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  • laurie597

Got Milk Caps?

As an SLP, literacy nerd, and mom of school-aged kids, I spend a great deal of time thinking about reading! Products and programs are abundant - some better than others, some free, and some quite pricey.

I wanted to share a (nearly) free thing we do in our home to reinforce reading concepts - all you need are milk caps and a permanent/paint pen. Each time we finish a jug of milk, I rinse out the cap and add a word, word ending, or even a concept on the cap.

One thing I love about this routine is that it builds up at regular intervals - I only add a new word or concept when we finish a jug of milk. The collection of caps stays stored in our kitchen - our hub of activity - so it's easy to pull them out and review them at those spur-of-the-moment times.

How do I pick my words?

I start with a word chain - this picture shows a simple consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) chain where only one letter changes from word to word. You can mix these up and see if your kids can put them back into a chain. Or, when selecting a new word, ask, Can you change one of these letters to

make a new word?

Adding Concepts

I have used color in different ways in previous sets - for example, all the high frequency/phonetically irregular words could be red and the decodable words in blue.

This picture shows how we are harnessing the power of chocolate milk (brown caps) to add word endings. In this set up, we can slide the -s ending down the chain to form new words. Here is when I talk about the different meanings of -s (plural marker: 1 pig 2 pigs, or 3rd person verb marker: she hits, he taps).

Here we've added "magic e" to change the vowel sound.

How many words can we build with these caps?

Can you do ALL of these things with flashcards, post-it notes, sea shells, or anything in your home ecosystem with a surface? Absolutely! For us, since we have an abundance of these colorful word canvasses, it's what works for us!

Now, go pour yourself or your kids some milk and build some words.



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