Let’s talk about some skill building, engaging activities we can use with out students to get them excited about learning.
After all, eager learners who WANT to work on skills are the students we want to have.
We don’t get these types of students instantly.
We have to prep and plan for these types of activities to get students “centered on learning.”
And specifically this week, I want my students to be “Centered on Learning: The Letter Uu.”
Why Uu? That is the letter we are focusing on this week.
Here is an breakdown and explanation of our weekly learning centers from this week.
The yellow center hosted one of my favorite center activities of all times, these umbrella number sense sorts.
Students work together in a group up to 4 to sort out the rain drop under the correct umbrella. There are mats for numbers 1-10, which allows you to focus on specific numbers if you desire. Since we are already learned numbers 1-10, we used all the mats and rain drops as a review. There are 6 rain drops per number which contain numbers, number words, tally marks, ten frames, and base ten blocks.
Next, at the orange center, we used these umpire cards to pitch strikes… or the correctly order the letter of the alphabet right down the middle. (I hope my lame baseball jokes are making you at least smile.) We are really working on using as many LOWERCASE letters as we can since so many of students are resistant towards them when they write. We are also building out ABC ordering skills so this activity is a great way to build these skills, all with a Uu theme.
The red table hosted another FUN center, this one practices initial sounds. Students match the rain drops with the umbrella. You can see that although we intended to sort these out on a table, sometimes my students feel the need for additional room so they take over a floor space. It is their classroom and I love to see problem solving, so we encourage them to go to where they can work!
The activity at purple was by far the students’ favorite of the week. Why? Children LOVE to paint. And teachers love to give them things to paint. I used these ten frames printable as an assessment for our upcoming report cards. There are two sides to this. One side has numbers 1-10 and this side has 11-20. My students use a blue crayon on the backside with the easy numbers, THEN flip over and use a blue q-tip and blue paint in easy to store cups to create rain drops to match the number given. Yes. this is slightly messy but nothing a few baby wipes and hand washing can’t help.
AND I notice that if I have my students fill ten frames with stickers or paint or even erasers, they seem to try much harder and therefore get more correctly. My students almost RAN to this table this week. Not one of my 14 students forgot to use the crayon on the easier side. Not one. Why? They really wanted to paint.
Year ago we had a standard that asked students to differentiate between letters, words, and sentences. Our standard is lightly different now, but close to this one. In fact, we are working on the reading strategy that letters form words now. One step I need my little learners to practice is seeing the differences between numbers, letter, and words. So we took three tree pages and labeled them with LETTERS, WORDS, or NUMBERS. Each tree has it own word on it. Then I created ornaments with each of these things on them. Each students get their own color using colored card stock and an ornament type for easy checking.
Lastly, my students work to build words with the letter u in them. We sound out the words, tap them out, and write them down. I printed these sheets out and laminated them. Now I can use them year after year with only the help of dry erase markers like these thin, black Expo markers.
I hope many of these activities gets you inspired to get centered on learning.
Many of these activities came from this Letter Uu Print & Play Pack you can purchase here.
You can save money with a letter pack bundle as well.
I also have a few freebie files to share that you can only get this way.
To grab this number sense sheet and underwear writing pages click here.
or Dinosaurs Love Underpants.
Then we use these books to make a writing activity with descriptive writing.