Tuesday, February 24, 2015

One Game...Many Uses!

WOW!  February surely went fast!  I can't believe it is my time to post again!

It's Jenn Drake from Crayons & Cuties In Kindergarten and today I am bringing you a 'tried and true' game I have played in my kindergarten classroom for years!

I have modified it over the years, but think it is finally 'at its best' and ready to share!

It is called 'Blast Off' and it can be differentiated in so many ways that it can be used with PreK-2 students!

I use it primarily to practice reading, writing and using sight words, but I am going to show you how it can be used for many ELA and Math skills!

So what is 'Blast Off' and how have I used in in my kindergarten class?
It is an independent 'game' that can be used as a 'game center,' 'word work center,' 'word study center,' 'ABC center' or more!

It basically consists of this simple 'recording sheet'
and a spinner!
That's it!!!
And it can become a weekly center activity that is virtually no prep on your part!

Students spin, read and find it on the recording sheet and then write!
 They continue to spin, read/find and write until one of the words gets to the top- the rocket- and 'blasts off!'
That word is then the 'winning' word!

Once they have a winning word, I have my students then use the word in a sentence on the back and draw a picture to match the sentence!
 It is SO easy to get it ready for the next week!
I bought transparent spinners that I taped onto the top of CD/DVD cases to make my spinner 'cases' that are re-useable!  I did not 'invent' this idea...I saw it on A Differentiated Kindergarten's blog post!  I purchased my spinners from Learning Resources, but I hear they are now discontinued!  AHHH!  I did find a set on Amazon.  If they are no longer available when you go searching, you can also purchase just the spinner and hot glue it to the top of the case!  Phew!

I print my spinner forms on cardstock and laminate.  I then use a dry erase marker to write the words for the week.  Slip it in the case and it's ready to go!   I don't have to worry about the words 'wiping away' as they spin because they are tucked in the case!  When the new week rolls around, I slip the spinner out, rub the words away (I use donated children's socks as erasers in my classroom!) write in the new words, slip it back in and we are ready for the new week!  SO much less prep than making new spinners each week, right?!!!

So what are some other ways to use the 'Blast Off' center?

Here are just a few ideas!!

And for the visual learners, here are a few pictures!!

Here is an idea for the beginning of the year, review/practice and/or PreK!

Want a way to practice the sound/symbol relationship?!  Add pictures to the spinners and recording sheets (read below for a how-to on this too!!)

Differentiate between 2, 3 or 4 different word families with the different recording sheets!

 My kinders always confuse the /e/ and /i/ sounds- do yours?!  This would be a great way to practice, review and 'drill' in a fun, non-threatening manner!

And for more of a challenge, use it for fact families, addition, subtraction and more!

There are SO many other ways to use them- be creative!!

So I mentioned I would show you how to digitally customize your spinners/recording sheets!
Here's how!
You can choose to print and write or cut/paste if you choose to go that route!

I want your students to enjoy practicing sight words and more as much as mine do, so this pack of 'Blast Off' recording sheets and spinners is FREE in my TpT store!
Just click the cover and download!
You will find spinners and recording sheets for sorting 2, 3 and 4 items as well as all the ideas/suggestions for use, how to set up the spinners and links to the spinner 'parts' and pictures of it in use!
As always, feedback for free downloads is always appreciated!

And....today is also '$2 'Two'-sday!'
Find my Spring Read the Room for CVC/CVCe Words for only $2 ($6.25 value)!
You can find more $2 Today Only deals by clicking here!

While you are on the Teachers Pay Teachers site, be sure to fill up your wishlist...
TOMORROW, February 25th, TPT is having a one day site-wide sale!

Sellers will discount their stores up to 20% and TPT will give you an additional 10% off with the promo code HEROES!

It is a great way to stock up on all the goodies you will need to 'Ring In Spring!' 
(We surely need that this year after the winter we've had so far here on Long Island!!)

The Primary Pack Gals Have Come Up With Some 'Must-Haves' For Your Wish-List!
Be Sure to Check Out These Goodies!

Happy Shopping!
Until next post,


  1. Thank you so much for the spinner idea and file. I love the many ways you can use it. Where did you get the actual spinners from that you have on your CD cases? Thanks!

    1. I got mine from Learning Resources, but I was told they are no longer available there. In the game download I hyperlinked where you can find them on Amazon. They are called transparent spinners. If you cannot find them, I know Amazon also has the spinner 'parts' and you can hot glue a spinner to the top of a CD case. Hope that helps!
      Crayons & Cuties In Kindergarten

  2. Jenn - I just love this! My kindergarten team knows I adore spinners. I can't wait to Blast Off with some new ideas! You're so wonderful so share how to program your own recording sheets & spinners. SOOOO many people don't know how to do that!!