Literacy centers are one of my favorite times of the school day. Teaching reading is my passion and I want to keep students engaged in meaningful activities while I meet and confer with small groups of students.  One of my favorite word work centers is word building mats. These mats are so versatile. They have common word family  endings and students fill in letters at the beginning of the word in order to make a word.  This is a great way to practice chunking word families and is true segmenting and blending practice.

One of the great things about these mats is that when you change out the materials you’re using to build the onset of each word, it’s like  you have a new center! The same is true if you change up the graphics on the mat seasonally, or only pull out the mats that are applicable to the skills the students are practicing.

Additionally, so many of these activities are also ways to build and develop fine motor skills which is still critical for our beginning readers!

Here are my favorite 5 materials to use during Word Building

1.Play dough

2.Pipe Cleaners

3. Pom Poms

4. Wikki Stix

5. Dry erase markers


Other honorable mentions are:

Buttons,  toothpicks, q tips


I hope this gives you a few ideas to jazz up your word building center!

If you’re looking for some fun winter themed word building mats, these are the ones pictured: