One option for word work is magnet letters, but my students were often frustrated because I kept taking the small magnetic white boards to use with small reading groups. (“Just use the letters on your table instead!” “Awww, that’s no fun.”) I kept meaning to get a couple more boards, but they are surprisingly spendy. So when I saw these metal sheets on sale at a craft store, a lightbulb went on!
The corners were very sharp, so I bent them back with pliers and then covered each corner with card stock scraps. The new magnet boards fit perfectly into the magnet letters tub, too!