Friday, December 22, 2017

Postcards for Free Writing

This post contains affiliate links.

Almost every day, my first grade students have a writing "job".  We might be starting a week-long writing project, responding to prompts, adding a new entry into our independent journals, or we could be doing some sort of writing craft!  I like to mix it up, but regardless, my students are writing every day and they LOVE it!

One of the reasons my students love to write each day is because once they finish the "job" that has been assigned for that day, they get to "FREE WRITE".

Basically, I have a table with all sorts of blank writing templates on it and they can choose anything they want to do as long as they are writing!

I was lucky enough to have a retired teacher donate a huge bag of postcards to my classroom earlier this year, but when I noticed we were running low, I whipped up some of my own!

I simply printed a handful of postcards in color, and some on colored cardstock.

They aren't anything fancy, but my kiddos love to write a short message and then draw pictures on the back!  Some of my students just write postcards to their friends and family, but I also try to encourage my students to get creative and think about what they would say if they traveled somewhere different!

Having a variety of writing formats keeps things fresh, and I sure do love getting postcards "mailed" to my desk.  :)

Ready to download your FREE copy of this simple resource???   Just click the blue button below or hop over to my Teachers Pay Teachers Shop.

Thanks for visiting and happy teaching!
Need more literacy resources?
Check out one of my favorite activity packs!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Magnetic Letters Center for All Year

This post contains affiliate links.

When I teach my first graders in guided reading groups, we almost always start out word work with magnetic letters.  I have my metal stove burner covers prepped ahead of time with magnetic letters so all my students have to do is "pull down" the letters needed to make a word.

For example, we might do:  at, bat, hat, chat

Because they are so familiar with building words with magnetic letters, I decided to make a "permanent" literacy center for my students to use ALL YEAR LONG!


All I did was fill up one of our latching center boxes with a few stove burner covers, magnetic letters, and recording sheets!
Because my students simply build the "words of the week" off our front board, nothing has to get swapped out for the rest of the year.  All I really do is copy more recording sheets when they run out.

(Click on the picture above to see the words I use each week!  It's just $2 on Teachers Pay Teachers)

*Quick tips:  
  1. I always draw an "X" in highlighter on the original recording sheet so my students know to bring it up to my desk for me to make more copies when the box runs out.
  2. I laminate the "cover sheet" and Velcro it to the outside of the latching box so that students can see what the literacy center is and read the directions for themselves!
  3. I only have two stove burners in the box because only two kiddos can do this center at a time.  (It can get a little hectic sharing the magnetic letters with more students)

Get a 6 pack of latching boxes and a 100 pack of storage bags:


This literacy center stays out all year, but the other centers I have out are swapped every week or so.  When centers are not "out" for students to use, I store them in 10x13 clear baggies that actually zip (as opposed to Ziplock gallon baggies that are too short, unfortunately!)

That's it!  This literacy center is fairly simple, but there is something SO MEANINGFUL about students building words out of magnetic letters.  This center allows them to do something hands-on while practicing our classroom words of the week!

Need magnetic letters???  Grab some from Target!

Download this BLOG EXCLUSIVE FREEBIE by clicking the blue button above, and then check out these other magnetic letter activities for kids:

Elkonin Sound Boxes // Playdough to Plato
Self-correcting Magnetic Word Work // Differentiated Kindergarten
Alphabet Magnet Beginning Sounds Center // The Letters of Literacy
Pull and Trace Alphabet Magnets // The Kindergarten Connection
Secret Code Seasonal Words // Mom Inspired Life
Editable Sight Word Mats // Mrs. Jones' Creation Station
Letter Identification Alphabet Train // Stay at Home Educator
Number Word Mats // Fairy Poppins
Magnetic Letters Nouns Game // Teach Me Mommy
CVC Word Spinners // Sweet Sounds of Kindergarten
Magnetic Letters Center for All Year // The Simplified Classroom

Thanks so much for visiting my blog!