Multisensory Monday- Sandy Thirty

Posted by Brainspring on 6th Jul 2014

Hi everyone,

Whoo hoo!  I’m back from “up north” in time for this week’s Multisensory Monday.  Vacation was fantastic, but I’m glad to be back where there is internet access so I can share with you a multisensory activity inspired by the beach.   Today, I have a game called Sandy Thirty that you can play to help students practice y as the long /e/ sound when a consonant+y are the ending syllable of a word.  This goes with RLAC Phonics First Lesson 4-5.


Before I go into the game, I want to point out that it’s important for your students to recognize that consonant+y is its own syllable, much like consonant+le.  Therefore, y will only make the long /e/ sound at the end of a 2 or more syllable word. (At the end of a 1 syllable word, y will make the long /i/ sound, like “fly”.)  Try having your students circle the consonant+y during dictation to help them visualize it as its own syllable.  Students could also then label the beginning syllable as open or closed.

(Check out Dite’s Multisensory Monday activity for a fun way to demonstrate open and closed syllables.)


Aviary Photo_130491625208293112The inspiration for “Sandy Thirty” came when my husband and I took our labradoodle, Thirty, to the sand dunes.  (Yes, there is a story behind how she was named “Thirty”.  I’ll add it at the end of the post.)  We walked along the beach then hiked up the dunes to find some shade and have lunch.  By the time we got there, Thirty was full of sand and had a sand beard where it had stuck to the fur under her chin!  The kids in my neighborhood love Thirty, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to use her funny picture for a game.


Sandy Thirty

This is a 2 player game.   You’ll need a token for each player and the game board, beginning word cards, and ending word cards (attachments below).  Each player gets half of the beginning word cards, and the ending word cards are placed face-down in the box with Thirty laying in the shade.   Players are pretending they are walking Thirty across the beach, up to the shade, getting full of sand along the way!

Sandy Thirty Gameboard

Sandy Thirty Word Beginning Cards

Sandy Thirty Word Ending Cards

Players start on the star at the top right corner of the game board.  The youngest player goes first.  They pick an ending card from the pile.  If they are able to make a real word by combining the ending they drew with a beginning card from their hand, they get to move forward one space.  Players must show the cards they used to create a real word and read the word aloud.   If they cannot make a real word, they must wait and draw another ending card on their next turn.  Either way the ending card is put back on the bottom of the ending card pile.  If a beginning card was used it is put in a discard pile that can be shuffled and dealt again if players run out of cards.

The first player to get Thirty to the shade by the star on the bottom left of the game board is the winner!

30 at the Dunes


2 for 1 from Dite

Since I was on vacation last week, I want to let you know about 2 multisensory ideas Dite has on her blog!  The first is demonstrating open and closed syllable with a door or file folder.   I love this for classroom demonstrations!

o and cl syllables

The second is an IPad app that can be used with students or for at-home practice.

You can always find more about Dite and Ladder Learning Services here:


The Story Behind “Thirty”

I get asked all the time how Thirty ended up with such an unusual name.  Her name actually started off as a joke.  We got her Thanksgiving weekend when my husband, my family and I were at my grandma’s.  Of course, everyone had a suggestion of what to name her.  Since she is all black, people we suggesting names like “Darkness” and “Midnight”.  I joked that we should call her “O Dark Thirty”, which is a way of saying 12:30am if you’re using 24 hour time (0:30 and it’s dark out at that time).  I laughed and added, “We could just call her Thirty for short.”  I paused thinking that actually sounded pretty cool…and it stuck.


Check back for a new post this Thursday!


Please comment with your suggestions, ideas or questions.  I want to bring you more activities and information that you’re interested in.


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