Fine Motor Center

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SWBAT match letters or letter sounds while using their fine motor skills.

Big Idea

Students will be able to practice their fine motor skills while also reviewing their letter name and/or letter sound knowledge.

Why This Center?

1 minutes

Fine motor center is the place where students are able to really practice their fine motor skills and work with their hands a lot.  Of course, they’re not only just cutting or tracing or threading; students also review letters, numbers and different types of important skills throughout the year at this center.

How Does This Center Work?

10 minutes

What I use:
A (very hands-on) cut and paste, tracing, threading or stamping activity
Scissors, pencils, stamps, etc.
Letter and word tracing practice activities
Building puzzles
      *I also have things like “crazy scissors” and hole punchers at this center sometimes to reinforce strong hand movements!

(I like to trade out the activities in this center.  For example: I will do a cut and paste one round, then a tracing activity the following round and then a stamping activity following that.  This way, students get to work on all sorts of fine motor skills and stay engaged time after time.)


What I do to set up the center:
- I get the activity for cutting, tracing or stamping together. 
- I make sure all of the materials needed are in the bucket.
- I put additional letter and word tracing activities and building puzzles in the bucket for students who get finished early.
- I take out anything I don’t want them to use- i.e. I don’t always want to leave the hole punchers in the bucket.

The Process Students Typically Follow

40 minutes

This center doesn't usually follow a typical process; however, it always ensures students are using their hands!  I keep many things in this center bucket because students can learn all types of things through movement and touch!  Kinesthetic learners benefit from the vast array of activities (and the element of choice) provided in this center. 

I always have some sort of a paper response sheet in this center.  Whether it involves letters, words, numbers, etc, it always keeps kids using their cutting or writing skills (because Kindergarten is the only time they are actually able to really focus on and correct those things)!

I try to keep the activities interesting and engaging- they all require movement in some manner.

Students typically complete their cut and paste independently and then they work with their partner to complete the other activities that might be in the bucket. 

How Does This Center Change to Meet Students' Needs Throughout the Year?

10 minutes

* For the first three or four rounds of centers in the year, I have the students work on cut and paste letter sorts.  This is an easier skill for them, which is helpful because at this point, a lot of students still have difficulty cutting and cutting well.

* After students have gotten the hang of cutting, I will begin changing the activity each round.  Sometimes students will trace a story, word by word, that matches one from whole group.  Sometimes, students will stamp out words with playdough stampers.  Sometimes, students will use ink stamps to make high frequency words. 

* There are so many different things that students can do at this center and they enjoy going to the center to practice review skills while working with their hands.

Secret!!!!!*** The most beloved activity at this center: books and puzzles allowing students to practice tying their shoes!  They love it... and it helps me out in the long run!

* The things I provide that are extra:
The additional letter and word tracing activities are things such as: mats with letters that show the correct way to make letters, sight word tracing mats, textures letter tiles students can feel, etc.
The building puzzles I have include: Lakeshore “wood pieces” that you connect to form letters (a would be made with a circle and a stick) and trucks where high frequency words can be built with individual small, foam letters.

*This center is easy to differentiate for individual students.  I find it really helpful to have some students work with scissors every week for a while; although their partner may be doing something with stamps that is similar.  This center is also an easy way to teach students how to respectfully use all types of different materials in the classroom.

The Process Students Typically Follow

50 minutes

- Complete your hands-on activity (cutting, lacing, stamping, etc).
- Check your activity with your partner; then, turn it in.
- Clean up your mess.
- Choose an extension activity: letter and word tracing activities or building puzzles