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Alphabet Paperclip Pals are a super-fun way for your kiddos to practice recognizing upper and lowercase letters.
Choose a pal that fits your needs or theme. Run it off on construction paper and trim. Students add some color with crayons or markers. For some of the pals they also cut and glue.
Pass out large paperclips. Students attach it to their bookmark (Paperclip Pal). Play “I Spy a Letter” with them by calling one out. Children manipulate the paperclip, sliding it over the letters ’til they find the appropriate one. The upper and lowercase letters should be peeking through the “window” of the paperclip.
Paperclip Pals are a quick, easy and interesting way to whole group assess as well. After a letter is called and found, students raise their bookmark in the air. You can see at a glance who is having difficulty.
I’ve included a recording sheet for this, as well as an assessment. Later, you can work one-on-one with struggling students to individually assess all of the letters to pin point specific problems.
Children can also partner up and play the I Spy game together. By having made notes with the whole group game, you can put a stronger child together with a struggling one.
Use the Paperclip Pal for spelling. Little ones can practice spelling their names, while older students can practice a spelling list with a partner.
Manipulating a paperclip by pinching and moving it, provides good practice to help strengthen finger muscles, which will improve coordination and dexterity so important for pre-writing.
There are 37 Paper Clip Pals to choose from. You can run them off and give students a choice, or choose one that’s appropriate for a particular season or theme.
They come in full color as well as black and white. I made colorful ones so that you can give them as a little gift for the first day of school. These can be laminated then trimmed.
Later, pick something different, and have children make one of their own.
There’s also an assortment for Halloween and Valentine’s Day, so that you can pass them out as gifts or prizes to celebrate those holidays, plus an elf-themed one you can give as a special surprise, if you do Elf on a Shelf activities.
I’ve also included a blank one so that children can design their own, or have them glue their school photo at the top to make a special keepsake.
For additional practice, students can make an extra one to keep at home. I’ve included a note home explaining this, as well as a recording sheet, plus a classroom chart and certificate of praise.
Ten worksheets also provide additional practice.
I’m Diane from Teach With Me, hoping your kiddos really enjoy learning letters with a Paperclip Pal.