Thursday, August 9, 2012

Back To School Blog Hop -Beads and Freebies!

It's Day 9 of the Back To School Blog Hunt!!! Which means, you have landed here at A Differentiated Kindergarten.  Welcome!  I share this day with Jessica over at Mrs. Stanford's Class. Make sure when you're done here, you hop on over and check out her blog as well.

For any class, but especially for kindergarten, a new school year means exploring new ideas and materials.  I love anything that is hands on and gives my kinders lots of opportunity for building up fine motor muscles.  Beads happen to be one of my favorite tools for letting my students work (they think it's play) with letters and sounds.  But before they can string letter sounds, CVC words or sight words, they need to have the chance to EXPLORE the materials.  In essence, they need to play with them.  Really ANY letter beads will work for these activities.  However, if you want the exact beads I have, you can get them very reasonable from Really Good Stuff.

So one of the first 'literacy' stations (I will be putting these in my Daily 5 Word Work Stations) they will get to 'play' at is the "Bead It" station.  I leave thier first experience of this station pretty open ended, just some pipe cleaners and some plastic string and I let them 'explore' . . .

Some will see how many letters they can get on a pipecleaner (I've been told it depends on how skinny or fat the letter is), others will attempt to make pattern or still others might sort.

I like to offer them some simple tasks after this . . .
Here is a simple mat for sorting letters in their name and not in their name.

And another for sorting capital letters and lowercase letters.

And still another for matching capitals to capitals or lowercase letters to lowercase or you could use these mats to have them match the lowercase letter to it's capital partner and vice versa.

These simple activities that allow your kinders to gradually become familiar with letter beads while learning routines and rules for their use are free for you.  Just click on the pictures above or the one below to grab them.  They are a great way to get your year started.

And if you're interested in more bead activities make sure you check out these aligned to Common Core Standards and including lowercase and capital letter bead versions in each activity:

See Bead Write will let your students work on letter recognition and order.  It's self-correcting and aligned to common core standards.

Read Bead Write!  This independent self-correcting beading activity is tiered to make it possible for your students to work on CVC or CVCC/CCVC words based on their readiness level. 

Bead It!! You can get these Dolch Word Lists in groups of two or the entire 11 lists (220) bundled for sight word work practice.

Coming soon!  Letter Sound Bead Work and CVCe Bead Work.

Thanks for stopping by and make sure you are at tomorrow blog hopper host Heidi at  My Not So Elementary Life and all the other blog hoppers below.


  1. I am putting these packs on my wish list! They look wonderful! Thank you for the freebie! :)

  2. Such a great activity! I need to get some of these beads! :)
    Thank you Marsha for always sharing such great resources and ideas! :)
    Crayons and Curls

  3. I am new to the blogging world, but have quickly become a blog hopper. Can you please tell me where the sorting trays came from? Are they chip/dip trays?

    1. From a Dollar Tree in my community. Not sure which one, it's been a while since I purchased it.

  4. I'm just wondering how many letter sets you bought and how large your group was that was using them? There are 288 in a set for $15.00. I want enough beads but don't have tons of extra cash. Just brainstorming with you on what worked for you.

  5. Hi, i like to much this information very creative thanks fot share

  6. LOVE your beading ideas! I'm planning on using your freebie in my word work station this week! Thanks. :)

    Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives

  7. I just love this idea, ok to be honest, I just love your site. I can't stay away. This is great for my little guy who needs to work not only on patterning, spelling his name, ect. but also fine motor skills. GREAT hands on learning activities. Thanks for sharing.



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