Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Making Braille Magnets for Beginning Readers

Fridge magnets, braille letters spell love with tactile heart, also star magnet and dachshund magnet

I wanted braille magnets to adorn the lower half of a preschooler's fridge at home and grandma's house. I had specific criteria: consistent braille spacing, words easy to track across when tiles lined up, and the magnets needed to be strong enough to stick when reading. 

Then as I started talking about curriculum with the next year's kindergarten teacher, I realized braille alphabet magnets were not just a way to provide incidental exposure to braille, they would be a tool in the classroom as the teacher taught letter recognition and phonics.

The kindergarten class will be using Fundations® to practice letters and phonemic awareness. Because Wilson Language makes Fundations and The Wilson Reading System, and APH carries a braille version of the Wilson Reading System, I was excited that I could get braille versions of the magnetic tiles they will use in the kindergarten class. I wanted my student to have time over the summer to play with braille alphabet tiles, so he would be ready to learn with them in kindergarten. Given the importance of mechanics when reading braille, I also wanted to add an adaptation so braille letters could be lined up easily by the student or an adult. Of course with print letters, the exact placement next to each other does not impact legibility the way that it does in braille. Focus on tracking skills must be integrated when using this tool.

9 by 12 thin board with print alphabet tiles and also print plus braille alphabet tiles

Materials: 

 

Procedure: 

I'm holding letter sticker on right edge of magnet square, ready to stick it on

  1. Peel paper off magnet tile to reveal adhesive, peel letter sticker off page, place letter sticker on left side of magnet (adhesive to adhesive). Sticker is smaller than magnet square.

 

 

 

  1. Repeat 25 times!

 

scissors positioned to trim right side of magnet

  1. Trim about 3/16 inch off magnet where sticker did not cover magnet and clip the top right corner off. Magnet tiles cut easily, but good scissors and steady pressure result in a straighter cut.

 

 

 

 

 

red rectangle with letters, d, o, g lined up on top

  1. The last step is to makefour rectangles lined up horizontally, long red rectangle ready to stick on top, I'm starting to peel paper off magnet to reveal adhesive some long magnets to serve as a "table top" for letters to stand on. I cut magnets squares in half, lined them up long-ways to make long horizontal rectangle and then used rectangle I cut from the edge of APH sticker sheet to attach them all.

Finished set! 

 magnet board with two sets of alphabet and number 0-9 and the word dog positioned above long red rectangle

Variations: 

Print letters are visible, but are low contrast and would not work for student with low vision. One way to make print letter more visible is to add correction tape to sticky side of letter sticker.

correction tape rolling white tape on back of letter sticker and front of letter sticker showing black letter c on white background

Make whole words, make some shapes or textures, have fun!

Collage of creating braille magnets

Comments

Braille Magnets

Posted by Wendy Yinfoo

I have used dominoes from the cheap shop as my base, with the magnet glued on the back and Braille letters from a Braille labeller or Braille onto Braille label on the front. They are easy for little fingers to pick up and move.

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