Saturday, March 28, 2015

Five for Fraturday - Dictation Stations

I am late for the party (as usual), but better late than never!  Seriously though, I am impressed by all of you teachers out there who actually manage to STAY AWAKE long enough on a Friday evening to blog.  After a long school day (which was not exactly a cake walk), a 3-hour long SST meeting, another hour to pick up and prepare our classroom for Monday, and finally another 1/2 hour drive home, I.was.exhausted.

Last December, I was given a calendar with inspirational quotes from a colleague who was my Secret Santa.  This one could not have come at a more ideal time in my professional life.  Hopefully more to come on that!  *fingers crossed*

Anyway...moving on to the world of Kindergarten!  My current school district uses Fundations, which if you are unfamiliar, it is a phonological / phonemic awareness, phonics, and spelling program.  Of course, we are always reminded to use the program "with fidelity," and I do.  However, I am always looking for ways to spice things up for my Kinders.

One of the elements of the program is what they call Dictation.  Essentially, I say a CVC word and my students are to write the word on their whiteboards.  We do this often and, I cannot lie, the excitement of having their very own whiteboard is fading away.  So this past week we did Dictation Stations.

In one station, my students used Wikki Stix to build the word.

In another station, my writers used old school chalk, a mini chalkboard, and an eraser (haha) to write the words.

So I bought these big dry erase stickers at Walgreens, of all places, and I have yet to stick them to my small group table, as I had originally planned.  Maybe because they cost a pretty penny and I only want to use them sparingly...for now, LOL.  My kiddos loved them!

We ended up spraying more shaving cream on the table after this picture was taken.  Tip - If you are going to expect your students to write words in shaving cream, give them LOTS of it!  I am strict about the "one finger only" rule, so they stay pretty clean.

This station had two steps.  First, my students segmented the words by saying the sounds in the CVC word as they moved the beads across the pipe cleaners.  Second, they wrote the word on paper using "rainbow writing" (each letter is a different colored marker).

I recorded a video of my students in the last station, but forgot to snap a picture (without student faces).  But anyway, I have these ginormous paint sticks (purchased from Wal-Mart) that I painted to look like big pencils.  The students used these "pencils" to sky write the word in the air, then write the word on their mini dry erase whiteboards.

What are some of the different ways you make writing words FUN in your classroom?!  I would love to hear your ideas!

As always, thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your weekend!


  1. Amber, I found you through the link up. Thanks for sharing your creative ideas for dictation stations. (The whiteboards have gotten too much use in my classroom as well!) I use Wikki sticks at the beginning of the year for letter formation, but this is a great time to bring them back!

    One of the ways I practice spelling words is by using lacing letters or alphabet beads on pipecleaners. (It's great for fine motor muscle building as well.)
    Have a great weekend!

    1. Hi Hannah! Thank you for sharing your idea! You know...I have letter beads in my closet, and I'm not sure I ever ended up using them. Silly me! Do you have a blog post that explains how you set this up? I'm just wondering how the students can quickly find the letters they need to build the word. Or maybe they do this in a work station (not whole group)? Take care!

  2. Your activities this week look super fun and hands on! :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by my little 'ole blog, Haley! :)

  3. All of those stations look like lots of fun! I also love that quote.
    - Kelly :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Kelly! Enjoy the rest of your weekend. :)


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