If you asked my kinders what their favorite part of our day is, most of them will tell you, “Centers!”   On a typical day, I rotate three centers which include a teacher-facilitated literacy center, a technology center, and a third center which I alternate daily (fine motor, reading, math, reading & writing, art, etc.).  Some days (and especially at the beginning of the year), I may use this time to assess my students individually in lieu of my teacher table activity.  

In order for me to use this precious time to work with my small groups or assess, it is SO important that the remaining students can work independently on engaging tasks.      


Keeping things simple is key at the beginning of the year.  As kindergarten teachers, we must remember that these children come to us right out of preschool.  Setting up simple independent centers will help students develop fine motor and basic alphabet and numeric skills.  This will also help your students gain confidence. 



Alphabet Mats

These alphabet mats are a great beginning of kindergarten center that can be used in a variety of ways.  Laminate the mats, and have students use fine motor skills as they roll Play Dough to create the letters.  Dry-erase markers can be used for a write and wipe option with the laminated mats.   Another great idea is to place in a binder in sheet protectors to use over and over.   You can use the pages as worksheets as each letter is introduced.  Pages can also be copied as worksheets for students to color, use watercolors, or paint with q-tips at an independent art center.



These mats can be used in SO many ways…The possibilities are endless!




Number Mats

These can be used in a similar fashion.   I like to use Play-doh  and have my students roll little balls to represent the number in the ten frame.  These mats are perfect for introducing number writing, one-to-one correspondence, and number sense.  




These mats are also part of my Kick Off to Kindergarten BUNDLE that includes 10 Beginning of the Year Basics to get your year off to a great start!  This bundle has a little bit of everything you need for the first month of school.  Snag it at introductory pricing for a limited time!
Visit my TPT Store and search the Center category for more ideas for Kindergarten Centers Made Simple!  Dolch Pre-primer and Primer Sight Word Mats are also available.


I would love to hear from you if you try these Centers Made Simple in your classroom.  Comment below…
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