Monday, February 15, 2016

Letter Formation Literacy Centers

In order for early learners to master forming letters, they must internalize each letter’s shape and orientation. As often as possible I use fun kinesthetic activities to help students with letter reversal remediation, discrimination between similarly-shaped letters (b d g q for example), and shaping hard-to-form letters (s for example). 

Here are some kinesthetic activities I use that don't require any special materials:
Alphabet Play-Doh mats are great too! They really help students 'get' letters like P and S. Here are images of my Play-Doh Mats. Click here to download them for free! Don't forget, you can use Wikki Stix as well as play-doh!
Dot painting, scissoring, and tracing also help students internalize the shape and orientation of letters. Here are some printable activities from my TpT store. 
Handwriting Without Tears has products, like the wooden pieces shown below, that you can use to help your students internalize letter shapes. Click here to take a look.
Using letter stamps is so much fun and not only reinforces letter size, shape, and direction, but it also helps with spelling. And guess what? It’s fun! My favorite letter stamps came from Lakeshore Learning.
That's it for now! I hope that you got some ideas from this post, or are able to use my freebie. If you would like to receive future posts in your Email InBox, we can do that! Just Follow Me via email. The option is near the top of the page on the right hand side and it looks like this: 

Now, for the important question... 
What are your students' favorite Literacy Centers?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Hands-On Math for Pre-K/K

I use hands-on games and Centers to help my early learners develop math skills. This month we are learning about Zoo Animals. I'd like to share some of my students’ favorite math games and Centers that involve Zoo Animals!

My students love to spin spinners! And with Spin & Tally my students get to spin a spinner, make tally marks, and write the total. This can be an independent or small group Math Center. If you are interested in looking further at any of these products, click on the picture and it will take you to my TpT store!
 In a similar activity, Dice Games, the students roll a die, make tally marks and total, or graph, or color by ordinal numbers. This can also be an independent Math Center, or a small group Math Center.
  We amp up the fun by having the kids use binoculars and clipboards  for Count the Room. I ‘hide’ zoo animal pictures throughout the classroom, some easy to spot, and others more difficult. The students use binoculars (just for the fun of it!) to spot the animals, and a clip board to keep track of how many of each type they have found. Once they feel they have found all of the animals,  the students total their results. 
My students practice taking turns while playing A Trip Through the Zoo. This board game has the student take a card or roll a die and then move his/her playing piece the appropriate number of spaces.
Hey! Are you cheating?!
And you can’t go wrong with Bingo! Students use early math skills as they match pictures. They practice patience as they wait for the next card to be turned over. And you can easily alter it to fit your students. For example, when I recently played Zoo Animal Bingo with my class, instead of showing the card, I described the animal’s characteristics instead. This made it more challenging, and was a fun way to check their understanding!
Practice ordering numbers 1 to 30 with this FREE Zoo Animal Counting Puzzle
Click here to get it. And if you would like to be alerted to other freebies, please Follow Me by email. You don't want to miss out!

What games and activities do you use in your classroom to make math fun?