We had our first 'brush' of snow yesterday- we read A Snowy Day and then I filled plastic totes with snow for the kids to explore and watch melt!
And today we are housebound with 12 inches on its way:
(my current view)
So it's only fitting that our centers and morning tub activities reflect the season!
If you didn't already read my Winter Math Centers post, be sure to head there too:
But today's post is all about ABC Fun!
Our school uses FUNdations and we are required to give the unit tests. If 80% of our class does not meet benchmark, we cannot go onto the next unit.
Next week is our 'assessment week' for FUNdations Unit 1- which we have been in since the beginning of school. The test requires you to meet 1:1 with each student, so I needed some activities for my kiddos to do independently while I conducted the assessments (we don't have full time teaching assistants in our district). Since I will be doing them during my 'Word Work' block, I wanted my kids to still participate in 'word work' activities.
Here is the list of what we will be doing!
The first few are not seasonally based but are goodies I can't give up!
1. Letter Locks
These are from Lakeshore and the kids L-O-V-E them!
I put a binder ring on each lock and they have to collect all the binder rings to show that they were able to match all the upper/lowercase letters (they haven't figured out how to 'unclip' a binder ring yet so shhhhhh! It makes it easier for me to set-up because I don't have to unlock each one!)
2. Leaping Letters
We got this game from our classroom elf this Christmas and it is SO MUCH FUN!
It's like Perfection (am I dating myself knowing that game?!) but with letters!
And the letters don't actually FLY like they are on the cover...so no worries about chaos!
The elf told me he got it from BJ's Wholesale Club but he also said he saw it on Amazon!
These are FABULOUS because the kids LOVE using the links!
This is a freebie from Jennifer White on her blog.
These were a morning tub activity, along with the locks, since about October. I would just add the letter(s) we learned the previous week into the bucket until we had all the letters in there.
3. ABC Ice Fishing
I found this on Pinterest! It is from Joyfully Weary and it's FREE!
She gives you the ABC fish in both lowercase and capital.
I had the fishing poles from a Lakeshore Phonics Game (although I have made additional poles using a dowel, string and a magnet) and I snagged 2 copy paper boxes from the copy room to make the 'frozen pond!'
I copied the lowercase fish on white cardstock and put 2 staples in each one as she suggests.
(So smart! I have used paperclips before and they always pull off & kids have a hard time getting them back on!)
I copied the uppercase set on blue paper and put them into sleeve protectors. The kids are going to work in pairs to fish out the lowercase and match them to the uppercase fish.
4. Snow Globe Letter Matching
This was another Pinterest find! It is from Mom Inspired Life and she has an uppercase letter globe, lowercase letter globe and blank globe for you to download for FREE!
She has her child cover the letters with white stickers, but I wanted a reusable activity. My magnetic letters were too big but my letter beads were the PERFECT size!
I have both capital and lowercase letter beads but chose to only use the lowercase ones for now since that is what most of our FUNdations work has focused on.
I put all 26 letters into a bowl for matching:
I printed the globes front/back so I could differentiate instruction:
To the kids its looks like they are completing the same activity, but you know you are giving each one what they need to practice at the time.
5. Roll and Cover
I got these alphabet dice while at the I Teach K! Conference in Las Vegas last July from a booth hosted by a company called 'Box Cars and One Eyed Jacks.' They have an online catalog that sells them for both US and Canada.
The dice are $1.50 each- I have used them for a few activities already this year and the kids LOVE them.
I made a mat, grabbed some Target Dollar Spot erasers, the dice and little plastic baskets.
These dice TAKE OFF when rolled on the tables...so having them roll them in the basket helps keep it in place and on the table...and less noise!
They roll a letter, say it's name and then find it on the mat and cover it.
I printed the mats front/back for upper and lowercase, but for now we're just using the lowercase side. After some practice, they'll be allowed to choose a side for morning tubs.
You can grab the mat for FREE at the end of this post!
6. ABC Winter Express
Each kid has a train...they find the upper, lowercase and a picture for each letter.
Click the picture to find it in my TpT Store.
7. 'Snow' Writing
I love sand/salt trays...but they are usually bulky and inevitably always get knocked over!
I filled 5 plastic crayon boxes with a mixture of salt and glitter (well not so much 'FILLED' but poured enough in to cover the bottom!)
I put letters a-z on a word ring (in FUNdations you only practice writing the lowercase letters for the first 12 weeks- after our Unit 1 test we will learn how to write uppercase letters) and in each box.
They open the box, take the word ring out, find 'a' and write it in the salt. They GENTLY shake the box side to side to erase the letter and flip to the next letter. They continue to write, shake, turn until they have practiced all 26 letters.
This was an inexpensive center to set up- 1 container of salt covered all 5 boxes and I only used a little bit of glitter in each!
DO be careful to keep the boxes flat...the salt is so fine it 'leaks' out the seams if put on it's side!
You can find the writing snowballs in both capital and lowercase for FREE at the end of the post!
All 7 of these stations will be set up and they can travel freely to any they want to do as long as their is room at that table/area.
I do want each of them to visit the salt tray station because they each need handwriting practice, so there will be a 'sign-in' sheet at that table. After they complete it they will write their name next to their printed name so I can remind those that haven't done it yet to do so.
Want to grab the roll/cover mats and snowball writing cards?
and if you didn't already visit the Winter Math Center freebies, head there now:
I have been pinning a lot of cute ideas to my Winter Pinterest Board too:
If it's snowing where you are...stay warm and safe!
If not...send some sun our way please!
Until next post,