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Activity and strategy

Phonetic Reading Blocks with Braille Labels

These Montessori Phonetic Reading Blocks can easily be adapted by adding braille labels for students who are blind or visually impaired to practice making CVC (Consonant-Vowel-Consonant) words.

As my student is learning to read words and make up new words by changing one letter (CVC or Consonant-Vowel-Consonant Word Families), I found these phonetic reading blocks on Amazon: The Original Montessori Phonetic Reading Blocks. They were quite easy to adapt by adding braille letter labels on each of the letters. I put a ribbon on the left side to help with orientation.  My student really liked the blocks!

Fine Motor Considerations

She’ll need practice turning the blocks as at this time she struggled with turning one of the three blocks. I spoke to the OT and the plan is that when the student moves the left block, she will hold the other two blocks with her right hand. When she moves the far right block, she will hold the other two blocks with her left hand. This is a great way to promote the fine motor skill of bimanual coordination and manipulating an item with one hand, while holding it with the other.  This is the same type of skill used with screwing/unscrewing lids on jars. 

Student reading the braille labels on wooden blocks

The nice thing about this activity is I can leave it in the classroom for the teacher to use as well. The teacher can read the print and my student can read the braille.

Wooden blocks spelling out 3-letter CVC words

See also: Montessori-Inspired Phonetic Braille Reading Blocks.

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