Many of my preschool and kinder friends are now working with the concept of rhyme. Rhyming is an important early literacy skill as it helps our young readers understand that words are comprised of sounds which can be changed to make new and different words. This rhyming activity is ideal for your centers during the early months of February. When you download this activity you will receive 48 colorful hearts containing rhyming words. You’ll want to be sure to differentiate this activity by choosing which and how many rhyming hearts to use.
The Make, Take & Teach Valentine Rhyme Matching activity can be found in my online Teachers Pay Teachers store.
Here in Northern Michigan winter can last for months (and I mean months and months). We often have snow from late November through mid-April. Well, up in the north, putting on your boots, mittens, hats, coats, and snow pants is an everyday event. It can take up to 10 minutes to get our little kindergarteners ready to go outside–and then another 10 minutes to get undressed! Multiply that routine by three times a day–craziness! Whether you live in a winter wonderland or in warmer parts of the world, the Mitten Match activity is sure to be a hit with your kiddos during the winter months.
Last year, my fabulous artist created these adorable mittens. They were perfect for creating a matching activity, so I made activities for beginning sounds, rhyme and vocabulary. They are especially ideal for your literacy centers. Students simply find the matching mitten pairs and clip them together with a clothespin. If you choose to store your activities in baggies, I’ve included a label for you. I print my activity labels on a full size Avery label.
I am so envious those arts and crafts people who come up with these fabulous ideas for decorating clipboards, pencil cans and any other item with washi tape. I’ve purchased several spools of washi tape a few weeks ago and it’s been just sitting in my drawer waiting for the perfect project. Okay, so this is certainly not the most creative use of the washi tape, I know, but the dots of the tape nearly match the dots of the mittens. LOVE IT! I simply cut a strip of tape and placed it right on the clothespin.
When you download the Mitten Match Beginning Sounds activity, you’ll receive 26 beginning sound mittens. This activity is available through my online Teachers Pay Teachers store.
There are 30 colorful rhyming mitten pairs in the MT&T Mitten Match Rhyme activity. This activity is ideal for preschool and kindergarten centers and can also be found in my online Teachers Pay Teachers store.
The Mitten Match Vocabulary activity contains 35 matching mitten pairs. This activity is ideal for vocabulary development as the students pair pictures that “go together”. You may want to use this activity during small group instruction as you can expand oral language by having your students explain why the pictures go together.
The Mitten Match Vocabulary activity can be downloaded from my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
Last year we created these absolutely adorable snowmen to practice the concepts of rhyme, beginning sounds and word families. The kiddos loved them! They were just perfect for winter-themed centers. This winter, I decided to update them a bit – I made the pictures larger and added several more rhyming snowmen. The current activity for rhyme now includes 31 colorful rhyming snowmen. You certainly will want to differentiate this activity by choosing how many and which snowmen to use during a rotation.
The Make, Take & Teach Build a Snowman Rhyme activity is available through my online Teachers Pay Teachers store.
The Snowman Activity for Beginning Sounds has certainly been a kid-favorite activity in kindergarten classrooms. It’s a fun way for learning and practicing beginning sounds. You can also differentiate this activity by limiting the number of snowmen and snowballs used at one time.
The Make, Take & Teach Build a Snowman Beginning Sounds activity is also available in my TpT online store.
Last year I was cleaning my basement getting ready for our annual garage sale and came across all those old Disney movies housed in VHS cases. Although our VHS player is long gone and the kids are now into their late teens and twenties, parting with those old movies was pretty difficult. I can’t tell you how many times I watched Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast- I can still sing many of those songs years later. While I was looking at that old stack of tapes, I was trying to think of ideas for re-purposing the case and it hit me! They would make ideal storage containers for activities! Here’s the vision:
The step- by-step directions for the activity is placed on the left side of the cover and the materials for the activity on the right. How simple, right? I was a tad obsessed with the concept so I created 17 Activities on the Go! activities to address phonemic awareness, phonics and sight words. Each activity is available as a single product or is contained in a grade-level bundle. The Activities on the Go! for Rhyme contains 32 colorful rhyming pictures.
The other Pre-K/Kindergarten early phonemic awareness activity that fits so nicely in the VHS case is the Activities on the Go! Syllables. When you download this activity you’ll receive 40 pictures for sorting words by 1-, 2- and 3- syllables.
So, now for my Kindergarten and First Grade friends, I created the Activities on the Go! Blending activity. The race car activity has been so popular and the kids just love practicing blending sounds into words while driving their race car below the letters. It’s amazing how such a simple activity can keep their interest.
This activity contains 48 tracks for practicing the skill of blending.
The final phonemic awareness activity developed for our Kinder and First Grade friends is the Activities on the Go! for Segmentation. When you download this activity you’ll receive 48 pictures for sorting by 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-phoneme words. You can easily differentiate this activity by limiting the number of phonemes you wish your students to practice.
If you like the Activities on the Go! concept, you may want to consider purchasing the activities in the grade-level bundles. Set 1 is ideal for Pre K/Kindergarten as it contains early phonemic awareness skills and beginning phonics skills.
Teachers Pay Teachers store or through the Make, Take & Teach website
Bundle 2 is ideal for practicing skills introduced mid- to end of Kindergarten and First Grade.
Teachers Pay Teachers store or through the Make, Take & Teach website
So if you don’t have old Disney movies still in boxes in the basement of your house, old VHS cases can be found in almost every second hand shop. Here we hit the jackpot at our local Habitat for Humanity store. Old movies can also be found on Ebay. The activities can also be stored in baggies or other containers.
Just a little hint- there are a few different types of VHS containers- the containers that store the Disney movies work best as the insides are flat and the activities fit nicely.
Learning vowel sounds can be so tricky for our young readers. Not only do several of the short vowel sounds sound similar (for example, the short /a/ and short /e/ sounds), but vowels have two sounds– a short sound and a long sound. Teaching students that vowels have two sounds is typically introduced early in first grade. The explanation is actually quite simple. We just tell students that when a vowel has a long sound, it says its name. Having this poster handy while teaching this concept can be helpful. Just click the link below for a quick and easy download.
Just click the following link to download this freebie Long and Short Vowels Poster
For our little first graders, I created 8 hands-on activities for teaching discrimination between long and short vowel sounds. Several of the activities were designed for the direct teaching of the concept in either whole or small group instruction and others for added practice during independent literacy centers. Here are 3 of my favorites:
For introducing the concept, the long and short vowel bone sorting activity is ideal. Just place the dog dishes on the table, have the students name the picture on the bone and then place the bone in the correct dog dish. This activity contains 60 bones with pictures of long and short vowel sounds.
I really love the self-checking feature of Long or Short activity using Hot Dots. This activity contains 30 colorful cards that can be used with either the Hot Dots pen or with a golf tee (punch a hole and circle the correct answer on the back). If using the Hot Dots pen, the student chooses their answer by placing the tip of the pen on the circle (dots are either hot or cold). If the answer is correct, a green light will appear on the top of the pen as well as applauding will sound. You can purchase the pen and the hot/cold dots from Amazon. This pen can be used for a variety of activities!
The flip chute is another one of my favorite hands-on activities that can be used to practice most any skill. They are particularly ideal for independent literacy centers. Flip chutes are made using orange juice cartons. The skill cards can be made using index cards cut into 2 inch squares. For this activity, I created the cards for you (just print double-sided) as well as dressed up the carton with the dog-themed templates. Directions for creating your own flip chute are contained in the Long/Short Vowel Sound Bundle. You can also download the directions and basic templates for the flip chute by clicking the link below.
For directions on how to make your own flip chute, just click the following link Flip Chute Directions
Be sure to check out the other five activities contained in the Doggone Fun! with Long and Short Vowels in my online Teachers Pay Teachers store.
One of my favorite pastimes is perusing the aisles at our local dollar stores and the toy sections of Walmart and Meijer for ideas for center activities. My three children are now in college and instead of spending my time on the soccer fields I’m now spending that time shopping. Insert HUGE sigh– I really miss my kids and I would go back to those days in a minute. I’m not adjusting very well to my empty nest. While shopping at Walmart the other day I stumbled upon the card section in the toy area and found a few relatively inexpensive games that would be a nice addition to your literacy centers.
The first treasure was the Scrabble Slam! card game. It’s a great phonemic awareness activity as students use the letter cards in their hand to change the word. The first player to get rid of all their cards wins the game. I’m thinking that this activity would be ideal for mid-first grade/ beginning second grade.
I really love the Apples to Apples game. Sometimes it’s difficult to find activities targeting vocabulary. A word is provided (green card) and the students choose a picture card from their hand that best matches the word. They then try to convince the judge as to why their card best describes the word. This is awesome for oral language development!
I have one more fun find at Walmart. There are ways to make your own card holders using recycled CDs and plastic lids, but this card holder really wasn’t that expensive so I decided to go ahead and purchase it rather than make my own. Card holders are very helpful for playing card games as little hands have difficulty holding and fanning the cards.
Are there games that you find helpful for centers? Be sure to leave your suggestions in the comments. Enjoy!