It’s another fabulous Walmart find in the school supply section! These dry erase pocket charts were only $1.97! I love ‘em. They’re great for small group intervention. It’s a fun alternate to paper-pencil worksheets and quite a paper-saver. All you do is place your sheet in the pocket and have your student write on the pocket with a dry erase marker. Simply wipe clean with a dry erase marker or a cloth and use again.
I especially like the pockets for handwriting practice. Instead of running tons of copies, just use one sheet with the pocket and students can practice with the same page multiple times.
The pockets can be used with most any skill. If you’d like to check out these handwriting practice sheets, they are available through the Make, Take & Teach website or on my Teachers Pay Teachers online store. Just click the following link: Handwriting Practice- Alphabet MT&T website or Handwriting Practice- Alphabet TpT. Enjoy!
Unfortunately, these dry erase pockets aren’t available in Walmart year-round. Here’s a link to a very similar product. If you purchase them in bulk, you can save quite a bit.
I love using plastic screens for introducing and practicing letters and sight words. Plastic screens can be found in any craft store (Michaels or JoAnn Fabrics) or in the craft section of most department stores. When I use the screens for teaching letters, I typically cut one sheet into quarters and then for the sight words, I’ll cut 3 long strips. You can use ready-made templates of letters or sight words or you can simply write the letters/words on paper yourself. First have your students place the paper on top of the screen and, with a crayon, trace the letter or letters of the sight word. When they remove the paper, the letter/word will be “bumpy” on the paper. If I’m teaching letters, I have the student trace the letter with his/her finger while saying the letter name and then the sound (“a” says /a/). If I’m teaching sight words, I’d have the student name each letter as it’s being traced and then say the word (“c” “a” “n”- can). Just to help commit the letter or word to memory, I have them repeat this process at least 3 times.
There are so many different multi-sensory activities for teaching letters and words! When short on time, this activity is great as it’s quick and easy to prepare and there’s relatively no clean up.
If you’d like more ideas you may want to check out the Multi-Sensory Teaching of Sight Words product on the Make, Take & Teach website or in my Teachers Pay Teachers online store. The plastic screen activity is one of 10 activities that can be found in this file.
Okay, I’ve come to the frightening conclusion that I don’t really have a life (just kidding, of course). My kids think it’s absolutely silly how excited I can get over new items we find in the aisles of Walmart. I was shopping at a Walmart out of town and found these dry erase sheets! Incredible! I’ve seen the decorative dry erase colored circles and dry erase adhesive calendars, but just plain sheets- oh, endless possibilities!
My first thought?- using one of the sheets to make a dry erase slant board. Our Occupational Therapists often recommend using a slant board for students with handwriting difficulties. Using a slant board improves overall writing posture and encourages the most efficient hand posture for writing (flexed wrist). So it’s super simple to make your own slant board. I just found an old 3″ ring binder and placed one of the dry erase sheets on the top. Really that’s all.
Michaels is another one of my all-time favorite stores. I found this chalkboard contact paper hidden in one of the aisles. Another fantastic find.
I cut the sheet of chalkboard contact paper into the same dimensions as the dry erase contact paper, flipped the binder over and placed it on the top. So now I have a dry erase and chalkboard slant board all in one! So simple and so cheap! You can purchase slant boards commercially, but they are so expensive. This easy alternative serves the same purpose.
Well, you’re likely to have quite a bit of chalkboard paper left. Not to worry there’s tons of activities that you can create. Here’s a fun little freebie for you. Just hop on over to my TpT store and download the Build-It Write-It cards for CVC and CVCC/CCVC words. I printed the pictures on a full sized Avery sheet and placed them on construction paper for a border. For sure, you can just print them cardstock. I used the counting tiles and wrote letters with a permanent Sharpie marker and then cut a strip of chalkboard contact paper and placed it under the squares. Again, super easy!
Click HERE to download 28 CVC cards and 12 CVCC/CCVC cards
Just in case you can’t find the the dry erase contact paper or the chalkboard contact paper in your local Walmart or maybe you live too far away from a craft store. Here’s a link for finding these items on Amazon.
I’m having so fun creating activities for the table top pocket chart I purchased at Walmart last week. You never know what you can find at Walmart and I was so lucky to come across these super cute pocket charts which are perfect size for our small group intervention area. They came in two colors- and of course, I purchased both red and blue.
Right after purchasing my first pocket chart, I quickly made the Pocket Chart Pictures for Early Literacy - I just couldn’t wait. The file contains pictures for teaching beginning sounds, rhyme, counting syllables and counting sounds (phoneme segmentation). I’m just kind of moving up the phonics ladder now and the Pocket Chart Pictures for Short Vowels/CVC Words contains activities for teaching short vowel sounds and building and reading consonant-vowel-consonant words.
When you download this file you’ll receive 48 colorful CVC pictures, 48 word cards and 64 letter cards for building CVC words.
Right after my little trip to Walmart, I scooted on over to the Dollar Tree and picked up these cute little containers to store the pictures and letters. The plastic containers are actually snack containers, but they are the perfect size for storing the pics.
Okay, so Walmart doesn’t always stock the pocket charts. They likely are only available during the back-to-school sales. Pocket charts are also available in any teacher supply store or in education catalogs. Although the pocket charts are nice, they aren’t totally necessary for using the pictures to teach these phonics skills.
I love going into stores during their back-to-school sales! I especially love perusing the aisles of Walmart and our local dollar stores. There’s always super cheap items that can be used or changed into activities for our little kiddos. Just last week I found these pocket charts at Walmart. They are the perfect size for your small group instruction area. Well, just across the street from Walmart is the Dollar Tree. I found these colorful snack containers with the snapped-topped lid–so perfect for storing pictures!
I thought it’d be fun to create an early literacy packet for the pocket charts and use the containers to store the pics. So, in the spirit of color-coordination, all the beginning sound pics have a blue border, the rhyme pics a red border, pictures for syllables green, and the pictures for phoneme segmentation yellow. How wonderful that the containers come in all those colors! Love it! When you download this file, you’ll receive 120 sorting pictures for beginning sounds. That’s 5 pictures per letter. You’ll also receive 18 rhyming pair pictures to use to teach and practice the skill of rhyme.
The skill of syllabication is one of the early phonemic awareness skills. There are 33 pictures of 1, 2, and 3 syllable words.
It’s important that students understand that words are comprised of individual speech sounds. By mid-kindergarten/early first we expect children to be able to “segment” or break apart words into their sounds. This skill is called “phoneme segmentation”. There are 44 pictures contained in the Pocket Chart Pictures file that can be used to teach this skill. Students say the word, segment the word into its sounds and then place the picture in correct row indicating the number of sounds.
Just for organization sake, labels for the containers are also included.
If you like this pocket chart product, you may also like the Picture Chart Pictures for Short Vowels/CVC too.
Okay, I know that the Walmart pocket charts aren’t available year-round. There are many options available for you. I found these magnetic pocket charts on Amazon that would work great too. They would be ideal for posting on your wall if using the pictures as a center activity.
I love using Wikki Stix for multi-sensory activities. Wikki Stix are simply wax covered yarn that can be shaped. It’s great to use when teaching letters or sight words as the students shape the yarn into letters. Although Play-Doh is an awesome multi-sensory activity, the clean up with the Wikki Stix is quicker and easier. Now Wikki Stix can purchased commercially, but they are quite expensive. Recently I found a similar product at Walmart- Bendaroos. Bendaroos are a bit cheaper especially if you can get them sale. To even drive the cost down further and in the spirit of D.I.Y., I found a recipe for making your own wax covered yarn. I was so anxious to try this.
To make your own wax covered yarn you’ll need to gather the following materials:
So the first thing you’ll do is melt the wax ring in a pan, but first place the pan in another pan filled with water. When the wax is melted, remove the plastic ring.
Now place the paraffin wax in the pan. My paraffin wax came in blocks so I wasn’t quite sure how to measure 1/2 cup. I placed one block in the pan, but in hindsight, I should have used 1 1/2- 2 blocks as I wish my sticks were a little “stickier”.
As the paraffin wax is melting, cut your yarn. You can cut the yarn into any length you wish. When you purchase Wikki Stix or Bendaroos, the sticks are approximately 6″ in length. I always wish they were longer so I cut 12″ pieces. As you can see from the above pic, the wax has a brown color. The red, green and blue yarn that I used worked great, but the purple yarn came out more brownish than purple.
Now simply dip the yarn in the wax and then place it on wax paper to dry. Be sure to hold the yarn up over the pan so that the excess wax can drip off.
So, how many wax covered yarn sticks can you make with this method? Tons! I was dipping yarn for over 1/2 hour before calling it quits. I actually had wax left over so I could have been dipping for at least 15 minutes more. After the sticks dried, I simply cut them again in various lengths and stored them in a baggie.
Now your students are ready to use the yarn to form letters or words.
Phew! What a summer project. It took about a month, but I was able to combine several of the cookie sheet activities into bundles. Volumes 1 (ABC Order, Rhyme, and Making Words), 2 (Early Numeracy) and 4 (Beginning Sounds) comprise the Pre K- Kindergarten Cookie Sheet Bundle. Those volumes are ideal for preschool and kindergarten literacy centers (and even beginning first). Now just for my first grade friends. The First Grade Cookie Sheet Activities Bundle includes Volume 3 (sight words), 5 (Blends and Digraphs) and 6 (Word Families). Below are the activities contained within the First Grade bundle.
Cookie Sheet Activities Volume 3 contains 3 sight word activities designed to be used during small group instruction or as activities within your literacy centers. The Building Sight Words activity contains 43 templates with sight words from lists 1-9 of the Dolch 220 sight word list. Students just love building sight words with magnetic letters.
It’s really important that students learn those sight words within context. When you download this activity pack you’ll receive 11 Sight Word Sentences templates with words from lists 1-3. Nine 4-In-A-Row templates are also included in this volume.
Volume 5- Consonant Blends and Digraphs
This volume is great for teaching consonant blends and digraphs. There are 17 templates for sorting blends and digraphs. The colorful and engaging pictures are a hit with both teachers and students. These templates allow for differentiation as students can sort either two or four sounds.
In addition to the sorting templates, you will receive 10 templates where the students are required to place the correct letter cards (digraphs or blends) within the word to correspond to the picture.
Volume 5- Cookie Sheet Activities for Blends and Digraphs can be purchased separately through the Make, Take & Teach website or through my online Teachers Pay Teachers store.
Volume 6- Word Families
Volume 6 is designed for learning and practicing word families and is ideal for either small group instruction or as an activity for your literacy centers. When you download this file you’ll receive 13 differentiated templates for sorting word family pictures. This activity is also differentiated as your students can sort either 2 or 4 word families. Cookie Sheet Activities Volume 6- Word Families can be purchased separately through the Make, Take & Teach website or through my online Teachers Pay Teachers store.
You will also receive 15 templates for identifying beginning word family sounds and 4 templates for identifying the word family. Simply cut the pictures (attaching a magnet is optional), place a template on a cookie sheet and you’ll have a ready-made activity.
When you download the Cookie Sheet Activities First Grade Bundle you’ll receive tons of templates and the corresponding pictures. So, it’s best to get organized right off the bat. To store each volume, I purchased the 15″ x 11 1/2″ x 3 1/4″ Sterilite containers which I found at our local Walmart. They are so durable and stack nicely. I also store the pictures in baggies. In this file, I’ve include the labels for you.
The Cookie Sheet Activities First Grade Bundle can be found in my TpT online store. Enjoy!
It’s somewhat of a mixed blessing living in a small town. I love where I live, but outside of Walmart and Meijer, there really isn’t much terms of shopping. It’s always a treat, though, when I get to travel to a “big city” about an hour from my home and visit the Michael’s Craft Store. I’m afraid if we had a Michael’s I’d be in that store everyday! Well on a recent shopping trip, I picked up these felt letters. I though they’d be perfect for making tactile letters.
I found a version of this idea on Pinterest a few weeks ago. I’d love to give the blogger credit, but when I clicked the link, the blog was no longer available. The original version used sandpaper to make the letters- that’s a great idea, but the felt was so much easier. To make the tactile letters, simply place each letter on a sample paint chip (thanks Home Depot!). If you wish, you could put the vowels on one color (I always use red for vowels) and consonants on another color. With fabric paint, I placed a dot on the spot where the formation of the letter begins.
The bag of felt stickers had multiples of each letters and numbers too. You could make several sets for your kiddos!
Just in case you can’t find these at Michael’s, here’s a link for a similar product that would work great too.