Find the Graphemes in a Bottle

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For many children, especially those with poor working memory, many repetitions are required for the information to be stored in long-term memory.

  • These repetitions should involve a ‘testing’ type format whereby children are required to recall information.
  • After every attempt at recalling information, children need to be provided feedback as to whether or not their response was correct. If their response was incorrect, then they need to be provided with the correct response.
  • Initially, the attempts at recall should occur often with little time between each attempt.
  • Gradually, the time between each attempt should increase.
  • Children need to ‘over-learn’ concepts to ensure they become automatic. You will know that automaticity has been reached when the child can quickly and accurately retrieve the information on demand in situations of cognitive overload (e.g., reading complex text or writing a story).

Another important component of learning is paying attention. If children are not engaged and paying attention, then no learning will occur. Providing variety, can be an effective way of keeping students engaged.

Find the Grapheme in the Bottle’ is another activity for helping students practise the graphemes they are learning.

Instructions for Making the Grapheme Bottle

  1. Use a clear plastic bottle – it can be a recycled water bottle.
  2. Pour rice into the bottle until it is approximately ¾ filled.
  3. Cut popsicle sticks into small pieces. I used coloured sticks, but you could use plain ones.
  4. Write the graphemes being learned on each piece. You need to write the same grapheme on each side so that it is irrelevant which side is viewed.
  5. Place the grapheme pieces into the plastic bottle.
  6. Screw on the lid and shake until the grapheme pieces are mixed with the rice.
  7. Print off and laminate the grapheme cue pictures that link to the graphemes written on the sticks.

Instructions for Using the Grapheme Bottle

  1. The child shakes the bottle to reveal the different graphemes.
  2. As a grapheme is revealed, the cue picture related to that grapheme is crossed off the laminated sheet with a marker.
  3. When all pictures have been crossed off, wipe off the crosses ready to use next time.

Note: Only place graphemes the child has been taught into the bottle. As new graphemes are taught these can be added to the bottle.