This year during reading centers I've started using homemade whisper phones with my students. At the beginning of the year I had a lot of trouble getting my students to read "in their heads" so our music teacher let me borrow a few of her whisper phones to help them read to themselves. The phones were such a hit I started using them regularly with my students in my guided reading center. My students love to use them, and there are so many benefits to using them in your classroom! Besides the fun factor, encouraging students to use them in the first place, these phones help students to hear their own voice- encouraging phonemic awareness, compel students to speak in a whisper voice, and improve focus and attention.
I'm sure there are other places on the web that describe how to make these, but here is how I made mine: The directions on the eHow site were spot on. I did not use rubber cement to glue the ends on, and I bought a smaller piece of the piping to only made 5 phones, just to test it out. I'm planning to make an class set over the summer instead of just the center set I have now. They can be painted, but I like leaving mine white because I like to soak them occasionally (often during cold and flu season) in a bleach and water mixture to kill the germs.
Click Here for How to Make a PVC Pipe Whisper Phone
Do you use whisper phones or something like them in your classroom? When/how do you use them?