Monday, November 7, 2022

Free Word Work Activities

Word Work Freebies

Here is a collection of freebies to explore a variety of literacy activities with your students. Be sure to check out the activities that explore long vowels, dictionary skills, and oddball words

Short Vowel Freebies

Free short vowel activities just for you! These activities compare words with short vowels. These free activities include: word sorts with and without pictures, interactive notebook activities, and a set of exit tickets to assess student comprehension.

Word Sort Centers

This pack includes a center for sorting ‘short a’ and ‘short i’ words. There is a memorable character associated with each vowel sound. ‘Short a’ is Abby the Alligator. ‘Short i’ is Isabel the Iguana. Get this set of centers here for free!

Free word sorts short a short i words. Differentiated. Use with and without picture support

Print & Go Short Vowel Word Sorts

Try these no prep word sorts. Use these printables for a quick & easy short vowel word sort. There are multiple formats to meet the needs of your students. Get this set of word sorts here for free!

Try these No-Prep short vowel word sorts. Simple word sorts give kids tons of phonics practice.

Interactive Notebook Activities

This set includes a variety of interactive notebook activities with varying degrees of support. Choose the set that works best for each child. Get these free interactive notebook activities here.

Free interactive notebook activities. Explore short vowels with a variety of interactive notebook activities. Varying degrees of support.

Exit Tickets

This is a set of Exit Tickets to use as a quick assessment tool with your students. You can use these exit tickets as a very quick way to assess the needs of your students. Since the tickets can be graded in a very short amount a time, they allow you to constantly assess each student’s strengths and weaknesses. You can use these tickets to find the students that need more instruction time with a concept.
I have included 4 different exit tickets to assess student ability to listen for and identify short a and short i words. Choose the ticket that best fits the needs of your students. Get these free exit tickets to assess short vowels.

Free short vowel exit tickets. Use these free exit tickets to assess kids grasp of short vowel sounds.

More Literacy Freebies

I’ve added more literacy freebies to use with your children. There are a variety of free learning activities that are sure to thrill your students!

Long and Short Vowels

Are you moving onto long vowels? Check out these free long and short vowel word sorts! These word sorts feature ‘Abby the Alligator’ and ‘Jake the Snake’. They include a simple cut and paste word sort and a word sort in a game format.

Free long vowel and short vowel word sorts.
Check out these short vowel and long vowel word sort activities

Looking for more activities to explore long and short vowels? Check out this Free ‘Frog and Toad’ themed learning activity. See it in action and get it for free here. There are DIY directions to create your own Frog & Toad here.

Free Frog & Toad word work activities. Explore long vowel and short vowel sounds with frog and toad. Hands-on activity to help kids distinguish between long and short vowels.


Many kids need tons of practice with long and short vowel sounds. Give them the practice they need in a variety of fun formats! Get all of them in a money saving bundle here.

Print & Go Word Sorts

Dictionary Skills

Get kids motivated to explore parts of a dictionary with this fun activity. Each student will create a word entry and definition. They will use the dictionary format to define themselves. After creating the dictionary entries, put the entries together to create a class dictionary. There are extension activities that students can use to explore the parts of their class dictionary. Motivate your students by letting them create and explore their own dictionary! Get the class dictionary for free here.

Free dictionary skills activity. Create a class dictionary and allow students to explore the parts of a dictionary with a student created dictionary

Oddball Words:

Words with Inconsistent But Common Spelling-Sound Correspondences

Oddball words can be very difficult for young children. They look the same as other words with the same spelling pattern, but do not have the same sound. For example: have/gave/save & does/toes/goes.

Use these fun task cards to give students practice identifying the oddball words. Students will read the three words and identify the word with the inconsistent spelling sound correspondence. Get your free copy of the task cards and recording sheets here.

Free activity for words with common but inconsistent spelling sound correspondence.


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Laura from Differentiation Station Creations

Friday, November 4, 2022

Free Animal Movement Cards

Free Animal Movement Cards

Get your kids up and moving with these free Animal Movement Cards. There are 26 free animal action cards, one animal for each letter of the alphabet. Kids can explore different letters and types of animals as they get their wiggles out in the style of each animal.

Get kids up and moving with animal action cards. Perfect for brain breaks and gross motor movements.

Use Animal Action Cards Many Ways

Movement cards are so much fun to use with children. It helps them wiggle and move their body, but in a very purposeful way. By giving their brains a break and allowing their bodies to warm up, children are more able to learn. Focus and attention is improved AND they are enjoying themselves! Why not try out this set of adorable animal action cards and let me know what you think?!

Animal Action Cards Work For:

  • Morning Meeting
  • Transitions
  • Letter Studies
  • Animal Studies
  • Just for fun!
Get kids up and moving with free animal movement cards. Perfect for brain breaks and gross motor movements.

Get your set of Free Animal Movement Cards here.

More ‘Move & Learn’ Fun

Here are some more ways to get your kids up and moving, while they learn.

  • Kids will join the ‘March of the Penguins’, as they march around the alphabet. See it in action here.
Kids will move and learn with this penguin themed march. Great for identifying upper and lowercase letters.
  • Kids will learn skip counting or numeral identification as you jump like a frog! See it in action here.
Kids will move and learn with these frog themed math games.
  • Kids will move up and down a number line to practice number identification, addition, and subtraction. Plus, it ties in to the Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Donuts! See it in action here.
There was an old lady who swallowed a Donut! Hands on math- get up and move!



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Thursday, January 6, 2022

DIY Storytelling Gloves

Storytelling Gloves: DIY

Storytelling gloves are a powerful tool to enhance and guide the telling of a story. As a storyteller, I sometimes get sidetracked along the way and it is immensely helpful to have the pictures to keep me on track. This post provides you with quick & easy directions to create your own set of storytelling gloves, in adult or child size.

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Storytelling Gloves: Quick and Easy DIY Project

What are Storytelling Gloves?

Storytelling gloves are simply a set of gloves with Velcro attached to the fingertips. Adding Velcro to the gloves, allows the you to attach pictures to the glove as you tell a story. They are a wonderful prop to add to your bag of tricks, either as a teacher or a parent. Create a set of child sized gloves and you’ve provided your child with hours of magical fun!

Why make Storytelling Gloves?

The short answer- they’re awesome!

These amazing gloves can be used in so many different ways. Make them with the intention of using them as a prop for the adult storyteller, or create them for children to use to improve and enhance their own storytelling.

Use for Retelling Well Known StoriesStorytelling gloves are extremely useful for retelling a story and identifying story elements.

When creating the pictures to use with the gloves, I often create sets that go along with well know stories. I’ve created storytelling activity packs that contain all the images for the gloves, plus finger puppets, ideas for using with a magnetic board, and differentiated response sheets. Check out a fairy tale pack here.A great collection of storytelling activities: storytelling gloves, magnetic storyboard, finger puppets, and differentiated student response sheets.

I will often have two different sets of pictures, one for adult and another for child storytelling. Child sets will usually have less pictures, so that the choices are not overwhelming. Child sets always include the main characters of the story and may also include a picture of the setting or any special props from the story.

My sets for adult storytelling may include more pictures. There may be different pictures of the same character that show how the character changes throughout the story. Usually adult versions will include more pictures of various props from the story, allowing the storyteller to visually highlight certain parts of the story.Storytelling gloves offer support in retelling a story. A wonderful visual to cue recall of story elements.

The collections of images are a powerful addition to the retelling of a story. A storyteller can use the pictures to guide the story. As an educator or parent, use the storytelling gloves to help identify elements of the story. Children are able to use the images to identify specific characters, setting, and to help recall specific events from the story.

Use to Create a New Story

Storytelling gloves can be used in a very different way- to create a brand new story. When using the gloves to create a new story, provide the storyteller with a variety of images. These images can be in the form of pictures, foam, small plastic objects, or anything you can dream up! Use storytelling gloves to create a new story. Use pictures, erasers, plastic objects or felt with the storytelling gloves.

I love using storytelling gloves in an open ended way! Then the storyteller can create their story, by choosing specific pictures or randomly select the images to create the story. Some children will flourish with this activity and go on to create fantastic masterpieces of fiction. It is fascinating to watch children and adults weave stories out of the wisps of pictures.

How to Create Your Own Storytelling Gloves

Very little is needed to create a set of storytelling gloves! Just gather up a few supplies & a hot glue gun, and in just a few minutes you will have your own set of storytelling gloves.


  • Hot glue gun & hot glue sticks
  • 1 child or adult sized glove
  • Velcro
  • Pictures to use with the gloves

I’ve used all types of gloves: dollar store gloves, gloves my children have outgrown, gardening gloves, and even the bath scrubbing type of gloves. When using gloves with children, I tend to prefer the stretchable gloves from the dollar store or child sized gardening gloves.Use any type of glove as a storytelling glove. Grab up child sized dollar store gloves for a center!

Tip: Use erasers, little plastic figures, felt or foam figures, or any other image with the gloves. As long as you can get the Velcro to adhere to the object, you can use it with your gloves!Use all types of objects with the storytelling gloves. Attach velcro to erasers, plastic figures, felt, foam stickers, and even to fake flowers or leaves!

 Step-By-Step Directions

  1. Gather your materials.
  2. Cut out small squares of Velcro to attach to the glove. I always use the soft Velcro on the glove and the rough Velcro on all of the pictures. Being consistent will benefit you, because you can use any future sets with your glove.
  3. Hot glue the soft velcro squares to each finger tip of the glove. You can even hot glue squares to the middle and bottom of the glove.
  4. Hot glue the rough Velcro squares to the backs of any pictures or objects that you want to use with the gloves.

Optional: Create a bag or container to hold all of the supplies. In my storytelling center, I used a small gardening bag & gloves that I got from the Target dollar spot last spring. Look around for creative ideas. I would love to hear about what you find!!

Get creative when storing your storytelling gloves! Use a gardening bag to store all your supplies.

Want to print out all ready made story sets?

I’ve already created storytelling activity packs! Head over to my store to check out the available storytelling sets! I will be adding more sets, as I create them. As always, I love requests, so send your requests my way by emailing me here.


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Laura from Differentiation Station Creations

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Thematic Word Walls for February


February Word Walls + Freebie

Thematic Word Walls for February

February Word Walls Thematic Writing 

Get kids excited about February with thematic word walls! Word walls in all shapes and sizes are a great way to enhance your print rich classroom. Help your kids build background knowledge by creating and using thematic word walls in your classroom. Create your own thematic word walls, check out Grab & Go: February Word Walls, create a portable word wall station, or have students create their own desk sized set of February word walls. Here are few ideas that you can use with your own kids! If you are still in need of more great ideas for February, check out my pinterest board Creative February.

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February word walls free personal word wall

Themes For February

Using thematic units, during learning, is a great way to engage your students. Thematic units help kids make and understand connections to the real world. Thematic units allow you to teach new vocabulary in a real and meaningful way. Here are a few themes that I like to use during February.February word walls and word lists

Dental Health

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. A perfect time to learn about teeth, dentistry, and keeping your teeth healthy. Head over to the American Dental Association to see their resources and ideas for Dental Health month!

Want more thematic ideas about dental health? Check out these hands-on learning acitivities centered around teeth.Hands-on Dental Health


Valentine’s Day is a lot of fun with young children. Explore vocabulary centered around Valentine’s Day and Cupid, identify all types of Valentine treats, and sequence the steps in making a Valentine.

february word walls valentines

Need more Valentine-inspired fun? Check out these activities & freebies:

Groundhog Day

Groundhog’s Day is fun! Who can resist a furry round rodent that’s afraid of his own shadow?? Check out more ideas on my Pinterest board: Wintry Mix of Teaching Ideas.

february word walls groundhog

George Washington & Abraham Lincoln

President’s Day is a holiday in the USA that celebrates the past and present presidents. It’s a great time to revisit and compare/contrast some of the great leaders of this country. Two favorites to compare/contrast are George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.February word walls presidents

Super Bowl

My son is crazy for all things sports! When I asked him what he would choose as a theme for February, he immediately said, “The SUPERBOWL!” There are tons of kids out there that would be uber-motivated to write about this football event. It is a perfect time to predict and write about their predicted winner.February word walls super bowl football


One of my favorite themes is everything dinosaurs. Check out tons of pin-worthy ideas on this All About Dinosaurs board on Pinterest. Here are some more fun dinosaur activities:

february word walls dinosaurs

Create Your Own Thematic Word Walls

An easy way to start with thematic word walls is to make your own! While it is tempting to create the word wall by yourself, resist the urge! A teacher-made word wall may be more aesthetically pleasing and much neater; however, students are more invested in charts that they helped to create.Make your own word wall

Involve Your Students

Encourage your students to brainstorm together. Have them access their own background knowledge on a concept or theme. This allows you to assess student understanding of the concept or theme, as well as, to plan out the thematic learning for the future. When creating a thematic word wall, encourage students to identify all the words they know that relate to the specific theme. If students are unable to identify any words, or have not picked out the specific words required, aid them in coming up with the desired words.

Legible Word Walls + Pictures

To make the word wall most usable for your students, you may want to write the words. This will make all the letters legible and large. Involve your students, by having them illustrate each word or matching pre-printed/pre-drawn picures.

Use chart paper for large word walls that are visible around the classroom, or use regular-sized paper that can be bound into a “February Word Walls” book. Kids can then use the portable word wall book in the writing center, or it can travel around the classroom.  Make multiple classroom copies of the “February Word Wall” book and many children can use them as needed.

Grab & Go February Word Walls

Another option is to use ready-made portable word walls. I use my Grab & Go February Word Walls in a variety of ways.

word walls february

Hang From A Mini-Anchor Chart Stand

The large format in the February Edition is perfect to hang from a mini-anchor chart stand. This allows you to hang a large number of word wall charts on the stand. Students are able to flip through the charts to access the words that they need. Place the stand in your writing center, reading center, word work center, and/or allow students to carry and move the chart stand around the room. Students are then able to access the thematic words wherever they need them.DIY mini anchor chart stand

Create Word Rings

Use small metal rings to create thematic word lists for your students. The rings make the word walls portable and accessible to all students. Hang the word rings in various places around the room, or put a small word ring set at student tables. Students love to use these portable word walls. Organization is so easy with the word lists on rings! Read more about how I set up my word rings here.word rings portable word walls

Word Wall Binders

Another option is laminating the thematic word walls, punching holes, and including in a 3 ring binder. Throw in some dividers and you have a thematic book of words. Students will love using this reference binder to access all the previous word walls.

word walls word binders

Portable Word Wall Station

Short on space? No problem- Create your own portable word wall station! All you need is a tri-fold board (like the board used in science fair projects), plastic hooks with adhesive backs, and word lists hung on metal rings. Head over to this blog post to get the nitty gritty details. You will love the portability of this word wall station AND that it can be folded up and placed out of sight when not in use.DIY portable word wall station for your classroom!

Want all the Grab & Go Monthly Word Walls? Head over to my TPT store and grab them at a discount. Print, laminate, and hang right in your classroom. Your kids will love the pictures and words and you will love their growing independence!

Thematic word walls for every month of the year

Free Student-Created February Word Walls

Looking for another option, why not try student-created word walls? You can combine the student created word walls ready-made or class-made word walls. Then, have kids make their own version of the word wall at their seats. They can use the thematic word walls for brainstorming, writer’s workshop, or any other purpose during your thematic unit. Give the personal word walls a try for FREE!

Free Personal Word Walls

Laura from Differentiation Station Creations
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