Literacy Centers to Start the Year

Somehow, we've managed to already make it into our 7th week of school...7 weeks! Truthfully, it all feels like a bit of a blur, and in a few more months, I probably won't remember any of it {everyone says the beginning of kindergarten is like childbirth - right?}. However, right now, we are in the swing of workshops {what we call literacy centers}, and my kids are doing a great job! We have been working hard to work on our whisper voices, not interrupting my group, and using Rally Coach in many of our workshops {another Kagan structure I hope to share about soon!}.
At the beginning of the year, I have so many students on various levels, so I try to start meeting their needs immediately. For some, that means basic visual discrimination and fine motor. I've been using these lowercase letters and mats in a small sensory tub {this one has leaves for fall right now}, and having the kids use tweezers to pick a card, then put it on the correct mat. Best of both worlds!

When the kids finish finding all the cards, they can use a highlighter to do a little letter detective activity. They love highlighters!
We've also been working on our fine motor skills while practicing matching lowercase to uppercase letters. For this center, I got some paint sticks at Wal-Mart, wrote letters on them, wrote letters on clothespins, and that's it. Super easy! I also have a group that is matching lowercase to lowercase or uppercase to uppercase.
Some of my students began school already knowing many of their letters, so they've been working on beginning sounds. In my large sensory tub, I have dyed noodles, and my kids use the tweezers to find pictures and match them to the correct letter mat.
Another area my kids need a lot of practice in this year is letter formation/handwriting. We've been doing lots of roll and write with our letters and sight words and making our letters out of playdoh.

As we were getting deeper into small groups and workshops, I realized I was going to need more centers that worked on letters and sounds that were simple, quick to make, and still fun for the kids. So, I created a new pack of simple alphabet centers that can be used any time of year {each center comes in color and black and white!!}. So far, my kids have used the beginning sound clips, letter match puzzles, and beginning sound puzzles. For the puzzles, I don't have pre-made lines to cut the pieces. I free hand the cut so they are self correcting.
 To see more from my new center pack, you can click the picture below.
I'm also using, and will use in the coming months, some of my themed centers. It's a chore some times to change them out, but my kids love themed centers year after year! To see other centers from this post, click the pictures below.

If you don't currently use literacy centers in your classroom, I urge you to start taking baby steps to using them. It is truly amazing how much differentiation you can get in during this time, and the growth the kids make!


  1. Hi Vickie ,

    I happened to chance upon your blog and found it very interesting!

    We have recently launched a science app that uses augmented reality to enhance classroom teaching. The app has 3D models for kindergarten to grade 12. I thought you might want to check it out and may be review it on your blog, if possible.

    It is a paid app(with a few models free) but in case you are interested in trying it out I will be happy to provide you with a free copy.

    The link to the app is: 



    You can also search for the app on the app store as 'Augmenter'.

    Do let me know if you would be interested. I am really Looking forward to your response.

    happy teaching!


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