Ready-made lettering for classroom displays has improved quite a bit over the last few years. Several companies offer pre-printed, punch-out letter sets that can be very useful. The letters are printed on card and can be re-used several times.
Packs of letters usually contain over 200 letters and numbers in quite a good mix of upper and lower cases. There is nothing wrong with using material like this to speed up your displays. You do need to choose carefully though so that your lettering either matches or provides an interesting contrast with any other text on your display.
We all know you can get pdfs to print yourself that seem cheaper or even free but remember you need to take account of the time taken in cutting out and the cost of colour printing them. Drawing letters using templates is not really free either and also has a cost, often in valuable teaching assistant time. Time that should have been spent working with children.
5 Top Tips for Using Pre-Printed Letters on Your Displays
- Use a craft knife for removing the letters from the card. They can tear if you just try to pop them out.
- Laminate them for longer life. Not vital but this does increase the lifetime of your letter sets.
- Less is more. Use them sparingly on displays, only for main titles. If you need to say more print it out and mount it on an information sheet using a contrasting font. Remember try to stick to 2, or at most 3, fonts on any display.
- Choose a letter set that compliments the rest of your display. If it is a multi-coloured letter set try to pick up just one of the colours in the mounts around children’s work.
- Watch your letter placement. If they are supposed to be in a straight line do yourself a faint chalk mark first. (Use two drawing pins and a bit of chalked string to create your straight line, then brush it off after.)