10 Ideas for Word Work in the Classroom

Β I love that my students get a lot of choice in how they want to practice. And I love that it is easily differentiated. This week, I introduced 6 word work centers to my student so we can get started when we return from Labor Day weekend. But, throughout the year, I will change these centers to maintain the novelty of this center. It is great to keep a running list of ideas for when you need to switch things up. Here are my 10 favorite word work activities!

Pipe Cleaners

My favorite type of word work activities are easy peasy, cheap and have no end! Pipe cleaners (these are from the Dollar Store) are perfect hands-on fun! I paired this up with this free Fry Word sticker book by Cartwheels and Somersaults you can find here—> 2nd 100 Fry Word Sticker Book


Remember the game Battleship? Of course you do. It is awesome! Your students can play the SAME GAME with their spelling words! They simply write their words on a blank battle ship board (you can find this free copy here). Then, they partner up and start making guesses until they “sink” their partners “ships”. In order to sink it, they have to spell the word correctly!
Spelling Battleship with bigger boards!

Tic Tac Toe

Another EASY idea that requires minimal prep. Just print the boards, laminate and pair with some counters. Students have to read the word, close their eyes and spell it out loud before they can place their counter on the space. This is one of my students’ FAVORITE games!
These boards come in the first, second and third 100 Fry words. You can find them here.

Magnetic Letters

This is a classic. But, there are different ways you can set this up.
I love the way Just a Primary Girl stored her letters. So easy for students to use right away with minimal searching!
Another idea by Clever Classroom for easy storage. I love how she has a visual in each of the pockets to help students with sorting.
Clever Classroom blog Storing Magnetic Letters

Type your words

When I moved into my classroom, there were some old PC computers in one of my closets. I have since gotten rid of the computers but decided to keep a few of the keyboards for typing practice!
You could ask your tech department if they have any sitting around OR you could use a printable instead. Here is one you can download for free.

Seasonal Centers

I used to prep so many centers but I didn’t really know how to use them. I couldn’t make enough copies for the whole class to do the same center. I didn’t want to review directions for 5+ centers and then deal with ALL those recording sheets. So I started incorporating my seasonal ELA centers into my word work! This way I can have students practice skills we have already reviewed.
These football centers are perfect for fall!
Here my students are working on fixing sentences.
This center is a part of my Back to School ELA centers.
One MUST for putting these centers at word work is student friendly directions.

Letter Beads

Another Dollar Tree find—alphabet beads!
They ARE teeny tiny but I found these little containers on Amazon to store them in.
Duofire? 4 Packs(4 Colors) Plastic Storage Box(15 Compartments) Jewelry Earring Tool Containers
I have students string them onto yarn or pipe cleaners to spell their words. They are so cheap, students could even make a bracelet out of them and keep it!


What kid doesn’t love Playdoh?! I can’t wait until my little guy is old enough to play with it for more than 2 minutes-ha! Last year, I had my students use stamps I found in the Target Dollar Spot. They spread the Playdoh out flat and stamped their words. This year, I simply had them make the letters. I always provide a sheet of laminated paper to use as a mat to cut down on any messiness!

Stick Words

These sight word stick center ideas by Reagan Tunstall are SO versatile and easy to differentiate! Simply write the words you want your kids to practice onto popsicle sticks and add one of the 10 recording sheet options. My students’ favorite is House of Sticks.
popsicle stick sight word centers! (10 centers)...could easily write the weekly spelling words on sticks too!

Word Search

I am a HUGE fan of a word search. I think there is a lot of strategy to be learned while searching for those letters! Have your students make their own with a blank word search board. First, they write their words vertically, horizontally and diagonally. Next, they fill the remaining empty spaces with random letters. Swap with a friend to solve!
Here’s a free one from Primary Teaching Resources.
FREE Spelling Word Search
Well I hope maybe you found something new today.
I will be back with some more ideas in a few weeks : )
Happy Teaching!
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