One thing that remains the same in my classroom all year long is the environmental print on my classroom Word Wall. I took some time to track down all types of print and put it into a document. All of the grade level uses it now and it is great for the students. I included local businesses as well as nation-wide stores/brands. The students are always so excited to walk in the door and feel that they can read!
I made two sets. One goes on the Word Wall and the other I made into cards to use throughout the classroom.
I printed them onto regular printer paper, but laminated them with my own laminator. I find that they stand up a little bit better this way! You can use regular laminating film, but if they are handled often they will become worn very quickly.
I use the environmental print cards for many different games and activities. One of the first things we do is a large group activity where I simply hold up the card and if they think they know what it says they shout it out. I find that this gets all of the students involved because they don't need to raise their hands and risk being wrong. Soon they are all guessing and the excitement level goes through the roof! My rule is simple - before I can do the next card all voices must be off. I love when the struggling students see a brand that they recognize, shout it out and they suddenly realize that they are "reading!" Those little moments are what I live for!
Another game we play at our word work station in the beginning of the year is a matching game. I pull out the cards and some of my big alphabet letters. The students help me put the letters in order on a table. Then when they get to the station they pull a card out of the basket and put it under the letter that the brand/store starts with. The kids keep adding to it until all of the cards have been used.
My co-worker also came up with a fun idea using the cards for an "I have... Who has?" game. I'm hoping to make them into cards this summer. I'll let you know when they're done!
The main thing that we do with the environmental print is use it for our writing. When the kids are first starting to write words and sentences they can use the print as a starting point. Many students will simply write the words and others will make sentences such as, "I like Legos" or "I go to Target." Either way is fine with me as long as they are practicing their writing skills!
If you are interested in using environmental print in your classroom I have a free download available at my TPT store. I was so excited to see that it has been downloaded over 2500 times! How cool is that?! Click here to download it. If you feel it has been useful to you, I would love if you would follow my store!
One more note about my environmental print. I have included Minnesota sports teams because we live in MN. You would be amazed at how many students can identify the teams!
Make sure you google some for your own state to add to your word wall. :)
Now that I have shared some of my ideas, what are your favorite activities to do with environmental print? I'd love to hear your ideas!