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This post has been co-written with Ben Wolfson, a full-time educator and assistant principal in the USA.
This freebie is SNOW much fun and can be used as more than just a number and letter sorting activity. Download this snowball sorting mat to differentiate letters and numbers, spell words, count out objects and more!
Learning to Differentiate Letters and Numbers
A key skill in kindergarten is being able to identify and name all the letters of the alphabet in both their upper and lower case forms. Students should also be able to arrange them in alphabetical order, starting with sequential letters and then ordering letters with gaps in between. Students also need to be able to recognize numbers up to 100 and put them in size order (both greatest to least and least to greatest) at least up to 20. All of these foundational skills set the scene for all their future work in reading, writing and math. Using this snow themed letters and numbers sort packet allows you to create a variety of activities that will give your students plenty of opportunities to master their letters and numbers.
Preparing Snowball Sorting Mats
For this activity you will need:
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Activities Using The Letter Sorting Printable
As with all great free resources, this snowball sorting number and letter sorting activity has a wide range of usage to help your students learn to differentiate letters and numbers. Try some of these fun activities to get you started:
Count and sort – for the number snowball cards, print out the full set of snowballs and put them in a pile on your math center table. Then put out piles of different objects (it would be super cute if you used small cotton balls to look like snowballs!) and have your students count them and label them with the correct snowball card. They can then sort them by magnitude, or even create comparative sentences using the words “more than”, “less than” or “equal to”.
Alphabetizing – help your students build their alphabetizing confidence by giving them small packets of letters to sort out. Start by making sure that the letters are sequential in the alphabet (e.g. d, e, f, g, h) and give them an answer sheet so that they can self-correct. As they master that skill, give them non-sequential letters which will help them learn the alphabet in a more efficient manner.
Create CVC words – another great tool for these snowball sorting cards is to use them to help students develop their CVC word bank. You’ll need to print out a bunch of snowballs and split them into vowels and consonant piles. Your students can then take turns to pick out two consonants and one vowel to make nonsense words. This will help them practice their reading skills as they learn to associate short vowel sounds with single letters.
Like this? Then you’ll love my 10 Snow Themed Literacy and Math Centers. These easy-prep games will get your students working on letters, phonics, numbers and more!
1) Snowflake Pick and Cover Letters – Kids will pick letter cards and match them with the letters on the playing mat until all letters have been identified.
2) Snowflake Sight Words Bingo – 8 different bingo cards provided for use in small groups. 40 Pre-primer sight words are included.
3) Snowball Letters and Numbers Sorting – Sort the snowballs according to upper and lowercase or letters vs numbers.
4) Snowflake Vowel Sound Sorting – Print out the sorting mat and place the picture cards in the correct columns based on their vowel sounds.
5) Snowflake Write the Room Alphabet – Hunt around the room for a letter card and match the pictures on the recording sheet to complete the game.
6) Snowman Count and Write Numbers – Kids will practice writing number words 1-10. There are 2 versions included – with numbers and with ten frames.
7) Snowflake Counting Clip Cards – Develop fine motor skills and math skills in this 1-20 counting game.
8) Winter Numbers Memory Match – Flip 2 cards over at a time to find matching number pairs until all the numbers have been matched up.
9) Snowman Ten Frame Mats – Adorable counting mats with ten frames for one to one correspondence and counting practice. You can use this with cotton wool ‘snow’, pompoms, buttons, etc.
10) Snowflake Visual Discrimination Cards- Find the 2 matching snowflakes from a group of 6. There are 16 cards provided.
Other Printables for Your Winter Lesson Plan:
1) Penguin Sight Words Write the Room – Kids will love this printable penguin theme pre-primer sight words write the room activity! It’s perfect for a winter literacy center in kindergarten and even first grade.
2) Penguin and Fish Letter Matching– Printable penguin and fish themed game to pair up upper and lowercase letters.
3) Counting to 20 with Ice Skates – Kindergarten and 1st-grade students will work on counting to 20 and one to one correspondence in this free ice skating activity. Use this as a fun winter math center in your classroom or as a hands-on printable twenty frame game for your homeschool.
4) Snowman Ten Frame Mats – Students in preschool to 1st grade will practice counting, making 10, one to one correspondence, subitizing and writing numbers with these snowman ten frame mats. Use this printable as a fun winter math center in your classroom or as a hands-on addition activity for your homeschooling kids.
5) Winter Printable Worksheets Pack – Your kids will love this 50-page winter packet full of fun activities to help them practice literacy, math and fine motor skills. Preschool and kindergarten students will cut, color, count and much more. This activity pack is perfect for indoor leaning time during the cold winter months.
6) Winter Freeze Number Puzzle Strips – 2 printable winter theme puzzles to practice number order from 1 to 20.
7) Snowball Sorting – Sort out numbers from letters or uppercase letters from lowercase letters in this winter-themed activity.
Fun Classroom Items for Winter:
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