1-2-3 Come Practice Letter Recognition With Me!
The more you emmerse your kiddo's with letter activities, the more likely the light bulb of understanding will easily come on. Although important, trace and write worksheets, can become tedious and boring after awhile. (skill-drill & kill) It's important to give little learners a variety of hands-on activities.
I try to think up ideas that involve some sort of crafty aspect. Children LOVE these; they provide fine motor skill practice, and completed projects make great bulletin boards and wall displays, that help build a child's self-esteem. I call today's quick and easy letter "craftivity" Search & Find. I strived to do at least one activity a month that recycled something, so using old newspapers to trace on, fit the bill and the results look terrific. These are wonderful for a seasonal Daily 5 activity too!
Here's what to do:
Students find and circle the upper and lowercase letters that the shape starts with. i.e. If a child chooses an apple, they will search for Aa’s. I tried to think up themed-shapes for fall, and added a football, to help excite the boys in your class. To make this a bit more difficult for older students, have them search and circle all of the letters that are in the WORD and then tally or total, how many of each letter they found.
When they are done, students color their newsprint craftivity, with a watercolor marker or highlighter, so that the newsprint still shows through.
Students glue their work to the matching worksheet and fill in the data. Older students can use the greater, less than, or equals symbol, to show THEIR answer, to the correct answer.
When everyone is done, you can graph how many of each beginning letter, that your class found, counting by 10’s. Write each child’s amount on the board and show the addition, one step at a time, to get to a grand total.
Before graphing, have students predict which letter they think they will find the most of, and why. Click on the link to view/download the Search & Find Alphabet Craftivity packet. For more Alphabet FREEBIES, click on the link, to pop on over to that section of my site. Enjoy!
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"Those with a lively sense of curiosity, learn something new every day of their lives." -Unknown
1-2-3 Play An Alphabet Matching Game With Me!
The Dollar Store is one of my favorite stores. My mantra when I go in one is: "What can I do with this, that will help my students learn?" so when I saw that they carried clip-on clothespins, I designed all sorts of games that students could "clip and match." I did this for colors, numbers, upper and lowercase letters, shapes, and even glued my kiddos' photo on the front and back, so they could clip it to a yes or no answer for Question of the Day.
I used another photo clip for attendance. This clothespin could also be used on your behavior board. i.e. Children all start out on the green apple for "good" behavior, and move to a yellow apple when they've been warned, and finally to a red apple if there's a consequence.
Because my little ones needed help recognizing and writing their names, I wrote them on clothespins for them to "find". These were kept in a bucket and were sometimes used when I graphed something. Children could also pick a clothespin out of the bucket and have that child be their partner.
My clothespin craftiness started 13 years ago. Creative minds must think alike, because I've seen clothespin activities all over Pinterest, with similar ideas. One gal used yellow alphabet clothespins as "rays" that were clipped around a sun. This gave me the idea to make several themed alphabet clothespin games.
I started with an apple and then made a pumpkin. I'll fool around with a turkey and its feathers for November. Hopefully by then, all of your students will be able to identify upper and lowercase letters.
Here are some tips to help you make the apple/pumpkin alphabet games. Directions for the pumpkin are similar and included in the packet.
If you are making multiple games, so that more students can play, make a template for the leaves and stem. Print, cut and trace onto an old file folder to make a pattern that’s easier to trace. Using the template, trace the leaf once on green construction paper and then cut several at a time. Do the same for the stem, only on brown construction paper. Glue to the back of your apples then laminate. Children will clip the Aa clothespins on the stem, and the Z or B clothespin on the leaf, depending on where you glue the leaves. Run off the apples on red, yellow and lime green construction paper.
I suggest you clip all of the clothespins onto the apples BEFORE you write the letters on. Since little ones are just learning about letters, it’s less confusing for them, if you print on the clothespins, so that a letter doesn’t appear upside down. i.e. I printed letters E, F, G, H, I, J, sideways with the “pinch” end of the clothespin going to the right, and letters Q, R, S, T, U , V and W sideways; with the “pinch” side going to the left. Letters A, B, C, D, Z, Y, X with the “pinch” side up,; and L, M, N, O, P with the “pinch” side down.
Another help for younger children, and allows for quick sorting, is to print the uppercase letters in red permanent marker, and the lowercase letters on the flip side, in black. Bag up this particular set of clothespins and mark them Apple Clothespins.
Children can also play with a partner, dividing the clothespins so that each child gets 13 to clip. Teacher chooses the partners, so that a stronger student can help a child who’s struggling. There's an apple and pumpkin alphabet anchor chart, so that children can self-check their work when they have completed clipping their clothespins.
Make a few extra games to send home with children who need more one-on-one help. Inform parents via a note (There's one included in the pack) that they may BORROW the game for one week and need to return it on a specific day. Jot yourself a note as to who has the game. I've also included a reminder note to send home, in case a child fails to return the game on time.
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"I was asked to memorize what I did not understand; and, my memory being so good, refused to be insulted in that manner." -Aleister Crowley
1-2-3 Come Park It With Me!
If you do a unit on transportation, you'll definitely want to include "Park It!" in your lessons.
The original idea for the parking lot, came from a home-schooling mom over at "I can teach my child", who made one out of tape for her sons. Click on the link to check out her wonderful site.
I wanted to make this easier, and something you could put away, so I designed the template. I used traceable letters so children could also practice writing with dry erase markers. They can trace the top letter, park their car, and then write the letter(s) under their vehicle.
The Dollar Store sells small cars 6 in a pack. You can also pick them up at garage sales any where from a dime to 25 cents.
Instead of tape, I used tough-stick colored dots. Don't get garage sale ones, because they will peel off easily. For an even more professional look, watch for all of those 40% off coupons from Hobby Lobby, JoAnne Fabrics & Michaels, to buy stickers that already have the letters written on them!
Here's How To Make Your Letter Matching Parking Lot:
Click on the link to view/download the "Park It Packet." Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN anything you think others may find helpful. My "Pin it" button is at the top. If you'd like to see all the adorable educational items that I PIN, simply click on the "Follow me" heart on the right.
"Time is the most valuable thing a person can spend." -Diogenes
1-2-3 Come Review Upper and Lowercase Letters With Me!
I liked to make up a summer fun packet for my students to take home at the end of the year. It was a nice review of everything we had learned.
This packet was also handy for parents to have their child work on, if they complained of being bored, or an easy thing to give children when they wanted to play "school," while on vacation.
I designed this KnOWLedge Owl "craftivity" with that in mind. You could also make it at the beginning of the year, so that students can practice their letters, with their families at home.
Here's How To Make Them:
Run off masters on a variety of construction paper. I chose funky color combinations, but you could also do more realistic owls in various shades of brown.
Rough cut so that students can get their pieces and trim.
You may want a room helper to cut the beaks and feet, just to expedite things.
If you’re having someone cut these for you, it’s easier to trace a template on an old file folder. The helper traces once and then cuts 3-6 at a time.
Pre-cut long envelopes so that students have a pocket to put their extra letter wheels in.
Set up this “craftivity” as a center. When students are done with other work, they can come up and get the color owl pieces of their choice.
Students glue the wings to either side of the owl. They can add some crayon details for more pizzazz.
Student glue the feet to the bottom of their owl so that the tops are glued to the back. I also added crayon details here and then traced the belly of the owl with a white crayon so that the writing “popped.”
Students cut out their white alphabet wheels. Older students can cut and poke their own holes in the eyes; younger students will need this done for them.
To expedite things, I used a circle paper punch to make the letter “windows.”
Poke a hole through the owl’s head and attach whatever wheel you want your students to work on; fasten with brass brads.
Students glue their beak on, after their eyes are in place.
If you want the beaks to be 3D, simply cut a 4-inch wide strip of yellow construction paper, and fold it in half. Trace the triangle template so that it butts up against the fold, then cut the triangles out
Students glue their envelope half to the back of their owl and write their name on it.
Close the open side with a piece of Scotch tape.
This is a safe place where students can keep their extra wheels, so that they don’t lose them.
There are lots of activities you can do with the KnOWLedge owl.
Use as a review game. Choose a quiet child to call out a letter from a-j, k-t, or u-z.
Students spin the top eye wheel ‘til they find those letters. You can also have students partner up and play this game with each other.
You can play “I’m Thinking Of A Letter.” Give clues about the letter and students spin the wheels ‘til they find it. i.e. “I’m thinking of a letter that is a vowel. It comes after the letter N and before the letter P.”
Play “Speed.” You call out a letter and see who can find the upper and lowercase letters the quickest.
Use as an alternative or additional fun way to assess upper and lowercase letters.
These are terrific sent home at the beginning of the year, so that students can practice with their parents.
Ollie, the "Owl-phabet Owl" will be FREE for an entire year, after which time, he'll be up-dated and put in Diane's Dollar Deals in my TpT shop.
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"Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn." -Unknown
1-2-3's, ABC's, and Shapes Via The Mail
Woo Hoo! This is my 500th blog article! Hope you enjoy it.
I love making up special alphabet, number and shape cards for each month.
I think it helps students stay interested and focussed if they come in the first of every month and see a seasonal change that brightens up your room and adds variety to the "same-old- same-old"...
My Y5's loved going to the post office to mail their Valentines. It was a fun way for me to cover that information, and just a few blocks walk from our school.
With that in mind, I wanted to dream up some cards involving envelopes. I thought letters of the alphabet and letters in an envelope was a cute idea, thus Letter Letters, Number Letters and Shape Letters were born.
Number Letters covers the Common Core State Standards: RF.K.3c, K.CC.4a, K.CC.4b, K.CC.4c, K.OA.5,K.CC.6 and is a fun way to review counting, number words, simple addition and subtraction as well as greater and less than.
It includes a blank set for you to program with whatever...+ math symbols: < > + - = so students can make equations and solve them.
I've also included 2-pages of tips of what to do with the cards, including games.
Click on the link to view/downloard Number Letters.
Letter Letters can be used as a border or laminate, cut them up into puzzles and use them to play games.
This packet includes a blank sheet for you to program with whatever...+ a cover so students can make an Itty Bitty Booklet, as well as 3-pages of tips of what to do with the cards.
Finally, Shape Letters is a delightful way to review these 11 2-D shapes: circle, oval, triangle, rectangle, square, pentagon, hexagon, octagon, heart, star and crescent.
The packet helps reinforce colors and color words as well. Remind students that these are two-dimensional shapes and lie in a plane or "flat."
Put them on the wall as a border, or run off a set for your students and have them write the shape word and then trace and color the shape.
You can also laminate them, cut them up and make them into puzzles. Students match the word to its shape.
Pass them out to students and give spatial directions: "Put your shape over, under, between, behind, beside, left-right, etc."
If you do the above, you'll be covering Common Core State Standards: K.G.1, K.G.2, K.G.3
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"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." -Albert Einstein
Puzzled Over What To Do To Assess and Review the ABC's?
Are you looking for some fun ways to assess and reinforce the letters of the alphabet?
Well you’ve come to the right blog spot! It took me 3 days to complete the whopping 67 page Alphabet Puzzle packet .
It's filled with goodies that will help review
Common Core State Standards: LK.1a, L.1.1a, RF.K.1b, RF.K.3c, RF.K.1d, RF.K.3a, RF.K.3b, RF.1.2a, L.K.2c, L.K.5a
The packet includes:
Click on the link to view/download the ABC Puzzle packet.
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“Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to see beyond the imperfections.” -Unknown
Waddle You Do, To Help Students With Letter Recognition?
Are you studying penguins with your students?
This was one of my Y5’s favorite themes. I think they are so adorable and enjoy designing with them.
I just finished Penguin Letter Puzzles
Since putting together a puzzle as well as identifying letters were report card standards, I decided to combine the 2 activities.
Print, laminate and cut out the puzzles. Store them in a file folder or manila envelope.
Students spill them out at a center and work on matching the lowercase letter on the heart to the uppercase letter on the balloon.
You can also pass them out and play “I Have; Who Has?” “I have the uppercase letter A. Who has the matching lowercase letter?
Students enjoy these reinforcement games because they are easy and fun, and you have a chance to whole-group assess to see who is having difficulty and needs extra help.
When children can do these activities successfully, you can give them the two certificates of praise.
I’ve also included a set without the puzzle lines, so you can put them on the wall for a December or January ABC border.
There’s a blank page as well, so you can program the penguins with numbers, names, words, equations etc.
Click on the link to view/download Penguin Puzzle Pals.
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“Learn from yesterday; live for today; hope for tomorrow.” –Albert Einstein
Ring In The New Year With ABC's and 1-2-3's
Sliders are a fun way for your students to review upper and lowercase letters, counting by 1's to 30, skip counting by 2's, 3's, 5's and 10's, plus counting backwards from 10-0 and 20-0.
Students trace the letters and numbers and make a snowman or penguin slider to insert their strips into.
I've included a colorful snowman and penguin as well as ones that are plain, so students can color their own.
You can jazz them up even more by mounting them on construction paper, as I did the snowman.
Give students a glue bottle or for little ones, put a dollop of glue on a small paper plate and have them use a Q-tip to make X number of dots as they count, then sprinkle with silver glitter after you have finished working with the sliders and have reviewed whatever lessons you wanted to.
Students set their sliders some place safe 'til they are dry and can take them home.
How do you make a slider?
Simply run off the templates, (I use white construction paper so they are more durable) and rough cut them, so that students can practice their own cutting skills, which will exercise and strengthen hand muscles.
You may want to slit the lines in the slider's body before hand. This is difficult for little ones to manage with safety scissors. I use an X-acto knife.
Students trim, color and trace their slider and then insert whatever strips you want them to review.
Have students fold down their long ABC strip to manage it better and for ease of taking them home.
Encourage parents, via a newsletter to reinforce these lessons at home.
You can sing the Alphabet Song while pulling letters through the window.
You can play "I Spy" and have a student call out a letter or number. Everyone pulls their strip through til they find it and then raise their slider, so that you see at a glance who has what so that you can whole group assess and help those who are struggling.
Laminate a set for yourself and use as a fun way to assess individuals as well.
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"Tomorrow [January 1st] is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one!" -Brad Paisley