Complete Primary Winter Literacy Center Set

set layout

I love themed learning centers. With all of the snow that most of the nation is getting right now it is hard NOT to do a learning set that isn’t winter themed. So I created my Complete Primary Winter Literacy Center Set to offer 7 activities, games, and lessons for primary learners to explore language within a fun, colorful snow theme.

This set includes:

  • **The Snowman – an original story written by Veronica Stanley-Hooper
  • **3 Writing Prompts
  • **9 Story Sequencing Cards for “The Snowman” book
  • **16 Vocabulary matching cards
  • **1 Build a Snowman Following Directions Activity – 4 Tracing pieces and Directions Card

For a total of 30 pieces of literacy learning for center work or small groups!
All of the games are self-correcting and PERFECT for independent learning too!

Covers Common Core Standards:
Key Concepts:
• To follow written directions in order to assemble a complete piece
of work.

This set is great for First, Second, or Third graders. You can find it on my Teachers Pay Teachers Store :

Top 10 Family Games to Play on Family Game Night

family game cover

We love family game night at our house. It changes from week to week from Friday to Saturday night but one thing is certain we will have some good family fun. Depending on our mood we may play a board game vs. an active game and the list below is not in priority order. You are sure to find a new game that interests your family on this list.

These are some of our favorites!

1. Apples to Apples
2. Blokus
3. Cranium Disney
4. Headbandz
5. Monopoly
6. Guilty Party
7. Tripoly
8. Scrabble Flash
9. Pictionary Jr.
10. Guesstures

Winter Primary Writing Set – The Snowman – CCSS. ELA W.1.1, 1.2, 1.3

Cover tease Winter writing

My daughter LOVES to write in her journal and to do creative writing. But as part of the standard elementary curriculum students need to write for purpose too. I developed this set for both my first grader and my third grader to use to practice three different types of writing –an opinion paragraph, a narrative paragraph, and a sequential/informative paragraph.

inside book

The book tells a charming story of a group of children who make a snowman. When they go indoors for some hot cocoa the snowman makes a wish for a family. After drinking their cocoa the children return outdoors to continue building. They build a snow family and the snowman gets his wish! The book is written in child friendly prose with lots of high frequency words and the inside cover page of the book lists some words for review, so text is easy to read and understand. The story also serves as the basis for the three writing assignments included in this set.


The set includes the book “The Snowman” written by Veronica Stanley-Hooper (me) and three writing prompts. The first writing prompt asks students to retell the story in their own words using picture clues that are printed next to the words First, Next, and Last. The second prompt asks students to offer a review of the story by answering the questions that are numbered in the directions. The last writing prompt asks students to write the directions for building a snowman in order using the sentence starter words: First, Next, Then and Last. The teacher should demonstrate or read examples of finished paragraphs before setting children off to write their own using the writing prompts in the set.

You can find the Winter Primary Writing Set – The Snowman at my Teachers Pay Teachers store here:

Studying Crystals – Science, Art and Writing


It’s wintertime and even though we live in Southern California we do like to study winter themes at this time of the year. So we have taken the past few days to study crystals. Here’s what we did!

Make Salt and Sugar Crystals

We boiled some water and I poured it into a beaker. Then we poured in salt to make a supersaturated solution. The definition of a supersaturated solution is a state of a solution that contains more of the dissolved material than could be dissolved by the solvent under normal circumstances. By heating the water and stirring vigorously we made the water dissolve A LOT of salt crystals (approximately 1c of water absorbed about 2c of salt!) We added salt and stirred the solution until stirring no longer made the salt dissolve and we could still see salt on the bottom of the beaker. Then we added a string of dental floss with a popsicle stick tied to one end and a small eyelet screw tied to the other. We placed the popsicle stick over the top of the beaker and dangled the floss down into the center of the beaker. Within hours we had salt crystals forming. We followed the same procedure for the sugar solution but the sugar crystals took a few days to form –so be patient.


Learn about Crystals

We watched two videos about crystals. One was “Meet Molly Cule” from the Magic School Bus Series Season 4, Episode 1. This one talks about the two main points (no pun intended) that we discussed during our salt/sugar crystal experiments–> Molecules and crystals! The kids in Mrs. Frizzle’s class create a car wash to meet a famous singer –>Molly Cule. While washing her car they learn about molecules and crystals!

We also watched a video from PBS called Cyberchase, Crystal Clear. This video talks about crystals and crystal formations in a fun adventure show format designed for children. You can find the video here: There is also a fun follow-up video that talks about making sugar crystals or rock candy. You can find that video here:


We also read about snow crystals and saw some great pictures on this website: The pictures are amazing and we learned a lot about the hexagonal shape of snowflakes!

Fun Follow-up

After we learned about the shapes and structures of crystals we decided to fold and cut a few of our own paper snowflakes. We used this website ( as a guide for how to fold an origami hexagon. Then we used our creative energy to cut some beautiful paper snowflakes!

Finally we found these fun polymer crystals that are super fun to play with and symbolically represent snow. They grow to 100x their original size.


Even though they do not directly have a crystalline structure similar to snow, sugar, or salt crystals we found them a really fun way to conclude our learning about crystals!


Using Game Chips and a Ten Frame to Teach Addition to 10 – Commutative Property – CCSS 1.OA.B.3

Game Chips Ten Frame

My first grader and I were working on math this morning and the picture on the workbook page we were ‘supposed’ to do had a picture of a ten frame with white and black colored circles on it. The task was to write addition sentences by drawing circles onto the ten frame and then writing the sentence for the picture.

othello game

I instantly thought of our Othello game. This game has chips that are black on one side and white on the other. So instead of writing on another piece of paper….we chose to play a game with these chips, a paper ten frame and a student sized chalk board.


I simply folded a 1/2 sheet of colored paper into a ten frame and then we placed one chip onto each spot on the ten frame. We took turns flipping over chips and then writing the addition sentences that corresponded to the chips. What a fun way to practice the commutative property of math too. We took a look at all of of the addition sentences to see which ones had the same numbers in different positions.

Game Chips Ten Frame 2

Don’t have an Othello game? Check out this cool Ten Frame Set!


We avoided another worksheet! Hooray!!! I hope you enjoy playing this game with your kiddos too!

Greater Than, Less Than Snowman! CCSS 1.NBT.B.3

Cover tease

Math is always more fun when you are playing a game to practice skills. So I developed this game for my children to practice evaluating number sentences for greater than and less than values. I designed this game with two levels of game play so that my first grader and my third grader can enjoy playing the same game!

Snowman set

This colorful winter themed game contains 80+ game pieces. Your students will compare numbers using greater than and less than symbols in a fun matching game format. The game is designed with two levels of play for beginner and intermediate learning. Both levels are self-correcting and can be played individually, in a small group, or in a learning center. Teacher notes and assembly instructions are included. Common core CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.B.3 is covered by playing this game with your students! Yay!

You can find this game on my Teachers Pay Teachers Store here


Chill ‘E’ Penguins – A Silent ‘E’ Matching Game and Word Book – CCSS RF.1.3c

cover tease

As you may know I homeschool my children. My daughter is in 1st grade and we have been working on reading with fluency and understanding. Her skills are developing nicely, but words with the silent ‘e’ ending still trip her up sometimes. There are MANY worksheets that claim to practice this skill but frankly I don’t really like worksheets, so I set out with a plan to develop a game to help my daughter practice identify and read words with the silent ‘e’ ending.


The Chill ‘E’ Penguins Silent ‘E’ Matching Game and Word Book helps your students practice matching words that have silent ‘e’ endings and their partner words that do not have the silent ‘e’ (such as ‘cap’ and ‘cape’) with pictures. This 34 piece colorful set is designed for your student to practice matching the words on the penguins with the correct pictures. Some words are=> pin, pine, can, cane, cap, cape => plus a lot more! The game is self-correcting. Directions card, teacher notes for instruction and assembly are included.

penguin book cover

The companion word book is colorful, cute and the perfect way for your students to practice reading sentences and using picture clues to determine the missing word. Then your student writes the missing word on the line. All of the missing words end in silent ‘e’ and are a part of the matching game. A handy word bank on the first page of the book helps your student to spell the missing word correctly.

The Chill ‘E’ Penguins Silent ‘E’ Matching Game and Word Book covers common core standard CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.1.3c Know final -e and common vowel team conventions for representing long vowel sounds. The game is perfect for individual or small group play or you can use it in your literacy learning center. The word book is great for independent practice or for use in small instructional groups.

My daughter LOVES to play the game and I have set it up using a pocket chart in our homeschool classroom. You can check it out here on my Teachers Pay Teachers store!


Turkey Fractions – An Equivalent Fractions Matching Game

turkey fractions

I asked my son,”What kind of game would you like for our Thanksgiving Math Center?” He said, “I want a fractions game!” My son is in 3rd grade and fractions are coming up as part of the core curriculum (3.NF.A.3, 3.NF.A.3a, 3.NF.A.3b), so I decided this was a good opportunity to start the learning!

Fractions Turkey Set

This colorful matching game has 20 matching turkey and feather pieces. The student reads the fraction that is on the turkey and looks at the fraction model picture. Then he finds the feather pieces that have equivalent fractions and matches them to the turkey. The set comes with teacher notes, self-correcting answers for all of the feather pieces, and an answer key.

My son loves playing this game so much that he has interested his sister (first grade) in learning more about fractions. She plays the game with assistance from either her brother or myself! I love it when games make learning more exciting and they don’t even realize they are learning! Here’s the link to the product on Teachers Pay Teachers

Hundreds Chart Bingo!–CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.C.4, C.6


A friend of mine opened her first grade child’s homework folder to find the assignment depicted below. She found herself wondering how to teach her son how to add complex numbers and do division to complete this assignment. Are these first grade concepts?


Well, yes….essentially they are. The concept of spiraled math is that the same math principals will be introduced and taught at each grade level with varied complexity. So with that in mind this assignment is appropriate for a first grader with the proper tools! A hundreds chart is a tool that can be used to teach how to add and subtract by tens easily. Thus completing the assignments for Monday and Tuesday with ease.


I created my Hundred’s Chart Bingo game to help first grade students learn how to add and subtract tens with ease while having fun! The player first draws a number from the first pile and places her finger on that number on the chart. Then the player draws a card from the second pile. That card tells them a number to add or subtract from the first number. The student slides their finger up the chart in the same column to subtract by tens and down the chart in the same column to add by tens. It’s that easy! Check out my Teachers Pay Teachers store to get the full description of the game here:

The Hundreds Chart Bingo game covers CCSS.1.NBT.C.4, CCSS.1.NBT.C.6 and practices the skills necessary to complete these computations as mental math which covers CCSS.1.NBT.C.5.

If you want to learn how to teach your child how to answer Wednesday and Thursday’s assignments from above check out my Turkey Tens set here:

Thanksgiving Reading Comprehension- CCSS.RL.1.1, 1.7,1.10


My first grader is coming along very well with her reading. She is working on her phonics skills daily and I also like to reinforce reading for understanding daily. I work with her on reading comprehension after she reads to me, but I want to have a game in our literacy center that practices reading comprehension too! I love to create themed activities that liven up our classroom with bright colors and engaging images so I created this set for our Thanksgiving literacy center that accomplishes both goals.


This set is two games and an interactive student mini-book that covers CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.1.1, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.1.7, and CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.1.10. The game cards and book are non-fiction and discuss the first pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving tying beautifully into Social Studies for the month of November.


The individual student book comes with a page of images that are to be cut and pasted into the book on the appropriate pages. The student can also add their own images to illustrate the words on each page of the book to really make it their own story of Thanksgiving! If you want to make the book reusable just laminate the cut and paste pictures and the pages of the book. The student can place the pictures on the corresponding pages and illustrate with dry erase markers or crayons and then wipe the entire book clean when finished! I hope you enjoy using this set with your little learners as much as I do!