Squishy Bags
Some conditioner from the Dollar store will make over 10 bags. The kids draw on the baggie making letters, sight words, numbers etc. Be sure to tape the baggie closed!

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"Spacer" man. I used markers to draw and color a spaceman on an old time clothespin.

Using gel boards to practice writing.

Using the white board - one child is using wikki sticks to identify letters, the other is pointing to our word wall to spell a color word and another is writing the color word on the board.

Writing our friend's names

We wrote our names and numbers in salt.


Alphabet stencil templates: Students practice writing the alphabet or just their names and classmates names.

Alphabet dice: Students roll the die and look for a word that begins with the letter from the word wall.

Mailboxes: Students write or draw pictures for a classmate, teacher, or class pet.

Capital and lowercase stamps: Students use a worksheet labeled Read, Stamp, Write. I have written vocabulary that the students have already been introduced to like color and number words, seasonal words, their names, etc. The students "read", stamp and then practice writing the word. They also stamp the alphabet A-Z and then Z-A.

Dictionaries: Students use roll the alphabet die and then look for a word in the dictionary that either begins/ends with the letter on the die.

My first graders had a blast with this center.
 I hunted around and found some alphabet macaroni and kept it in a large
empty pretzel container.  They were to choose three spelling words, find the
letters and glue them to a popsicle stick.  They kept them on their desk to
dry and I would find them using them for book markers AND for crayon rubbings when they were dry. 
I had small paper bowls and black construction paper circles to
help them look for the letters so they weren't pouring them out on the table.
They will scoop some in a bowl and then put individual letters on the black paper as they found them.  WHAT a fine motor activity!

Submitted by Angela
 When school supplies begin to hit the shelves and the notebooks are super cheap, I buy many of them for the entire year.  The children then have their own journal to explore.  I date the beginning and end of each journal.  This is perfect to show their progression to their parents.  They learn to ask for their journals (yes, I work with toddlers and they ask too) and learn to respect other children's journals.  The children are offered many types of writing implements; pencils, crayons, paints, colored pencils, markers, etc.  The opportunity to share this time with the children is priceless.  Some even invite me to "write my name" or draw a picture.  I've seen much growth and development using this simple tool.  The parents love this "scrapbook" of their child's work.  Make notations or write their own words as they speak into their books for that extra added personal touch. 

Put who in one can, did what, in another and where in the other. the students draw one stick from each can then write about it or draw a picture to go with it. To help younger kids you can add pictures to the sticks.

Submitted by Barbara
I was just at a conference on literacy.  One of the presenters did "literacy in a box".  She has a little plastic school supply box for each child in her center.  She had each child's name on the box and kept them stacked on a shelf in the room.  She did it as a large group activity at the beginning of the day.  The materials in each box were individualized for the specific level of that child.  A three year old might just have a pencil and piece of paper.  A four year old may have index cards with specific letters to work on.  Those four year olds who know how to write their letters would have word cards for them to practice writing.  Then as the child accomplishes each goal, the letter cards or word cards are sent home for reinforcement and for parents to see what the child has learned.  I have adopted this in my classroom, but not as a large group activity.  My kids tends to wander in, so I have them do it as we wait for everyone to arrive.  Doing it this way seems to allow for more independence on the part of the child and allows the teacher to work more with the children who need extra help.



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