This idea came about spur of the moment. We were actually mid-writer’ s workshop when I thought of it. Most of my students were at the revising or editing phase and I had told them that one good thing that writers do when they are revising is to read their piece out loud---even many times. So my kids were diligently trying this. Some felt a little awkward about reading . to no one. Maybe they weren’t even listening to their writing since they were giving so much thought to how silly they sounded reading to themselves. All the voices reading aloud were getting a little jumbly making it difficult to concentrate for those that were writing. It was then that I remembered the PVC phones my co-worker had in her classroom for her readers to use when they were “reading to self”. I have to admit I never took the time to make these PVC phones because I wasn’t convinced of their reading purpose and I didn’t see it as a need. However, I thought I might give them a try for WRITING workshop. I was apprehensive at first fearful that my 4th graders would think it was too primary. But if they did, there was nothing lost, I would give the phones back, thank Mrs. E and never think of it again. But that was not the case. My students loved using the phones. Boys and girls alike grappled at the chance to be the next to use one of the PVC phones. It is pretty cool that the pipe did seem to magnify your voice so you only need to talk softly. As a result, by reading into the en think it was “primary-ish” at all. In fact, I think the opposite is true. They felt more grown up ----you know most grown ups and teens have a phone stuck to their ear. Now they felt a real purpose. They could focus on hearing their piece.
*I obtained parental permission from this student to post her picture using the revision phones during Writer's Workshop!*
Here is a link to more information about Phonics Phones and how to make them.