From the archives...
The following question was originally posted on the (now discontinued) LOE Forum.
Any suggestions for organizing the tiles? I first tried to use them today, but I could not find any of the phonograms I needed. I need them alphabetical or something so I can find phonograms. Do you guys sell something to organize these? If not, you should!
Great question! We have not as of yet found a good cost-effective organizer to sell to go with these. Keep in mind that they are color-coded by type, so that should help some.
If I were you, I would probably separate them into phonograms that have and have not been taught if you are early in the curriculum, or by type using any other category you prefer if you are later in the curriculum (vowel/R-controlled/consonant/silent E? alphabetical groupings?) and then put them in Ziploc bags. Those clear plastic boxes designed for beads or embroidery thread could also work well, or little cardboard jewelry boxes.
At conferences, we like putting them out in these fun silicon boxes made by Poppin, called This + That trays, so that might be an option too, though these may be better for browsing than for cataloging!
After we posted our reply, the customer wrote back with an even better solution! We've heard since that this is something that other LOE teachers have done as well.
Thanks! I ended up cutting up some old flat magnetic calendar things and used those as magnets and glued them to the back of every tile. Then I bought a flat metal cookie box at a thrift store and they stick to that so I have them all in alphabetical order and I can easily see all of them.
You can also purchase strips of magnet tape with an adhesive backing to use for this. For children, we'd still recommend keeping the phonograms they know on one cookie sheet and the ones they haven't learned somewhere else in order to avoid confusion. Some people also choose to draw boxes on the cookie sheets for each phonogram tile so you can see where each one is supposed to go.