Mad for Mats!

If you're like me, you're always looking for meaningful literacy centers that will engage your students; however, getting those centers prepped and ready can be overwhelming at times! Now, I love a themed literacy center {proof here}, but there are times when I need center activities that are low prep and non themed so that I can pull them out any time I need a group of students to work on a specific skill.
When all of that in mind, I started working last summer to create some phonics activities for my students that I could use when they got to a certain phonics skill. Because I teach phonics in small group, and my groups are usually on different skills, I wanted something I could easily print, laminate, and cut. That's when I decided to make mats!

I started by making mats for my visual discrimination pack {read about it here}. When my students first started literacy centers at the beginning of the year, these were perfect to get them exposure to letters as well as sorting. most of my mat activities, I use them in a sensory bin. The students have the mat in front of them, and they use tweezers to find the pieces for the mats. 

For my kiddos working on beginning sounds, I have mats for sorting pictures by sound/beginning letter. These are perfect in the beginning of the year, and for mid-year for students who may need some extra reinforcement of those letter sounds.

Now that the majority of my students know their sounds, many of my students are working on sounding and blending CVC words, and CVC mats are perfect for this. There are two versions of these mats - one has the word and the pictures get sorted while the alternate has pictures on the mat and the words are sorted.

Our cards for the CVC mats are currently in our big sensory tub, which is filled with fake snow - messy, but the kids love it!

For my kids who came to me knowing the majority of their sounds and have mastered CVC words, we're now working on long vowel patterns. This week, we were working on long a spellings, so I only prepped those mats from my long vowel pack. I love that since they've been working with these mats this week, they're already so much more fluent in these words!

The thing I love most about these mats is that they're super easy to prep - print, laminate and cut {and it's all squares, so the cutting is easy!}. Because of that, I have a wealth of phonics resources at my fingertips whenever my students need to move to a new skill.

Update: :)
I was asked if I would bundle my mats, and I bundled all of them except for the letters, since they're part of my visual discrimination pack that has other activities. You can grab the bundle by clicking the picture below :)


  1. Do you meet with each group everyday? I'd love to see a schedule of how you do your groups. How awesome that each group is covering a different skill. I only see my groups once a week and I just don't think it's cutting it! Need to figure that out! ;)

  2. Since I haven't bought any of these yet (but plan to) any chance you'll create a mat bundle??
    Thanks for considering :)

  3. The kids really like this kind of learning and at the same time interacting with others too.

    Dealer Digium


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