How to Make Alphabet Worksheets Fun

Teachers cringe in primary grades with they hear the word “worksheets”, but we all understand that they are important hands-on tools for developing readers and writers. They truly are the simplest and most straightforward way to give students lots of practice with the skills they need to learn. 

Worksheets get a bad rap in my opinion! 

If you have worksheets that require cutting, coloring, painting, folding, thinking, and creating, they serve as great learning tools for developing minds. It also gives students a variety of ways to practice their skills so they don’t get restless. They don’t have to be boring! There are so many ways to make them fun.

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 Center time is a great time to use worksheets. 

This is because students can work together to create a group project or individually to learn beginning sounds, letter formation, and practice letter identification.  These worksheets and crafts are great for that. 

Here are some creative ways to use alphabet worksheets in your classroom

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  • Add playdough to a worksheet to form letters for fine motor skills.
  • Add them into plastic sleeves and let students use dry erase markers to fill them out. This saves on paper and also gets students engaged because who doesn’t love using those markers? 
  • Have a snowball fight with them afterward. Students will be more motivated to get their work completed and excited to do them! Just tell them when they are done with their worksheet, bring it to you to check, then if all is well, they can ball it up and make a snowball. When everyone is done, let the snowball fight begin! 
  • Add a soccer goal or basketball hoop! This is a great way to get students up and moving. Once they complete their worksheet and have it checked off, they get to shoot a basket or kick their “ball” into the soccer goal. 
  • Make crafts out of them! As mentioned above and in this post here, crafts are so great for little learners for so many reasons. If you are working on letters, have students create something with their letters. For example, turn the letter A into an alligator by coloring or painting, adding googly eyes, and a mouth. 

I created these alphabet worksheets as a way to give students lots of practice with the letters of the alphabet without getting bored. 

Each letter comes with a variety of activities and ways to practice. It is a complete A-Z bundle so it will be all you need for your reading or writing lessons!

What are your favorite ways to use worksheets in the classroom? Let me know in the comments!

The Importance of Alphabet Practice in Preschool

Preschool teaches so many foundational skills for young students that they will go on to use every day. Shapes, colors, and numbers are skills that must be learned before students can start learning the basics covered in later grades. 

One of the most important concepts to learn, however, is the alphabet. It’s true that they will cover this in kindergarten as well, but preschool is a great time to get them familiar with the concept so they start elementary school with the skills they need to succeed in reading and writing.

The alphabet can be tricky for students at first. 

Not only are there 26 letters to memorize, but you also have to learn the uppercase and lowercase versions of it! The shapes of letters don’t necessarily come naturally to young learners. If not practiced frequently, they could struggle with letter identification through kindergarten or even first grade.  

Along with letter identification, it is also important to teach them what sounds each letter makes.

Ensuring that they know the sounds of each letter is an important precursor to learning to read. Students will begin working with sight words in kindergarten so making sure they have a basic understanding of letter identification and sounds will give them a headstart. 

Alphabet tracing worksheets are a great way to practice with this age group. This can scaffold students’ writing skills and help with letter recognition and formation. Crafts are also a great way to do this because writing, tracing, coloring, cutting, and gluing help with their fine motor skills.

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This Alphabet Practice A-Z Bundle is all you need to help your preschool students perfect these skills. 

This alphabet packet includes crafts, worksheets, and activities for each letter of the alphabet. You can use these printables and crafts in centers, whole group, small group, or for homework.

These provide hands-on options as well as worksheets to help with busy mornings. Students will learn how to work independently after the first couple of letter sets are used because every unit follows the same pattern. You will get so much to choose from each week. 

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These activities will have your students confidently identifying and writing their letters as well as recognizing their sounds. They will be proud of the cool crafts they create for each letter and want to share them with others. It’s the perfect way to get them engaged! 

For more creative ways to practice the alphabet, check out my post here.

What are your favorite ways to work on the alphabet with preschool students? 

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How To Have Fun With Phonics

Phonics are an important part of early reading instruction, and therefore a big part of kindergarten and first grade classrooms. Making connections between written and spoken letters and sounds is absolutely necessary in learning to read, so phonics lessons are well worth the time! In order to teach young students most effectively, a broad range of activities are needed. Children love variety, and luckily there are plenty of ways to teach phonics! 

Learning the relationships between letters and sounds can be- well- a not so interesting topic. In order to keep kids excited and learning, teachers can incorporate fun activities. Phonics lessons can include a broad range of styles, so there are lots of options when choosing the best activities for your class. 

Here are some of my favorite activities for teaching phonics. 

One of the easiest, yet most effective strategies is to use songs! Jack Hartmann phonics songs are easily available on the web, and your students will love singing along while they are learning. 

Another fun activity is frog hop blending. Students can move a toy frog (or a finger) along individual sounds, then blend them together to make a word. 

Make and take books are a perfect option to practice phonics skills and word families at home. Students can create the books at school and practice reading the sounds at home. Throughout the year, you may choose to focus on different word families that the kids can read to their parents. 

As students become more skilled with phonics, you may want to try word building and sentence building activities. They can use familiar letter sounds to create new words, and eventually create entire sentences. 

Looking for a variety of phonics activities for daily use? I have you covered! Check out my Phonics Worksheets for Kindergarten and First Grade

phonics

This bundle includes an entire year’s worth of daily lessons. 

Here are just a few of the resources included: 

  • letter identification 
  • letter sounds
  • building words
  • word family work
  • building sentences
  • writing stories 
  • Sight word lists
  • ABC letter cards
  • Word family books
  • Phonics pocket phones

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With one easy download you’ll be ready to tackle these lessons each day with time-tested strategies.

For more reading strategies, check out my post here! 

What are your favorite reading activities? Let me know in the comments!

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5 Ways To Help Students Master Their Names

One of the first things we teach our little learners when they come to kindergarten is how to write their own name. It is so important for students to get plenty of practice and learn this readiness skill early on. It is something they will write often and for the rest of their lives. Knowing how to write it will help build their confidence in their own abilities in school and help set the stage for learning the rest of the alphabet during the school year. 

Here are some different ways to practice and make learning names fun: 

  1. Handwriting. You’ll want to place a lot of focus on good old fashioned handwriting when it comes to learning their names. This is one of the most important ways to practice. It feels like second nature as we grow up but learning to hold and control a pencil takes lots of practice for our younger students. 
  2. Tracing with a finger. Write the letters to their names out and have your students practice tracing the letters with their fingers. This will help them get used to the shape of the letters and help with memorization. 
  3. Dry erase board practice. There’s just something about a dry erase board and dry erase marker that students love. It is just more exciting to use than a plain old pencil. Pass them to your students for an engaging and fun way to practice writing their names. A bonus is that it is easy to wipe away any mistakes! 
  4. Painting or shaving cream. What is more fun for kindergarteners than getting messy? Make this fun and educational activity by spraying some shaving cream on their desk and having them trace their name into it or by pulling out some paint and brushes. 
  5. Digital practice. These days, it is just as important to practice digitally typing and identifying letters in their name as it is writing it. Your students can practice this by identifying the letters in their name, counting the number of letters, and typing it out on their keyboards. 

These interactive, Editable Name Practice Google Slides will help your students master this skill.  They can be easily personalized to make sure your students will know their names, letters, and be engaged in learning. It is perfect for virtual or in personal learning. You’ll get 20 colorful Google Slides with titles, editable text boxes, directions, and moving parts.  

names

You can also get this resource in Spanish if your students are not English speakers!

names

You can try out the Editable Name Practice Activity by checking out this freebie!

Here is a video tutorial for how to use this resource! 

 

Do you have any fun activities to teach your students to write their names? Let me know in the comments! 

For some more kindergarten resources, check out my post here. 
Names