This week, I finished a project that I started last year - DIY whisper phones!
I was inspired by Mrs. Saoud's tutorial, but I made a few tweaks along the way!
- When you pick out your 1/2" PVC pipe at the store, you'll want to ask a worker to cut it into 4.5" pieces unless you have someone at home who can do this. When I asked the Home Depot guy, he literally laughed in my face and said he'd only cut it into 2 pieces. However, I did not give up! I persisted, he got his manager, and his manager happily cut the PVC pipe! Lesson to you - perservere! :)
- I bought 1/2" elbows and I was just able to shove them onto the pipe. Just make sure you buy 1/2" PVC elbows - they will be white, not beige. No gluing necessary! That PVC glue smells really bad, so you're welcome.
- I spray-painted them with special spray paint for plastic stuff. It's Rust-Oleum Plastic spray paint. I don't know if this was really necessary... but it worked for me.
You can use these whisper phones during Read to Self for Daily Five, or for independent reading regardless of your classroom. You will have to teach them how to use them appropriately, otherwise they will scream into them or make them into a long telephone game..... not that this happened to me or anything. :)
My class last year loved these things. It really helped them focus on their reading and block out the outside distractions. It can be hard in my class to focus when I'm teaching half of the class and half are engaged in independent activities. So this was a big help! And the kids would ask to use them, which was great!
Also - if you want to save some money, you don't need to spray paint. I didn't paint mine last year and no one seemed to mind. :)
If you've been thinking of buying commercially-made whisper phones, this DIY alternative will save you a TON of money! And they are super durable!