Letter Basketball: Low Tech Literacy Station

I always try to incorporate as much movement into activities as possible. Because it’s kindergarten. And there are boys. And that thing called “DPA” the government decided was just a fantastic idea. And all in all, it’s fun to jump around.

I have had this page from prekinders.com pinned on my Pinterest board for a while and I give them full credit for the activity I have been using in my classroom for the past week. It’s called Letter Basketball.

I adapted the activity a bit because I wanted to focus on letter formation as well as identification for my students. Here’s how I set it up.

I put out the visual of the Handwriting Without Tears letters (this comes in very handy for many activities in the classroom! You can find it here). I also put out a basket with some half sheets of paper and some black markers. I am totally that teacher that steals all the scrap paper from everywhere for this exact reason. Don’t put out the scissors. You don’t need the scissors.

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Me, my EA or another student is responsible for calling out a letter. To challenge certain students, we even narrowed it down to uppercase and lowercase letters. The student then writes the letter down, making sure to form the letter from top to bottom and from left to right.

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Crumple the paper into a ball…

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And aim it into the garbage can! I put three pieces of painters tape on the floor and numbered them 1, 2, and 3. I also marked the spot for the garbage can with an “x” so the students can place it there independently when they would like to play it. Also, those dolls in that drawer look SUPER CREEPY!

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This literacy game had been a HIT in the classroom. There is shouting, screaming, excitement, and laughter the whole time. Just the way it should be.

Letter Tiles: Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That

Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That is one of my most favorites memes on the Internet at this present time. But I won’t lie…the following DIY project for your classroom does take time. Like, a few hours. So maybe a more appropriate title would have been “Ain’t Nobody Got Money For That” because that’s where this whole project started.

Pinterest. We all love it. For everything. Everything in life. Except when you find something that is just too expensive. Like letters for literacy stations. I realize there are good deals out there sometimes, but I wanted letters NOW and was feeling a little crafty.

I wanted to make some letter tiles for my students to use to build sight words and names of their classmates. Michael’s was expensive and they didn’t have the right size of tiles I wanted. The Dollar Store was a bust as there were no rocks, gems, wooden pieces or anything that I could use. So I picked up some tile from Home Depot. It cost $5.99 for 36 tiles.

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I flipped it over and scored that mesh on the back. Yenno, the mesh that would normally make the grout stick to it and all.

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For the majority of the tiles, it peeled off fairly easily. I ended up using pliers to start it off so it would ruin my nails. YES I need to repaint them.

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With a foam brush, I applied a little Mod Podge on the front of the tile.

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Then I stuck the letter on. These are just letters I printed out on regular white paper and cut up.

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Then I let them dry.

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For two sets of capital letters and three sets of lowercase letters, this project cost me $25. I already had the Mod Podge and foam brush from other projects, so I just needed to get the tiles. That’s A LOT less expensive than the letter sets I’ve seen online costing up to 100$ for that amount of letters. And I ain’t got money for that.

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