I recently added the January literacy centers to my Kindergarten Literacy Centers Bundle and I’m going to share all about them today! These centers are non-thematic so they can be used in any setting and can be rearranged as needed.
When I started creating my new literacy centers, I really wanted to create activities that are versatile. Basically, I want other teachers to have a yearlong set of high-quality literacy centers that can be used as-is or rearranged and used in whatever ways fit their classrooms. As I’ve mentioned before, the activities work great in guided reading groups as well. It’s a great idea to teach an activity before placing it into centers anyway, and doing an activity in guided reading groups serves this purpose as well as integrating hands-on activities into group time.
As always, the sight word activities are editable. You can enter up to nine words each week and the words will automatically fill in to that week’s activities. I know some people have been having trouble with Adobe lately so be sure it’s totally updated and, as always, if you are unable to edit, please send me an e-mail!
I also included corresponding practice pages for all of the activities except for the sight word activities. The writing activities all include a recording page. The practice pages are optional but they’re great for checking your students’ understanding.
Here are the centers!
Sight Word Centers: Just like with the previous months, these activities are very hands-on and most of them repeat every four-to-five weeks. This month, the activities are Magnetic Letter Word Building, Cover-Up Cards, Playdough Stamping, and a Hidden Picture.
Sort It Out Centers: These centers build upon the previous months’ skills. The four sorts are First Sounds H/K/J/W/O, -ot/-op Word Families, Real or Nonsense Words, and Short o/Short u Medial Sounds.
These vertical clip-it cards are always popular. Students love getting to use clothespins! I like the mini clothespins but you can use whatever you’d like. Make these self-checking by placing dot stickers on the back of the card to indicate the correct pictures.
Another popular activity is the Spin and Smash/Spin and Cover. You can laminate the mats and have students smash playdough balls onto the pictures. You can also use the “cover” version and use small objects. It’s entirely up to you!
Literacy Spotlight: These activities are always fun for me to create. The activities for this month are -ub/-ug/-un Puzzles, Clip-a-Picture, Sticky Sentences, and Short U Word Family Sticky Word Sort.
These puzzles seem simple at first glance, but they actually separate onset and rime for each word. This will help students learn to read through the word and pay attention to the word endings.
I used full-size clothespins for this activity. Super simple but motivating because of the clothespins and the fun circle mat!
These sticky sentence cards are so much fun. I included simple sentences using the word families I’ve already introduced in the centers. I placed sticky-back hook-and-loop dots (such as Velcro™ dots) on the pictures and the sentence mats. Alternatively, you could have students just match these on the floor/table or use a pocket chart!
I’ve done sticky word sorts in previous months (“sticky” because of the hook-and-loop dots) and I love using them. I always include pictures and words to provide another level of support for students. Some students might be able to sort the pictures but struggle with words alone, so having the pictures to sort first will get them started in the right direction.
I’m a Writer Centers: I love teaching writing, and these writing centers are so much fun to make. They might be simpler than the writing activities you do in shared writing or other whole-group writing work, but remember that the key with these activities is to build independence and meet students where they are. I believe that giving students opportunities to work on their writing independently while not feeling overwhelmed is so empowering for them!
This writing activity includes real photo cards and clipart photo cards with a black-and-white option. The objects and subjects in the pictures encourage students to write words in familiar word families.
In this activity, students will choose a word, write it, write a sentence using the word, and draw a picture to match the sentence. There’s an editable version so you can choose your own words.
My students and my own children have always LOVED writing lists! This activity allows students to choose five things to pack in the suitcase. Then they will write the items on the list.
Labeling is another classic kindergarten writing activity. I’ve included multiple options for this activity. Students can stick the labels onto the picture mat first and then label the picture on the work page. Or, you can just provide students with the work page. There is a version with a word bank and one without it.
The January literacy centers are available on TpT. You can also save with my discounted Literacy Centers Bundle! Click on either picture below.