tiles to stickers or paperclips, hands on materials provide a concrete representation of something more abstract. For example, letter tiles allow students to physically interact with letters, or spelling patterns. I have a simple freebie below that allows students to practice building words with vowel teams and diphthongs. These abstract spelling patterns have two letters for one sound. By giving students one tile for this sound they can develop a better understanding of this abstract concept. Hands on manipulatives makes learning more tangible and memorable.
I believe that students who struggle to learn how to read just need things presented to them in a variety of ways. I have found that these students greatly benefit from using hands on manipulatives like letter tiles. Students have diverse learning styles and as educators we need to meet their needs. Hands-on manipulatives reach students who have different learning styles, thus ensuring that all students can learn how to read!
Incorporating manipulatives and hands-on activities in reading instruction is essential in every classroom. It keeps your students engaged while also creating deeper connections in the brain. There are so many fun hands on activities at my store! Be sure to grab this great vowel teams and diphthongs activity below too!