One thing every teach has is magnetic letters. But really, what is exciting about a magnetic letter? They can easily find themselves in a corner, easily ignored by kids. With all of the other exciting centers, I probably wouldn't pick them either! Since our kids NEVER choose to work in that center, we decided to add a few activities to encourage them to select this work station. Here are a few of those ideas.
Which Doesn't Belong?
To play this game, the children select one of the cards. Then, they find the magnetic letters to match the ones on the card. Invite the children to look closely at the letters. Ask, Which letter doesn't belong in the group? In this case, the "n" doesn't belong. It is the only letter with both curved and straight lines. NOW....if they pick a different letter and can justify it, great! There can be more than 1 right answer!
Beginning Sounds: Blends & Diagraphs
Earlier in the year I created an activity similar to this one except it was just for the beginning letter, not a blend or diagraph. Here's my thinking...I can't be everywhere in the room. I want to create centers that can easily be modified to address a new or more difficult skill, but the activity is the same as a previous center! This helps my kids to be more independent in stations! When I made the activity, I can either leave it as cards (like on the left) or cut them apart to have separate cards (like on the right). When I made the cards, I put the empty boxes at the beginning of the card to remind the children we were looking for beginning sounds.
Ending Sounds: Blends & Diagraphs
To make a set of ending sound cards, I simply went through my clip art looking for a picture for different ending blends and diagraphs. When I got stuck, I googled "ending sound diagraphs or ending sound blends". This would give me a list of possible clip art pictures I could look for.
Put the empty box at the end of the card to remind the children we were looking for the ending sounds. I didn’t stress about there not being a card for every letter. Many letters do not appear at the end of words where they produce their own sound!
Word Families: Long Vowels
When working with word families, consider using the CVCe spelling pattern first. This pattern is easier for the kids to see. They catch on to the idea that by adding an "e" to the end of the word, you can now make the long vowel sound. Be sure and make cards for each long vowel. You will find that some long sounds and not represented in each of the spelling patterns.
Long Vowels: CVCeSelect one of the CVCe game boards. The pictures all contain the same long vowel sound. Invite the children to stretch the sounds to spell each word, adding an "e" to make the long vowel.
Long Vowels: CVVCSelect one of the CVVC game boards. The pictures all contain the same long vowel sound. Invite the children to stretch the sounds to spell each word. These can be trickier. For example, the long "e" can be made with "ee" or "ea".
Word LaddersWord ladders are a lot of fun. To play the game, invite the children to select a card. On each card, the children make the first word. To make the second word, the children will change only one letter in the first word. For example, they started with bike and changed the “i” to an “a” to make bake. As the children work down the card, they will change the letter in 3 positions of the word (not the final position, it will remain an "e" each time).
Give each child a magnifying glass and one of the sight word cards. The children use the magnifying glass to look at the tiny word on the card. They lay the card down and use magnetic letters to make the word.When children are learning a new word, here are the steps to follow:
1. Show the child the word.
2. Discuss the word.
3. Mix up, or cover up, the word.
4. Have the child use magnetic letters to make the word..without looking at the word.
5. Show the child your wod and compare their word to yours.
6. If they don't match, try again from the beginning.
These steps train the brain to look at the word as a unit and not at each individual letter.
All of these are from the Magnetic Letters 2 Unit.You can find a video of these activities (here).
Magnetic Letters (Short Vowels, Beginning and Ending Sounds, Letter Sorts, and Letter Order) Unit 1
You can find a video of these activities (here).