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Are you looking for an easy-to-make activity with built-in differentiation for first grade literacy centers? Here it is!
1. Start with a package of wide wooden craft sticks, like these. They're on Amazon or at WalMart (in case you're like me and don't want to wait once you get an idea in your head ;)
2. Not essential, but fun for your kiddos, and another way to get them thinking about patterns: organize the sticks in a repeating pattern by color, e.g., red, yellow, blue, red, yellow, blue.... You'll want to use the lighter colors, so that would probably rule out the purple in the set above.
3. Using a Sharpie, make a star on the left end of the first stick to mark the starting point for your students.
4. Use the first side of the sticks for writing words on the sticks to alphabetize, one word for each letter of the alphabet, as you see in this photo. Other options: multiples of 5, even numbers, odd numbers... anything that can be sequenced.
5. To use the same sticks for another level activity (or just to make the first side of the sticks self-checking), keep the sticks lined up in order and flip them over. Label them as you see here, and now they can also be used for matching uppercase to lowercase letters, as well as sequencing the letters of the alphabet.
That's it- cheap, easy, and fun! Who could ask for anything more?
I'm linking this to Monday Made It at Fourth Grade Frolics, where there are already 170 great ideas for classroom and your (other :)! ) life!
What other cool classroom items have you made with craft sticks like these? Please leave a comment to share your good ideas!