As a Kindergarten teacher I LOVE centers. It give my students the opportunity to practice what we have learned and keeps them busy so I can do my Guided Reading groups!
Typically I use a lot of alphabet activities in my centers because as we all know, if they don't know the letters and sounds they won't be able to read. But this year - WOW! My students are much more advanced than I am used to. It is like I'm teaching First Grade!!! So I have had to come up with new centers that are at their level, and I made a bunch!
Many of my students are beginning readers, so I made a ton of Sight Word activities to help them practice. Here are some of my favorites!
Sight Word Finger Paint
Take a gallon sized zip-lock bag and add a few squirts of paint and some water. You don't want to add too much paint or when they trace the letters they won't see anything! Then press out the air, seal it up tight and tape the edges. Easy!
Fine Motor Sight Words
Students use plastic tweezers to place small puff-balls to make their sight words. Those pincher muscles are extremely important for their fine motor development to help with handwriting. Find the center paper HERE.
Kinesthetic Sight Words
Not all students learn the same way, and some need to feel the words to learn them. Add some fine sand into a pencil box and give them an un-sharpened pencil. They can trace the sight words in the sand! And the pencil box keeps the sand neat and tidy!
Students use connecting cubes to build their sight words. These take a lot of fine motor strength and a good amount of time! Find the center paper HERE!
Mystery Sight Words
I write the sight words on small sheets of white paper with white crayon. The students use water color paint to find out what the mystery word is! I keep them in a soft pencil pouch (4 - one for each student!) so that I can keep track of who does what. I also write the word really small in pencil so I can double check!
Sight Word Practice
Students use a pencil, crayon, colored pencil, and marker to practice writing one sight word. It is amazing how excited they get to write in something other than pencil. Really they are pretty easy to please! :) Get the sight word center paper HERE!
Sight Word Jenga
This is one of my favorites. I took a used Jenga game (cheap at yard sales and thrift stores!) and wrote sight words on each end (you could even do the sides!). Students have to be able to read the sight word before they can push/pull out the block. Fun!
Sight Word Cookies/Pancakes
This is a cute one. Students take turns to use a spatula to bring cookies/pancakes to their plate. But they need to be able to read the word first! I printed the words onto brown construction paper, laminated the whole sheet and cut out the circles. They won't last forever, but that is OK! Find the sight word paper HERE!