4 Easy to Use First Grade Reading Center Activities

fun first grade reading center activities

I shudder when I think about how I made first grade reading centers as new teacher. I had no idea where to start! There were so many games with complicated rules. My students were confused and my classroom management went out the window.

CLICK HERE to skip the blogpost and go straight to the centers! or CLICK HERE to get a sample of the H Brothers phonics set!

fun first grade reading center activities

Students Like Routines

When I began teaching, I believed every first grade reading and writing center needed to be fresh and new. I didn’t want my class to be bored. This caused me to spend more of my lesson explaining the games, then explaining the phonics sound. Oy.

The truth is, I love routines! I NEED them, because they keep me sane. I didn’t stop to think about how my students might feel the same way and enjoy the stability of knowing what to expect.

Once I started creating and rotating the same, familiar games with different phonics patterns, my students were calmer. I could finally teach my small groups with ease!

4 Fun, Familiar Games

My first grade reading center sets I create have four fun and familiar games. Each pack includes:

  • Slides and Ladders
  • Tic-Tac-Toe
  • Four in a Row
  • a board game with bad and good luck cards

These packs rotate a list of 40 words with the same phonics pattern, so students get a variety of different words.

fun first grade reading center activities
fun first grade reading center activities

Not Just for Centers

I always keep these phonics games on hand for last-minute sub plans, or when I’m in a pickle. These games have saved me when I needed to finish report cards or finish grading spelling tests. You also never know when you might need to make sub plans quickly!

Try a Sample!

There are a variety of different first grade reading center packs to choose from. You can find initial and ending blinds, h brothers sounds, cvc words, bossy r, diphthongs, and more! CLICK HERE if you want to try a sample of my H Brothers phonics set.

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