I Can Do It Myself-Segmenting Differentiated Kindergarten Style

“I can do it myself.”  These are the words that every teacher dreams of hearing.  How do we make centers and stations work?  By providing students the tools that have them saying, “I can do it myself.”  Much of the success in making centers and stations independent comes from solid management, routines and expectations.

But having independent and self-correcting stations doesn’t hurt when you’re trying to keep 20+ kindersactively engaged.  This week in my class we have been hitting segmenting hard and heavy.  So this coming week (yes, some of still have school this week . . . Ya lucky ducks who are off . . .) I want to make sure that they can get as much independent, engaging and meaningful practice as possible.  Enter . . .”I Can Do It Myself-Segmenting”
Of course, it’s differentiated.  I have one set that will have students who are just beginning to master segmenting doing so with only 2-3 phonemes.  I have another set that allows those who need a greater challenge to work with words with 2-5 phonemes.
 Playing cards are laminated and folded in to hide the ‘answer’ and secured with a clothes pin like the one below.

I place all the same colored cards in a festive basket or bucket.  

Students will then choose one of the cards to place on their mat.

Once the playing card is on the mat, students will move their ‘counters’ into one box for each phoneme they hear in the word.  They can then open the card to see if their answer is correct.

Here’s a secret.  You can keep this station fun and engaging just by changing out your counters.  Granted, the cars are a favorite and the 8 little ones here cost me a whopping $1.00 at Dollar General (They should really hire me to be their Spokesperson for as much stuff as I get there.)  I have used cars, acorns, stones (your little naturalist learners love these), seasonal erasers, jingle bells, colored pasta, bingo chips or whatever will easily slide.  Make it fun for goodness sakes.  Will your kids want to play with the counters? . . . Absolutely.  That’s why I always give them a few minutes to explore the materials, and then I say, ‘time’s up.’ I tell them that I gave them time to play a little and now it’s time to do some work.  I can always put these same items in their learning stations later for them to use if they want more time to explore.

Cards are differentiated by color to match the correct playing mat and make differentiating and organizing easier.  As your beginning students start to master segmenting, you can give them the more challenging cards to work with to make this station ‘fresh’ and interesting.

I love the idea of making stations as independent as possible whenever possible.  I love it when  their practice is meaningful and not just busy work.  I want to know that they are engaged and that they are also enjoying it.  I think these stations do that. Hopefully, I can get a few more of these ‘I Can Do It Myself’ sets out in the next couple of weeks.  

I should also tell you that I do understand that color printing is an issue AND that many of you are required to offer response sheets to verify your students’ learning.  This pack has both the option of black and white station pieces AND I included some printable response sheets for you to offer your students after they have had plenty of time to practice segmenting.

Of course, if you would like to see more, please feel free to click on the pictures below or above.  And in the meantime, drop me a line to let me know what other kinds of ‘I Can Do It Myself’ Stations and Skills you’d like to see next.

Marsha Moffit McGuire

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