Saturday, February 26

Reading Centers

So, this week I was standing around scratching my head thinking, "Golly, what on earth am I going to do for literacy centers next week?"  And, of course I'm thinking this as I'm surrounded by PILES of stuff I've accumulated but never seem to use.  So, I got to thinking: Why don't I use all of my extra stuff to make reading centers? Two birds, one stone, right?

I can't say that what I came up with is too terribly brilliant, but I thought I'd share a couple of activities anyways just in case you're knee-high in extra supplies too!!!!! 

Unifix Cube Compound Word Building

Here's how it works: Program unifix cubes with compound words. Write each smaller word in the compound word on a different color of unifix cube. 

Then, put the cubes for each compound word into a baggie.

Whenever you use the center, kiddos just come and grab a baggie of cubes and build a compound word. By having each smaller word in the compound written on a different color of cube, kiddos can figure out the compound word without being overwhelmed.  It also helps them break the compound word down into its two components.  Here are some example words written on the cubes.

Finally, you can have your kiddos write the words they build on this recording sheet in a word sentence.
I'll be doing compound words with my higher kids. For my lower kiddos, I'll just throw a bunch of letter cubes for a certain sight word into a baggie, and they'll have to unscramble the letters in the baggie to build a sight word. Then, they'll have to write the sight word on a recording sheet and use it in a sentence.

Pattern Block Vocabulary

This center is SUPER SIMPLE. And, who doesn't need a little bit of simplicity in their life?

So, to make it just get some pattern block picture templates (I got mine from my FABULOUS and LOVELY co-teacher Mrs. Enge).  Then, write vocabulary words or sight words you want kiddos to practice on each shape blank.

This center is designed as a game to be played in pairs. To play, students grab a pattern board and a tub of pattern blocks. Then, they take turns trying to cover up all of the spaces on their pattern picture with blocks. To cover a space, a student has to say the word on the space AND use it in a sentence correctly. If they can do those two things, they can cover the space.

The first kiddo to cover their entire picture wins.

Oh, and did I mention how excited I am that it is THE WEEKEND?!?!?!? WHOOOOO!  Can you say Pajama, Bible and Star Trek marathon?  FAB-U-LOUS. I am so excited.

Have a WONDERFUL weekend!!!!
Mrs. Thiessen


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great ideas! Ever since I first introduced compound words, my kiddos find them everywhere!! :)

First Grade Smarties said...

I love this idea with compound words on unifix cubes. Thanks so much for sharing. I love the pattern block sight words too. Now I need to get to school and get some cubes.
Thanks, Claire

Mrs. Daniels Kindergarten said...

Would it be possible to share the templates for the pattern blocks.

Kathy said...

I like your ideas and LOVE your taste in TV!! I am also a HUGE FAN of Star Trek!

Live long and prosper,
First Grade a la Carte

Ladybug said...

Love both of those ideas! Thanks for sharing! :)

Mireya Aguirre said...

Awesome idea with the unifix cubes!! My kiddos will love this activity!

Thanks for sharing!!!

Melissa said...

I'll be using that pattern block idea for sure! I might even put it in math stations with addition and subrtaction facts instead of words. My kids love some pattern blocks. Thanks!

F is For First Grade

Alexandra Thiessen said...

Hey Y'all,

I would TOTALLY love to share the pattern block mats, but the patterns are from a website and I don't know if they're under copyright.

But, don't let that stop you from making your own!!! Here's a link to the mats I used:

I'll see if they're under copyright, and post mine if they're not.

Have a fabulous night!

Sarah Paul said...

Love this idea! My students will love this game:)


Tina said...

Great ideas! I especially love that the activities use items I already have. Thanks!

Jenn Bates said...

LOVE the pattern block idea! My kids will eat that up. Thanks.
Finally in First

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Jen said...

Oh my goodness!! I LOVE these ideas! I think i'll use the unifix cubes with word families!


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Kristen Smith said...

Thank you so much for the ideas!! My class loves the pattern block game! We play it often!! I would love it if you checked out my blog. Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the inspiration!!! I LOVE the idea of compound words with unifx cubes. I just found a bunch at a garage sale. I made a compound word set and I also made a set for each month using seasonal/monthly words. I can't wait for my second grades to use this after summer.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if you'll actually see this comment since it's an older post, but I'm curious about how the students know whether they've said and used the word correctly - are they just self-monitoring and they either admit if they don't know the word or their partner tells them if they think they have it right or not? Or is it assumed that it's being used as a review so they'll know it?
Thanks for any clarification, these both sound like wonderful ideas!

Kristin said...

Found your ideas on Pinterest - SO CUTE. LOVE IT ALL!!!! Thanks for sharing!

Carol said...

Love these ideas for my middle school classroom...and I'm planning to use the pattern block idea with this twist: The individual blocks with words could be characteristics of the overall shape (your butterfly could have its characteristics, or the parts could be labeled). Kids would read and match the detail words-good quick review, and especially good for English Language Learners. Your posts are inspiring me!

Unknown said...

How cool! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

These are fantastic ideas and I love that they are simple and require hands on materials. Thank you!!

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