ABC Center – See, Stamp, Write and Explore


As a big fan of year-long literacy centers, I don’t really know how to use anything else. {Nor would I want to}

Here is how I put together an ABC center, expectations, and the standards.

This center, like most of mine, uses hands-on materials and includes student choice. This is a fantastic recipe to make a literacy center last all year.

ABC Center - See, Stamp, Write and Explore - KindergartenWorks

First, let me address the name. An ABC center – all year long? Yes.

Don’t let the name fool you.

That’s just the kinder-friendly name I gave it.

It’s really a manipulating letters and sight word/word work center… but those use letters of the alphabet, you know? So, ABC center it is.

ABC Center Setup

The ABC center has a really simple setup. It’s all organized in one location and students take what they need to wherever they want to work in the classroom.

Drawers are Kinder Friendly

I find that more of the drawer units made their way into my room every year that I taught – and for good reason. Mr. KindergartenWorks knows that one way to this girl’s heart is plastic organization.

Ridiculous, I know.

Here are 2 three-drawer units stacked on top of each other to create the “abc center.” Kinders can remove the drawers and take them to any workplace.

ABC Center - See, Stamp, Write and Explore - KindergartenWorks

Labels are Too

The drawers are labeled so that students can find and return what they need – on their own. The items in the drawer match the label or have a matching label to help things get put back where someone can find it.

ABC Center - See, Stamp, Write and Explore - KindergartenWorks

Well, except for that last drawer. Don’t ask why. I’m not perfect.

Which probably explains why stuff gets out of place. {{Just maybe}}

ABC Center Expectations

Very few of my literacy centers have a finished product. And I like it that way. This center is one of three (out of 15) that does have a finished product.

Students have a “must-do” front page to complete with (affiliate) letter stamps, pencils and crayons.

ABC Center - See, Stamp, Write and Explore - KindergartenWorks

The front of the double-sided page features our main sight word from the week before (so they are very familiar with it).

ABC Center - See, Stamp, Write and Explore - KindergartenWorks

They stamp the sight word using letter stamps.

I recommend this type of (affiliate) letter stamp – and you only need lowercase since that’s what kinders see most in print and we want to expose them to the most, anyways.

We keep our letter stamps in a pencil box but you could easily use any shallow storage container that has a lid.

ABC Center - See, Stamp, Write and Explore - KindergartenWorks
ABC Center - See, Stamp, Write and Explore - KindergartenWorks

They write the word twice and use it in a sentence. This is the “must-do” portion of the page. They flip it over to the open-ended portion. Now student choice comes into play.

Students use the options of sort or make to begin their own self-guided discovery.

They pick a type of manipulative letter from the rest of the drawers. Choices include velcro letters (and a folding felt board), magnetic letters (and a small magnet board), upwords letter tiles (an upwords board) and I’ve used foam letters and letter beads in the past too.

These were all garage sale finds and the variety feels like choice (and play!) to kinders.

ABC Center - See, Stamp, Write and Explore - KindergartenWorks

Pencil boxes hold the manipulatives and are labeled to match the drawer labels. I probably don’t need them.

The drawer would work by itself… and I just realized that. {hmmmm}

Each drawer includes a set of workmats with sorting and making options to help give structure to those who need it. They also provide a defined workspace.

ABC Center - See, Stamp, Write and Explore - KindergartenWorks

They use the back of their page to document their work. Since they are using manipulatives – this is how they keep a record to share with us and their family of the work they did.

This student {above} is preparing their paper. He plans to sort letters by formation – straight, kind of wiggly, both. I {heart} kinder-spelling!

ABC Center - See, Stamp, Write and Explore - KindergartenWorks

Since the (affiliate) letter stamps are already at this center, they are a manipulative choice! Students can use them to sort (in a variety of ways) or make (sight words, cvc words, abc order) too. This student is making sight words using the letter stamps.

I don’t grade these pages (I don’t really grade anything at all) – but I do glance at them to make sure they are complete. They often like to share their open-ended portion during our center wrap-up time.

ABC Center - See, Stamp, Write and Explore - KindergartenWorks

A new sheet each week (since they normally only go there once in a week since we have 15 different centers) makes this center last all year long. They continually try new things on the b open-ended section – seeing the things that others share and the things that are edified in front of the class.

Accelerated Modifications

For kinders that are working a strong first grade level of both spelling and reading (and above) then I tweak this activity for them. They have a blank one of these and they pick one of their individualized spelling list words.

They essentially create their own worksheet and sentence and really enjoy the challenge. I also encourage outside of the box thinking work on the back from these kinders!

ABC Center Standards

I have a poster that is posted in the abc center. I do this in all of my literacy centers. It is a picture visual for students to see that they have a choice in how they want to use their time.

ABC Center - See, Stamp, Write and Explore - KindergartenWorks

This center provides many opportunities to practice and meet these Common Core Standards:

  • K.RF.1.b – Recognize that spoken words are represented in written language by specific sequences of letters.
  • K.RF.1.c – Understand that words are separated by spaces in print.
  • K.RF.3.c – Read common high-frequency words by sight.
  • K.RF.3.d – Distinguish between similarly spelled words by identifying the sounds of the letters that differ.
  • K.L.1.a – Print many upper- and lowercase letters.
  • K.L.2. – Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

If you like this idea and want it made to go, I’ve got your back. This entire abc center is available – complete with sight word pages (and open-ended back), literacy center poster, organization labels, work mats and more! You’ll just need the (affiliate) hands-on letter stamps, stamp pads and manipulative letters.

ABC Literacy Center Kindergarten - See Stamp Write - KindergartenWorks

ABC Center – Purchase Instant Download

Think it might work in your classroom? What tips do you have for using manipulative letters? If you like what I do here on KindergartenWorks, then be sure to subscribe today. I look forward to sharing ideas with you weekly.

More Year Long Literacy Centers

See List of All 15 Literacy Centers


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    1. I really didn’t see much mess. Every now and then maybe someone had to wash off their fingers, but it wasn’t that often. The stamps didn’t make too much mess when the kids put them back in the tray holder. We also had Clorox wipes provided in our classroom that kids could use to clean up messes if they needed them.

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