Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Learning Center Materials

I stayed at school until 4:45 today!  I have needed to organize and clean up my Learning Center materials for some time, and decided to do it today.  I snapped a few pictures of some of the things that I have made over the years to share with you.

Bean Sticks to teach number sense.  I made these to help my students to understand numbers above ten.  They enjoyed the tactile quality of the shiny black beans, and counting out the "ones" provided small motor practice. 

Haunted Numbers.  Students chose a ghost, read the number, and counted out the appropriate number of "creatures" to place onto the house.  These materials can be used for a variety of number sense activities.  The creatures are little Halloween erasers from Target's Dollar Spot.

Super simple, and super popular.  This is something my students never seem to tire of.  All I did was write the numbers 1 - 10 onto sturdy paper plates to make this number sense activity.  I try to change out the manipulatives to match the season.  I found the little heart erasers at Target.  (You will need 55 items total for ten plates.)

Paint stirring stick flowers.  I found the flowers on The Mailbox's website, glued them onto paint sticks (free from Walmart), and cut out 55 foam leaves.  Students enjoy arranging the flowers in order and putting the appropriate number of leaves onto each stem.

Another super easy thing to make that packs a lot of appeal.  These toothy aligators are pages from a shaped note pad.  I wrote short a word families on them (there actually many more than this), and laminated them for duribility.  These are in one of my Skill Tubs, and my students enjoy reading and sorting the words.  The themed papers (I have many different sets) make word reading practice fun!

Another freebie from the paint department!  Paint chips are free, plentiful, and colorful!  These word family cards are inluded in a couple of my skill tubs.  Students simply move the large card down the multicolored card to make words.  (The single color cards were perforated with the perfect little circle - I just punched them out to make a window.)

I tried to color code the cards to help the kids figure out which cards go together.  Additionally, I wrote the word family on the backs of the letter strips.

Sentence practice pocket chart.  This repurposed table pocket chart holds cut up sentence strips.  My Kinders enjoy making and reading these color coded sentences.

Caterpillar sentences!  Simply cut circles from different colors of construction paper (one color per sentence), draw a cute face on one of the circles.  Students arrange the circles to make a sentence.  They can write their sentences in their journals.  Click below for a freebie to make this activity.



  1. I love the idea with the paint sample cards! Thank you for sharing!

    Heather's Heart

  2. Thank you for your comment. I love to create learning materials from repurposed or free things!

  3. I really love your bean counters idea. I think I might try that with sunflower seeds when we plant them in the Spring.
    Check out my blog when you have a moment

    rubber boots and elf shoes

  4. Thanks! Sunflower seeds would work, too. They are great for kids who need something tactile. As an extension to using the sticks to make numbers to twenty my Kinders worked in pairs with Bean Sticks & beans, ten frames & counters, and number cards. Taking turns with the materials, each partner made the number shown on a selected card.


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