Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Made It: Bead Slides

It's Monday! Two more days until I can get back into school to start setting up and I am SO PUMPED! Also I'm excited because it is Monday Made It day again!
This Monday, I made bead slides to use for phonemic awareness activities!
I read about bead slides from Katie at Two Can Do It who originally read about it from Julie at Make, Take & Teach!

You use bead slides to help students learn how to segment phonemes. As you may know, phonemic awareness is important because children's level of phonemic awareness is highly correlated with their success in beginning reading! (I feel like I should put an in-text citation here, haha.) Anyway, when you're asking a student to segment phonemes, you would give them a word like "book." If they are comfortable with this skill, they would be able to tell you that the sounds in book are: b-oo-k. 3 sounds - 3 phonemes!

Bead slides just give students extra kinesthetic support so they can build this SUPER IMPORTANT skill!  They move a bead with each sound that they say.

Anyway, let me tell you how to make them. :)
You'll need...
  • regular flat shoelaces. I bought 54" shoelaces from Target. They were about $2 a pack, and I was able to make 12 bead slides using one pack of shoelaces (6 on each lace).
  • beads. I got mine at Hobby Lobby for about $2.50. You could actually use pony beads if you want, you just want to make sure that the holes aren't too big so there is some resistance when you move the  beads up and down the shoelace.
Then you're ready to start!

You'll want to put groups of 6 beads onto the shoelaces and tie off about 5-6" inch sections for each bead slide. Here's a picture to show you what I mean.
After you have put on your beads and tied off each section, cut in between the knots and you will have your bead slides!

If you use Michael Heggerty's phonemic awareness book, you could absolutely use these for the segmenting and blending portions of the daily routines!

Julie at Make, Take & Teach has a video about bead slides as well as extra resources to use these! :)

Bead slides are fun to play with, too, so if you don't teach phoneme segmentation, you could easily use these as fidgets in your classroom!


  1. Wow! What a great idea! And cheap, too! I can't wait to make my own now. Maybe I'll make some in one color for small groups and another colored set for fidgets. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm your newest follower! :) Great "Made it Monday!"

    Teaching Is Love

  3. FANTASTIC! I definitely will be making these! GREAT READING TOOL!
    If you have not checked out my Blog, please do! SMILES!

  4. Love these! What a great idea and super simple!

    The Second Grade Superkids

  5. Hi Jill,
    I love your bead slides! I'm going to have to make some of those for my students. At the end of the last school year, I bought Michael Heggerty's phonemic awareness book. I tried it for a couple weeks and my student LOVED it. I am excited to use it next year.
    Funky First Grade Fun

  6. What a great idea!! I really would like to try this with my first graders. Thanks for visiting my blog ! I'm your newest follower :)

    First Grade Fairytales

  7. These turned out great! I love that it makes an abstract idea concrete for students.

  8. Great idea! What size are the beads? Also, are the plastic or? Thanks!!!


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