Friday, October 16, 2015

Sweet & Simple ABC Centers

I will be the first to admit that I sometimes overdo it with "cutesifying" things for my classroom. Clip art, fonts, borders, color printing, and bright paper are like water and air to me, I live off of them and I have no shame about it! 

That being said, sometimes simple is just so sweet. I wanted to share a few sweet and simple, un-cutesy but still engaging activities I've used recently for literacy centers. And of course, there's a freebie along the way.

Ransom Note ABC's
Newspapers, magazines, ads, and other print material become inexpensive literacy tools with just a pair of scissors. I sat down in front of the TV with our Sunday paper and snipped away. You might be weird like me and also laminate them but it's not necessary. 

Get a copy of the sweet and simple ABC mat here

Upper Case Lowercase Sort
Sometimes the printer breaks before school and your plans go our the window. That was the antecedent that led to this activity. A mark, scissors, and scrap strips of paper turned two mini pocket charts into an easy uppercase/lowercase sorting activity.

I know I saw a similar activity somewhere on Instagram but I don't know where. I planned to create a cutesy version similar to this but after seeing how engaging it was already, I am keeping this one simple!

Geoboard Matching Game
Geoboards are a common classroom tool which made these super easy for me to whip up. The students use rubber bands to connect the uppercase letter to the matching lowercase letter. I cut up random label scraps so that I can change and remove the letters as needed. This was easy to differentiated as well by having some boards with 5 and some with 10.

ABC Letter Hunt

Again, another way to make use of those magazines and newspapers before you toss them out. For this activity I usually rip out the advertisements because they have the biggest and more colorful letters (depending on the magazine, make sure your screen the content before handing them off the the kiddos!).

I write a letter at the top of a piece of construction paper and the kids hunt for the letters in their papers. They cut them out and glue them down. This is a huge hit in our class and I absolutely love that so many of the kids get to have a part in creating the pages. 

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