Winter is in full swing and a new year is here! Getting back from winter break can be a bit of a challenge for not just the teachers but for the students too! However, kindergarten centers for January can turn this new month into lots of fun and engaging learning. These winter themed centers will add tons of hands-on activities to your math and literacy centers.
Each month I love to switch up my center activities. Students get excited for the new theme, the new center activities, and it allows students to practice important math and literacy skills in a hands-on way.
January Literacy Centers
During this time of year, you may experience students with a wide range of literacy skills. Some students may still be working on identifying letters and letter sounds while other students may be reading at a 1st grade level.
One way to meet the needs of all of your students and to keep them engaged is by using kindergarten centers for January.
The winter theme as well as the hands-on literacy activities in these January centers will grab your student’s attention and make centers time so much fun!
The January literacy centers focus on these different skills:
- Beginning Sounds
- CVC Words
- Sight Words
- Ending Sounds
- Beginning Digraphs
- Letter Identification
- Letter Matching
- Middle Vowels
- Rhyming Words
- Ending Sounds
- Sentence Unscrambles
Having all of these different literacy skills will allow you to differentiate your center activities, help you meet the needs of your students, and focus on key concepts for this time of year.
Here is a look at 9 of the 13 literacy centers included:
Having an ending sounds activity helps with phonemic awareness and comprehension. We sometimes focus so much on the beginning sounds that it is important to not forget the ending sound too!
These snowmen get even more adorable by adding a hat with the correct ending sound letter.
I love adding CVC words to centers. This skill allows students to transform simple sounds into words and it is often magical for them!
CVC Words are also such an important tool to help build students phonological awareness and build their confidence as early readers.
Students get to build a CVC word with letters on snowballs. They will look at the penguin and say the picture name. Then, they find the beginning, middle, and end letters to build the CVC word next to the penguin.
Do your students love puzzles? I always love the suspense of puzzles! This CVC words puzzle will have students read the CVC word on the puzzle piece and place it on the correct picture. When all of the CVC words are placed on the correct image, a winter themed picture will appear.
I always love including sight word activities in my monthly centers. They are words that students instantly recognize and memorize without having to sound them out. What is so wonderful about sight words is that once students know them, they can read more fluently and can often read half of the words in any given text.
This sight word activity has students building the sight word. They will look at the given sight word and use the snowball splat letters to build the sight word.
Beginning sounds are one of the easiest phonemic awareness skills to teach because they are the first sound that they hear!
This snowglobe beginning sounds activity helps students practice finding the beginning sounds in words and build those phonemic awareness skills.
Students get to build a snowglobe by matching the picture to the correct beginning sound letter.
Have you ever noticed how much students love rhyming words? When students understand how rhyming words work, they love to say them and point out when words rhyme as much as possible.
Rhyming word activities are great for students to help with their oral language skills and eventual reading preparedness.
This rhyming activity has students putting a pair of ice skates together by finding the two matching words on the ice skates.
Some students at this time of year may know all of their letters and some may not. Regardless, having letter matching activities helps with letter recognition, identification, and can make learning letter sounds easier for early readers.
This letter matching activity will have students matching the lowercase letter on the marshmallow to the uppercase letter on the hot chocolate mug.
We can’t forget about those middle sounds! They can be hard to identify, but having extra practice with middle sounds will help build another important part of phonological awareness.
This middle sounds activity has students placing the correct middle sound vowel letter to the picture on the snowman.
It is exciting that our early readers are starting to work on more challenging skills such as beginning digraphs! This is a skill where students are decoding and learning that two letters work together to make one sound.
This mitten beginning digraphs activity will have students matching the correct beginning digraph to the picture.
January Math Centers
Very much like the literacy centers, these math centers allow students to practice many different math skills in a hands-on and fun way!
These January math centers focus on:
- Number Sense
- Count by 5
- Count by 10
- Number Order
- Make 10
- 2D Shapes
- Teen Numbers
- Ten Frames 1-10 and 11-20
- Greater Than and Less Than
There are so many skills that you can pick and choose from in these kindergarten centers for January and that you can use to differentiate your center activities.
Here is a look at 10 of the 19 math center activities included:
During kindergarten, it is important for students to understand that a number can be shown in many different ways. This activity has students getting to practice their number sense with the numbers 1-10 or you can add a challenge and have them show their number sense for the numbers 11-20.
This number sense center will have students building a snowman by placing the correct snowballs that show the given number in a variety of ways.
It is fun to see how much students understanding of numbers has grown to now being able to solve addition equations. I like to have different addition centers by including a variety of hands-on addition activities. This allows students to get a stronger understanding of how addition works.
This penguin addition activity has students solving the addition equations on the penguins and sorting them to the igloo with the correct sum. Students learn from this activity that different addition equations can have the same sum.
This next addition center helps with addition fluency by solving the addition equation on the snowman and matching the equation to the correct sum on the sun. You may hear some giggles from your students when they melt the snowmen with the sun!
Did you know that learning and identifying 2D shapes can help students learn skills in other areas such as reading, math, and science?
This 2D shapes activity has students pulling a card out of a bag, identifying the shape, and coloring that shape on a recording sheet. Students have to work extra hard because the shape is a little tricky! The shapes all look like snowmen and students need to determine which 2D shape the snowmen are.
There are so many different ways that students can practice counting. This is a skill that is so important because it improves their readiness for other math concepts that will be taught in the future.
This snowflake counting activity is the perfect hands-on practice for one-to-one correspondence. Students look at the number on the cloud and count out the correct number of snowflakes below the cloud.
During this time of year, students may be starting or may already be counting objects to 20. A great way to help build number sense and practice counting to 10 and 20 is with ten frames.
This snowball ten frames activity has students practicing counting objects from 1-10 or from 11-20. Students will match the filled-in ten frames to the number on the bucket.
You can choose which set works best for your students or you can use both sets of the ten frames to differentiate.
I love adding games to my centers and this mitten game is another fun activity to practice counting.
Students can play independently or against a friend. They roll 2 dice, count the dots on the dice, and remove the mitten from the correct number on their strip. The first player to have all of their mittens removed from their strip wins!
Another way to use ten frames is to practice making 10. This not only helps with number sense, but also helps strengthen mental math skills.
This making 10 activity has students using a ten frame to determine how many more they need to make 10. You can have students place mini erasers on the empty spaces in the ten frame to help them determine the number they need to make 10.
Did you know that ordering numbers is something that all of us do in our daily lives regularly? This math skill is a huge foundation of learning and many other skills are then built.
This number order activity has students put the given numbers on the cloud in order from smallest to largest. This activity becomes interactive because students need to find the numbers on the cloud and place them in the correct number order.
Subtraction is another skill that we use on a daily basis and is also very important for future math concepts.
Students get to solve the subtraction equation on the penguin and place the fish with the correct answer to the fishing hook.
January Math and Literacy Centers
Having hands-on activities that are full of important math and literacy skills for this time of year will help make the month of January easier for you and include lots of fun learning for your students.
My favorite part about centers is that most of the center activities feel like games for students.
Save These January Centers for Later
Be sure to save these hands-on kindergarten centers for January to your favorite Pinterest board so that you can come back any time for engaging centers activities that you can add to your classroom this winter!
Have you grabbed my FREE winter center activity?
You can grab my FREE winter literacy center activity HERE.