Again and again I am reminded how valuable letter sorts can be. My school’s literacy coach uses them frequently with struggling readers, and I see reading intervention coaches in all of our buildings with those beautiful walls of organized magnetic letters, using them to help students build fluency.
The thing is, I can’t organize my magnetic letters that way. I use them in too many ways! Sometimes we are doing large group sorts, sometimes we are using them to read, write, and build words, sometimes we are using them for __________ (fill in the blank). Not to mention the time it takes to pre-sort the letters that I put into the sorting mix! So I have always struggled to do as many of these sorts as I probably should.
I decided this year to simplify, and I finally have had success! I created a very simple PDF with a page of letter cards for every uppercase and every lowercase letter. I also created several pages of typical sort combinations (upper versus lower, letters with straight lines versus letters with curves, p/d/b/q, etc) I gave these originals to a parent volunteer, who copied them on to card stock, cut and laminated cards, and organized them into envelopes.
Now, all I have to do is pull two envelopes out of my box and dump them out, and the sort is ready! I have been able to use these as letter/sound interventions repeatedly. They are also so easy to use that I can have fourth grade safeties work with kids using the sorts. Practice became SO easy.
I would like to share the file I created. You can download it here. This link will connect you to my TeachersPayTeachers store, and this product specifically. It is FREE, so just click download!
I hope it can help you as it has helped me!