I love puzzles! I do jigsaw puzzles with my family over the holidays. I always have at least one puzzle center in my center rotations. I love the logic puzzle app on my phone.
Puzzles are great for developing problem solving skills, fine motor skills including hand eye coordination, and even self-esteem!
While I love all puzzles, I sometimes worry that with some puzzles students may complete them incorrectly when they are working independently. There is no way for them to check if they matched the correct pieces. As a result, some students just stick any pieces together and call it a day.
BUT... a self-correcting puzzle solves this problem!!!
In a self-correcting puzzle only the correct pieces will forget together. For example, the apple will only fit with the piece that has letter "a" not with any other letter.
I talk to my students about checking their answers. Do the pieces fit? Great, you made the correct match! If not, you need to keep working- what went wrong? Try again to find the correct piece and ask a friend if you need more help. This encourages further problem solving and meta-cognition.
Self-correcting puzzles can also boost self-esteem! Make sure to celebrate your students' success with puzzles! I love to take pictures of them with the final product to post around the classroom and send home to their families. They are so proud to show off their hard work!
Check out some of my puzzles! There are puzzles aligned to Fundations Centers, Wit and Wisdom Centers, Eureka Math Centers, and any classroom centers! Click on the picture to go to that center. There are even more puzzles available in my store.
Scroll down to get your freebie!
I love the Fundations curriculum! I think they do a great job teaching kids how to decode words and read fluently. I like how they introduce trick words (what they call sight words) in sentences. But, I have often felt like my students do not get enough practice with Fundations Trick Words.
Sight words are important because they are used frequently in reading and writing and they often do not follow decodable spelling patterns. This means kids need lots of "at bats" with sight words. They need to practice them in many contexts until they can read them instantly.
I created Fundations Trick Word Centers and Games to give students fun and engaging ways to practice their trick words! So far I have Fundations trick word games for Levels K, 1, and 2.
Fundations Trick Word Centers:
1. Write the Room: The trick words are posted around the room. Students write the words on their recording sheet when they find them. Students write sentences using the trick words they found.
For Fundations Level 2, the Write the Room activities include unit words with the decodable spelling pattern as well as trick words!
2. Roll a Word: Students have 2-3 dice that they roll to make a word that matches the Fundations phonics focus. Students blend the word and decide if it is a real word (exp. shell) or a nonsense word (exp. muzz). Students practice decoding words using the phonics elements. Students also write sentences using the real words.
3. Build a Word: This a fun center because students get to make the word using letter tiles, magnets, etc. You can also laminate the sheets and have the students write the words with dry erase markers!
The Build a Word and Roll and Write games are bundled together in my Fundations Trick Word Games. You can buy them by unit or save $$ and buy the bundle for the whole year!
4. Roll and Write: Students have a dice and the worksheet tells that which trick word each number stands for (exp. 1-the, 2-he, 2-she). Students roll the dice and write the word that corresponds with the number on the chart. They continue until the chart is full.
5. Trick Word Playdough Students make the trick words out of playdough! This is a fun center that practices fine motor skills along with sight words!
Don't use Fundations? No problem! Check out my editable versions of the sight word games that can be used with any list of words!
Miriam taught kindergarten and first grade for 5+ years in New Orleans.