Magnetic Letters are a bit of an obsession for me. It’s one of the things on my list when I visit thrift stores. I am always gathering upper and lower case letters.
One summer I even sorted all my letters and made student letter kits with tackle boxes. It turned out to be a bad idea because the plastic locking pieces on the tackle boxes were too hard for kindergartners to do by themselves. Regardless, I love magnet letters.
We use them throughout the school year. Here are 6 ideas for using them in your classroom.
Magnetic Letters: Letter Sort
Using magnet letters for sorting is a perfect way to incorporate a hands-on tactile activity for students. Students can sort by
- consonant v vowel
- capital and lowercase
- in my name v not in my name
- in this month v not in this month
- tall letters v short letters
- tall letters v hang down letters
- tall letters v short letters v hang down letters
- just to name a few.
Magnetic Letters: Letter Match
As a beginning of the year independent activity, students are asked to match letters to the sound chart.
The first activity was to match lowercase letters to the sound chart.
It is also interesting to see how students have to problem solve with letters like u and n or letters like b, d, p, and q.
After two weeks of lowercase letters, students are given uppercase letters.
This invites problem solving and conversations about directionality. After two more weeks using uppercase letters, students are asked to match upper and lowercase letters.
This center is easily differentiated for all learners. Some students can be given a limited number of letters or letters from one line of the chart.
Some students can be asked to make words from the chart, compare letters according to shape and formation or comparing words from the chart as same or different.
Magnetic Letters: Sight Words
Sight word activities are always on everyone’s mind.
Students need practice reading, sorting, making and breaking sight words.
Using the chart provided students can use magnet letters to create sight words.
The upper and lowercase examples are provided, if the magnet letters are mixed.
This is another easily differentiated center.
Some students can have a bag with specific letters they will need, or even one word at a time. Some students can create the sight words and new words: making come and some, making look and book.
Magnetic Letters: Word Families
Magnet letters can be used to make word family words.
Using a mat with the word family or word family cards, students can add the beginning.
Students can also be directed to use blends or digraphs at the beginning.
One important part of this center is making sure students create the words and either read the words to an adult or write the words on a paper.
One teacher I know gives students a small piece of paper (an eighth of a 12×18 paper) and they are asked to write a word on the front and the back and illustrate both. This is the “proof” the center was completed.
Students who need a challenge, can be asked to write the word, a sentence and a picture. Another teacher has her students take a picture of their completed task with their name written with dry erase on the classroom iPad as their “proof.”
Magnetic Letters: Word Building
Making, building, constructing, creating…whatever verb you want to use…is a key to early literacy.
Students need to be listening to the beginning, middle, and end of words and make connections from listening to sounds to representing those sounds with letters.
Students can create the words in a CVC pattern.
After creating the words, the students should write the CVC word.
Magnetic Letters: Magnet Play
Finally, students in my classroom had a bucket of magnet letters for their third and final center of the day.
There are cards available for them to use. Some students will find letters, some students can reproduce parts of the word wall, some students will make words found in the room or create friend’s names.
This is the perfect way to end independent centers with magnet play.
If you’d like a FREEBIE, click here for a Magnet Letter Sample Set or click the picture below.