Friday, September 27, 2013

A Great Way to Use Magnetic Letters for Spelling CVC words

     Welcome to my blog and to my first post ever. I'm a first grade teacher in Brooklyn, New York, and I've been teaching for many years. I love creating things for my classroom and in this blog, I will be sharing many ideas and activities. 

     I'd like to begin with sharing a way I found for kids to use magnetic letters.  I have tons of magnetic letters in every size and color.  I don't use them much, until this year. In the past, I'd typically put them in centers where students copy words (maybe sight words) or maybe I'd have them making sentences.  I'd supply them with one of my many buckets of letters. They'd spend more time looking for letters than making the words.  I'm sure the kids had fun, but I never felt it was very productive.

     I came up with something over the summer, which I love!  I made these sheets (see below) with spaces for words they need to spell, and indicated on the sheets which letters they needed to use.  Now instead of copying, they need to think, and it gives them practice sounding out simple words. The idea came to me while I was playing Mind Snacks on my i pad, learning Italian.  There's this fun game called "Word Birds" and the letters are there for you to spell the foreign words.  It makes it so much easier to spell 'diciassette' when you have all the letters! 

Well, I laminated the sheets and gave them to the kids, (of course I modeled how to do it a couple of times). I was so happy to discover that the magnets stuck, even through laminated sheets (do not use card stock) and, I was even more thrilled when I could hear them sounding out the words as they were playing.

     I made a packet of 30 sheets, 60 CVC words, for my first graders, and they're available in my new TPT store. I broke them up into three centers (a blue, green and red center), so that three students could have their own pack of 10 sheets (It comes with recording sheets and answer keys for each of the three centers) .

    I also thought of an alternative to giving students a basket of letters. I'll show you how I made it.

You need two large cookie pans (This one is 19" by 13" from AC Moore and I paid less than three dollars for it) and thin duct tape.  My magnetic letters are from Lakeshore.

 You make 12 boxes for each cookie sheet.  So, you'll have 24 boxes to place 26 letters.  I squeeze W, X, Y, Z into two boxes.  

I've included these little letters in the packet to help you organize the large sheets. 

     My kids love this center.

     Now, break out those buckets of letters that have been sitting on a shelf somewhere in your classroom closets and put them to good use!  Most importantly, have some fun!! 

     Do you have any good suggestions for center activities using magnetic letters?  We'd love to hear about them.

     Thanks for stopping by.  

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