Dinosaur Word Family Center Freebie

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Do you teach word families? Word families are one of my favorite ways to introduce or reinforce CVC words and rhyming words. I love seeing the lightbulbs start to go off when they recognize words with the same ending sounds and how they are spelled the same. It really helps build their phonics skills!

This adorable center helps students recognize different word families for each vowel and sort the pictures based on their ending sounds. 

To prep, I printed the dinosaurs and eggs on cardstock and cut them out. Eggs can be tedious to cut, so it looks perfectly fine if you just cut them out as rectangles and save some time!

I like to use Small Pocket Charts like these for centers where there are a lot of pieces. It helps students stay organized and pieces aren't all over the floor! 

Students start with the 3 dinos on the chart, and then match each egg to the correct word family.

You can get these 3 word families (ad, ap, at) for free at the button below!

The full product is also available in color or black and white with 15 word families and 5 recording sheets, click the image below. :)

Word Family Centers

Check out these other Dinosaur activities! Links are below the picture. :)

Dinosaur Rhyme Time // Sweet Sounds of Kindergarten
EDITABLE Dinosaur Sight Word Game // Playdough to Plato
Editable Sight Word Dinosaur Game // The Kindergarten Connection
Dinosaur CVCe Puzzles // Pages of Grace
10 Little Dinosaurs Song // Stay at Home Educator
Dinosaur Counting Puzzles // Pocket of Preschool
Dinosaur Addition // Recipe for Teaching
Dinosaur Clip Cards: Matching Numbers 1-12 // Liz's Early Learning Spot
Dinosaur Board Game Counting Activity // Fun Learning for Kids
Dinosaur Addition Cards // The STEM Laboratory
Dinosaur Counting Play Dough Mats // Fantastic Fun and Learning
Dinosaur Memory Game // Teach Me Mommy
Bossy R Dinosaur Sort // Sara J Creations

CVC Words and Blending Board

This post contains affiliate links.

Like I said in my last post, it is that time of year in Kindergarten when CVC words are crucial for your kids to start blending to develop their reading skills. As I introduce each letter to my kids, I add it to my blending board. I start building their blending skills at the beginning of the year even if it only starts with the letters they know or 2 sounds I have introduced. In this blog post, I will show you how to make your own blending board!

Our kiddos that come to us as emergent readers have ALOT of work to do to jump up reading levels before the end of the school year. CVC words are just the beginning of the phonics skills they will need to decode those tough words they will start to see as they get into level D books (Fountas & Pinnell levels). It is SO important to get them use to blending letters as they learn the sounds so that it just becomes second nature to them while reading.

As I introduce each letter, I add it to my board, so there are very few letters at the beginning. Depending on the order of letters you teach, the word they are able to read first will vary. The beginning of our order is C O A D G M L.... So some of the first words that my kids know how to read are cod, cad, gad, mag, lad, lag, etc. We practice blending daily using the I do it, We do it, You do it method:

I do it. (I point to each letter and make the sound then blend them all together to make the word) For example: /m/ /a/ g/ mag
We do it. (They do it with me)
You do it. (They do it by themselves and I only point)

The blending board is also GREAT for RTI kiddos. Letting them manipulate the cards and point to the cards themselves has some real power. Most of my RTI kids usually aren't even ready for blending the 3 phonemes, so I may stick to just 2 until they master that. 

After teaching all the letters, I introduce digraphs and add them one by one to the board. By that point, they are blending like pros! 

These are the cards that I use for my blending board. They include all vowels and consonants as well as the digraphs sh, ch, th, wh, and ph. Keep reading to see how I made my board!

First you will need a binder like these I found on Amazon. I used a 1 inch binder.

Go ahead and put some of the letters on the rings so that you can see how far down they will hang and where you will need to fold the binder back.

Fold the binder back about an inch below where your letters hang. Binders are usually just cardboard inside so they can bend with a little force. :)

 Next you will bend the other side so that the two sides meet up.

After bending both sides, it should sit up like this.

I used hot glue to glue the sides together.

And there you have it! Your blending board is ready to go! :) I would recommend making a few for your classroom. You will want one for yourself, one if you have an aide or someone who pulls your students for RTI, and one for centers that your kids can use independently. The resource I mentioned above includes a recording sheet that can be used in a center for students to record the real and nonsense words they make with the blending board.

Another favorite way to teach CVC words is with hands-on centers. I like to use these as "Write the Room" and put the pictures around the room for students to write on their recording sheets. Answer Keys are included for self checking.

CVC Words Centers

My kids also love using sound boxes with magnetic letters to practice blending. You can grab this FREEBIE by clicking the picture below!

Sound Boxes FREEBIE

That's all I've got for today! How do you teach blending!?


This post contains affiliate links.

It's that time of year in Kindergarten where CVC words are SO important! My kiddos love sounding out words now that they know their letter sounds. These Heart CVC Word/Picture match ups are great for practice!

I printed these on cardstock then laminated and cut them apart like puzzle pieces.

With picture matches like this, I always have my kids lay out all of the pictures and pick up one word at a time. They sound it out, and then find the matching picture.

You can either have your students write the word on their recording sheet one at a time, or at the end when they have matched them all!

I love to keep Centers with small pieces like this in my Iris Photo Storage. It makes clean up and organizing so easy!

Another fun tip is to put stickers on the back of the matching pieces for self-checking!

If you like this activity, you'll love my CVC Words Centers that you can use year-round! These centers are SO easy to differentiate with several different recording sheets.

Also check out my Melted Crayon Heart Tag FREEBIE for the perfect Valentine to send home with your students.

Check out these other fun HEART activities! :)

Heart Letter Puzzles // Pocket of Preschool
Valentine Hearts Ten Frame Clip Cards // Mrs. Jones Creation Station
Heart Digraph Puzzles // The Kindergarten Connection 
  Printable Valentine's Math Activities // Stay at Home Educator 
  Alphabet Hearts // Playdough to Plato 
  Valentine's Day Emergent Reader // Sweet Sounds of Kindergarten 
  Heart Syllable Sort // Recipe for Teaching 
  Candy Hearts Count and Clip Cards // Modern Preschool 
  Heartbreakers Sensory Activity // Sugar Spice and Glitter 
  CVC Hearts // The Primary Post 
  Heart Counting Cards // Powerful Mothering 
  Sorting Hearts Fine Motor Tray // Teach Me Mommy 
  Candy Heart Estimation Station // The STEM Laboratory 
  Contraction Conversation Hearts // The Simplified Classroom 
  Chocolate Heart Play Dough Mats // Fantastic Fun and Learning 
  Hearts Make Ten Game // Sara J Creations 
  Heart Roll, Cover and Write Mats // Fun Learning for Kids 
  Candy Heart Sentences // Pages of Grace 
  Heart Sight Word Match // The Letters of Literacy 
  Heart Name Crafts // Fun-A-Day

Watercolor Classroom Decor & Sight Word Data Update!

One of my FAVORITE things in my classroom is our Sight Word Data Wall! You may remember this old thing from a previous post:

My kids absolutely LOVE seeing their clips move up as they learn their sight words. Every year I have had my data wall, I make sure to introduce it and develop it as a positive and uplifting thing where they can cheer on their friends as they progress!

I am completely updating my classroom decor over to a Watercolor theme, so this was one of the first things to get a facelift. Instead of having 2 columns this time, I decided to print 2 to a page and have only 1 column where the kids truly move straight up as they progress. Check it out:

I am loving the bright cheerful colors! Not to mention, the new version saves on some MAJOR black ink! You can snag it by clicking any of the pictures!

I have also added a Student Tracking Sheet in case Teachers don't want to use a class display...this way it keeps it personal and students get to use stickers to show their growth! What kid doesn't love stickers!??!?!?

My obsession with Watercolors is real. My Phonics Charts, Leveled Library, and other things are starting the transformation too:

Phonics Charts: We use these every.single.day. These truly help my kindergarteners make that jump from reading at a level C to a level D. This time of year they are soaking up every sound and trying to apply it while reading!

Even my Meet the Teacher Editable printable is now Watercolor! 😍😍😍

Do you love watercolor too!?!? Coming soon is the rest of my classroom decor and printables!

Student Word Walls

I'm back! After a long hiatus of blogging, I am kicking myself into gear and so excited to share what is going on in my classroom this year! Last year was filled with pregnancy, baby boy, and maternity leave, so I had good reason to take a little break. :) Let me tell you, taking maternity leave at the beginning of the school year is NO JOKE! I would not advise it. Haha, but really...I feel like this school year has been a game of "keep your head above the water" and I am finally feeling like I am caught back up and on track again. This sweet little thing is worth all of it. :)

Anyways! Since coming back, my school has fully adapted Lucy Calkins Reading and Writing Units of Study....and let me just say- I LOVE THEM! The amount of growth I have seen with my kiddos just since I have been with them since October is really amazing. I love how the units are laid out and guide the process of learning to read and write. It has also made me kick myself into gear with organizing my leveled library. I have had leveled readers for years and years but I am just now getting around to organizing and labeling everything. Here is a picture of the process:

Leveled Library in PROGRESS!

I am so excited to share my library once it is complete!

Another fun thing we have been working on is our Student Word Walls. In the Writing Units of Study, it encourages snap (sight words) words to be readily available for students. While I have a Word Wall in my room, it is helpful for students to have their own "Word Wall" in their writing folders for quick reference. As a class, we brainstormed a list of words that we have been using a lot in our current unit (narrative) and then put them on their word walls. Here are some examples:

What I love about these Word Walls is that they can highlight their words to match the color coded words on my Word Wall in the classroom. That way, I can say "Then is the yellow word under T" for quick and easy reference! This has helped the process of writing SO much! They are more focused on getting their ideas down on paper, rather than remembering how to spell a specific sight word or spending forever trying to find it on the Word Wall.

Do you use Lucy Calkin's Units of study? I am such a nerd when it comes to learning about how to teach reading and writing....I could talk about it and research it for hours!

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