Background: When I was teaching elementary special education grades PreK-5th, my student population needed a tool to help them 'crack the code' - learn how to read. After several years of research, development, and prototyping, the Alpha Decoder evolved from Sharpie written on cups to a hand machined, stainless steel manipulative.
Through a collaborative effort with my brother-in-law, they were designed, prototyped, and created over multiple iterations using many different methods: pencil and paper, Adobe Illustrator, SolidWorks, SolidCAM, and multiple CNC machines.
Over the last 8 years, hundreds of Alpha Decoders have found their way into classrooms across the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Check them out here.