Accomplish kindergarten word work Common Core standards with manipulative learning.
Word work won’t feel boring when you use manipulatives, it’ll feel more like play.
In kindergarten, we grow from:
- basic phonemes to
- blends and digraphs to
- cvc and cvce words
as the main components in our word work skills.
Let me share how I use three hands-on tools or materials to make working on these skills interactive and meaningful.
Kinders love using playdough. So, why not use that to your advantage?
We use playdough in our “word work” year-long literacy center.
The advantages are that you can work on just about any level of skill with a few manipluatives.
We always had:
- playdough letter stampers (from Lakeshore)
- playdough storage tubs
- laminated workmats
The beauty was I could easily rotate out what workmats students were using to keep the center fresh and working on the word work skills I wanted them to use.
My kinders most often call our word work center, the playdough center, but don’t let that fool you. If any administrator comes through the door, they can plainly see we’re building, manipulating and learning about the way words work.
Whiteboards are a classic choice for me to use in the classroom. I will often use small, tiny whiteboards to practice sight words or practice handwriting just because tiny is novel.
Using just a board and eraser loses its appeal by January for kinders so there are lots of other options.
Consider bringing in materials that have wipe-off surfaces – it’s perfect!
There are plastic sleeves designed to slip paper into – creating a workmat or background that are wipe-off marker friendly.
Another example is well-laminated workmats or cards you are using elsewhere in the classroom.
In my small groups, we were working on substituting phonemes in the beginning, middle, and end of CVC words. So I brought out these laminated CVC cards.
Normally, they are used in the word work center with playdough letter stamps. But they hold up to dry erase markers as long as you don’t leave the marker on for extended periods of time.
I have sets of the cards bound together so everyone gets to work on their own. There is an appeal to working and flipping through a book. It feels different than the whiteboard.
I highly recommend magnet letters in a variety of fonts and includes a mix of uppercase and lowercase.
These make great manipulative tools for working on a multitude of standards.
We had both magnets and velcro letters in our “abc” center.
You can see that I’m using the same CVC cards but with different manipulatives.
That’s because these cards will soon appear in our word work center as we are ready to practice them independently.
We started out the year using playdough as our main manipulative in small groups too.
I hope you find these manipulative ideas helpful and can try one next week!
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More Word Work
- Playdough Word Work Center
- Developing Phonemic Awareness
- Oral Rhyming Hand Motions
- Blending Onsets and Rime
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