Professional Development

July 18, 2020

Literacy Toolboxes: An Easy Approach to Literacy Manipulatives

As we approach a new year of learning that is filled with so much uncertainty, one thing we can be certain of is the need for literacy instruction. Your small groups will need their literacy tools at their fingertips. Plus, when each child has their own set of literacy manipulatives, it’s much easier to manage and find everything they need. You just pull out their toolbox!

Let’s take a look at how to build a literacy toolbox for our little learners and see what you might find inside one!

Literacy Toolbox Container

You can use many different things for the container. I used a nylon pencil pouch, but you could also use a supply box. Both can be easily wiped down and maybe even put in the dishwasher or washing machine!

Literacy Manipulatives to Include

Inside the toolbox, I put all the things that we typically needed during guided reading time.

You can also include things students might need during literacy stations so each learner knows exactly where their tools are. And friends, because I wanted to make this as EASY as possible for you to recreate, I put all of this in ONE simple download for my email list friends!

Having a literacy toolbox with manipulatives for each little reader will be super helpful! Think about what your students would need at the guided reading table, during literacy stations, and at home for additional literacy instruction.

You can have it ready to go in their backpack, in their desk at school, or for them to take home. Then, they can just pull it out whenever the time comes for it! No more scrounging around trying to find letter tiles for everyone or elkonin boxes for everyone.

What would you add to the toolbox? Let me know in the comments!

*I have a brand new set of literacy manipulatives with the science of reading in mind! You can read all about them and get that FREE download HERE!*

Happy Teaching,


8 Get to Know You Games for Distance Learning

Getting to know your students can be trickier while distance learning. Grab this FREE printable with eight get-to-know-you games and activities so that you can start connecting with students, help them get to know each other, and build a positive classroom community.

Hi, I'm Amanda

I’m a K-1 teacher who is passionate about making lessons your students love and that are easy to implement for teachers.  Helping teachers like you navigate their way through their literacy block brings me great joy. I am a lifelong learner who loves staying on top of current literacy learning and practices. Here, you’ll find the tools you need to move your K-2 students forward!


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22 Responses

  1. This is a great idea, thank you. I suggest capitalizing Esther’s name to model correct way though 🙂

    1. I most definitely would do that for a K/1 learner or a learner who was still emerging in that skill. However, for my own second grader at home, I think this is totally okay! 🙂

  2. Thank you so much. I am a ‘vintage’ teacher, trying to stand in the gap for parents not wanting to return to preschool. I so appreciate your thoughtful work!

  3. I’ve thought about doing something like this and now you’ve done it for me. It’s perfect! Our school will be fully online, so the kids won’t be coming to the school. Teachers will be there, though. I was thinking I would prepare the Toolkits and plan a time for parents to pick them up. Thank you for all that you do!

  4. Yes, I would love the Literacy Toolbox for my students. I only saw my students one day a week. Now, we are fully remote! Help!!! The Literacy Toolbox would be wonderful for parents to use with their children now that we are on quarantine, again.

    1. Hi Mary! I just wanted to make sure you dropped your email in the form above and got the toolbox materials delivered to you. 🙂

  5. Hi! I love these! Do you have a version of the literacy toolbox label without the line to write a child’s name? This would be helpful in case I didn’t want to make an entire class set! In case you do, my email is [email protected] 🙂

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