Do you love inexpensive teaching materials as much as I do? Target’s Dollar Spot has great back to school items for teachers RIGHT NOW ( it’s early July 2019 as I write this). My shopping cart was filled with these letter erasers and the star bulletin board borders and so much more. I am using the letter erasers and borders to make simple literacy center activities for preschool and kindergarten literacy centers. These letter erasers would be a great substitute for the magnetic letters in the sight word activity for literacy centers I shared last week. I am a firm believer in that you can never have too many literacy center ideas, so I hope these add a few new ones to your classroom.
Want to see some literacy center activities? Scroll down, I’ve got a bunch, but they all use the same simple materials.
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Gather your materials. You will need some letter erasers, a tray ( this one is from IKEA and as far as I know is still available), a black permanent marker, and the star bulletin board borders. If you want to cut the border, grab some scissors too.
You can use these simple materials in so many ways. When children are familiar with materials using them in new ways is an excellent exercise in creative thinking as well as offers children who need that scaffold of familiarity to try new things.
Color Matching with Letters Letter Recognition Activity
The first activity is merely matching the letters to the colors on the tray. Now the letter erasers come in every color except for pink, if you think this will bug your students simply cut the stars into separate shapes. Personally, I love the strip and how easy it is to switch out in one piece, so I’m leaving it. It’s a good lesson to learn sometimes nothing fits or matches; sometimes it’s OK to leave an option blank.
Uppercase & Lowercase Matching Literacy Activity
For this activity simply write lowercase letters on the stars and have children match the uppercase letter erasers to the letters. Check out more upper and lowercase matching activities here.
Name Matching Activity for Literacy Center Activity
Learning to spell your name is a significant milestone, and we can help with this literacy center activity. Write out the child’s name using upper and lowercase letters making sure the name is written correctly using upper and lowercase letters. Next, have the child match the letters up using the letter erasers. This of course also works on upper and lowercase matching but the focus is on the child’s name. You will want to have at least three sets of erasers to do this with a class to make sure you have enough letters for names. If your target is all sold out of the erasers, I have found more letter options here, or you could also just use letter stickers. Find more name activities here.
Number Matching – a Literacy and Math Center Crossover Event
I need to get out and interact with adults more because this title made me laugh way too much. My point is explicit literacy and math activities can often go hand in hand. There really is no reason to isolate activities as learning isn’t isolated when it’s authentic. I like to make sure all areas are being covered and use my planner ( download mine for free here) to ensure they are, often activities could be in multiple areas. I encourage you to find ways to do this in your class.
This is merely using letters as a math manipulative, and I love doing this in my class, as letters are just becoming fascinating to my students and my goal is less about targetted recognition, especially at the start of the year, and more about becoming familiar and curious which takes exposure. What better way to expose them than using the letters for play? This is also why I use letters for color matching activities like the first in this post.
I hope these ideas are useful for your early childhood literacy center or for you as you homeschool. You can find many more great ways to teach early literacy for toddlers through kindergarten in my new book Setting The Stage For Rock-Star Readers.