Word Slide for tricky words (the, then, them, there, they, these)

Some of my students are having terrible trouble with the following tricky words:

  • then
  • them
  • they
  • there
  • these

The don’t call them “tricky” for nothing! They look similar, too similar, and only some can be “sounded out” correctly. So, where to begin?!

It is important to draw their attention to the familiar chunk in all these words :

  • then
  • them
  • they
  • there
  • these

I have created a word slide to help make the similarities and differences between the words more obvious.  I also think that it is kinda cute! What do you think?

You just slide the letter up into the window to create a “tricky word”. Generally, after doing this for a few days the penny will drop 😉

To download your free word sliders please click on the image below. There are two different images to choose from, a Gingerbread Man and Monkey Business.

It is pretty easy to put together. Just have a look at the photo. Fold it in half across the flap. Cut out the window and a tiny piece from the top to allow the letters to slide up and down.

Note: When downloading don’t forget to have your gmail or google docs account open. Click save when requested to do so at the bottom of your screen ( the warning is because the document is large, not because it is unsafe!)

I really hope that you find this useful. Please let me know if you would like me to create some more word sliders.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Clipart by DJInkers

Give your brain a workout with Lazy 8’s

Lazy 8’s are used in Brain Gym to help your child:

  • think more clearly
  • relax and calm
  • improve hand-eye co-ordination
  • improve visual tracking (moving you eyes and not your head to see something)
  • increase attention span
  • increase writing flow and speed
  • balance emotions
  • improves memory
  • improve cross laterality (crossing the midline of the body, your belly button, connects the right and left hemisphere)
  • to develop hand dominance (being right or left handed)

This activity is especially useful and beneficial  for children with Dyslexia, ADD, Dyspraxia, Developmental Delay or a Sensory Processing disorders.

Pretty useful stuff, eh?

How to:

You are basically writing the number 8 on it’s side. That’s why it’s lazy .

Start with a large sheet of white paper ( A3 would be best) or a white board in a landscape position.

Place it in front of you so that the middle of your page is parallel to the middle of your body, your belly button.(You want to be crossing over your belly button to get to to the left and right of your page as you draw)

The aim is to keep your hand steady and let your eyes follow what you are doing.

I have included arrows as directional aids. You will not be drawing the arrows, just the curved shape 😉

  • start with your marker in the middle of your page
  • Move your marker  down, up and around to make a “c” like shape


  • Continue  moving down until you intersect with your start point and keep going.
  • Continue to move down, up and around to make a backwards “c”


  • Your marker should now be in the middle of your page, at your starting point.
  • That’s your Lazy 8!

  • Now keep tracing around your shape, without taking your marker from the page.
  • Continue for about 1 min, until it is a fluid movement.

Note:

Tape down the edges of your sheet if it keeps moving.

The bigger the paper the better as it forces you to cross further over your midline.

You can always draw a Lazy 8 for your child to trace over if they find it difficult. Just make sure that they start at your start point and continue in the correct direction.

As you can see Lazy 8’s have lots of benefits for your child. It can be very useful to do some Brain Gym activities before starting homework. It calms, and focuses the mind.

Have fun 🙂