Reading Phones

Do you use reading phones in your classroom?  I washed my set yesterday and will bring them into school tomorrow.  I can't wait to pass them out!  Here's the fleet:

I made mine 14 years ago and they are virtually indestructible.  Every year I clean them in hot soapy water, rewrite the numbers in black sharpie, and they're good to go.  My students keep them in their desks and use them whenever they like.

If you're interested, here are the directions for making them. This is what you'll need:

  1. 3/4" PVC tubing
  2. 3/4" PVC elbows

You can find the tubing and elbows at Home Depot or Lowe's.  I was totally clueless about PVC tubing!  Just ask someone there.  You'll need two elbows for each phone.  Cut the tubing into 3 1/2" lengths, then attach an elbow to each end.

Using a permanent marker, put a number on each phone.  Each student keeps their phone in their desk, to use as needed.

If you want a larger diameter phone, just use a larger pipe (1" or larger).  The 3 1/2" tube length seems to be about the right size for primary students.

If you feel like spending money on the commercially made phones, you can find them sold as whisperphones, toobaloos, and phonics phones.

Right track reading has a very detailed article about reading phones and why research supports their usage with students.

If you haven't made a set, try it!  They are so easy to make and your students will LOVE them!

Pin It


  1. Yes, I have phones! The kids love them! I keep mine in a basket with an empty basket beside it. Then when they have used a phone, they place it in the used basket and I wipe them down at the end of the day with wipes to keep them clean for the next day.
    Conversations in Literacy

  2. Very cute blog. I just awarded you the "One Beautiful Blog" award. Stop by my blog to grab your award.


  3. Very cute blog. I just awarded you the "One Beautiful Blog" award. Stop by my blog to grab your award!!


  4. I've been reading about these phones for YEARS, and I've never gotten around to making them. Maybe it's time -- ha ha.

    Grade ONEderful

  5. I have been using these for the past 8 years and love them!! our reading specialist had them made for us!!! They are awesome!!!First Is a Fairytale

  6. I have them too. I had them in my room when I started. The kids love using them and they make for a quieter room. Well, except for the kids who can't stop playing with them! Good idea to give directions and I'll be reading that article. I like to have info for other teachers and parents when they ask.

    First in Maine

  7. I call them fluency phones. Fun stuff!


  8. I subbed today in a second grade classroom and the students where using something similar!!

    Miss J

    Smiles, Crayons, and Endless Stories

  9. Dee, I love these! Thanks for sharing, I think I'm going to use some of my PTA funds to make these for my 23 students!

  10. I'm your newest follower and love your blog! I can't wait to explore it some more.

    Sweet Seconds



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...