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We love using centers in our classrooms and are always on the lookout for great centers that are engaging AND address skills that need reinforcing in the classroom. (We will share a fun and free new one below so be sure to keep reading.) Of course, as we add centers to our classrooms, we are also trying to find ways to create centers that are durable and will last for more than a couple of uses in the classroom. The best way we’ve found to do this is by laminating our centers. If you don’t have a home laminator, we think this is a must-buy for teachers!
I purchased my first personal laminator about five years ago and it has been one of the most used tools since! It has gotten A LOT of use and it was in need of being replaced. I found this one in the stationary department at Walmart this week and knew that is was the perfect replacement: Scotch™ Thermal Laminator. While I was there, I also picked up a pack of Scotch™ Thermal Letter Size Pouches. I have found that you can never have enough!
Of course, with a new toy in the house, I had to find an excuse to try it out! I am meeting a fellow teacher for dinner Wednesday and I thought a phonics game would be a nice surprise for her. I decided upon a magic e board game. Making your own is simple!
2. Print in color, I prefer to use heavy cardstock to make the game even more durable.
3. Plug in and heat up your laminator. (This takes about 10 minutes.)
4. Put one printed page inside of a laminating pocket.
5. Feed the pocket through the machine.
6. Repeat with each page.
7. When you are finished with the laminating, cut apart the game pieces.
Your game is ready to play! Put the cards in a stack and shuffle, place facedown. Supply each player with a marker, we used buttons. Students take turns drawing a card and moving to the correct letter. The first student to the finish spot is the winner.
We have also included a category cards to use the game cards for a phonics sort. Students sort the cards into the correct category. (Make sure you remove these header cards when playing the board game.)
See, it’s easy to make your own centers! If you are like me, once you own your own Scotch™ Thermal Laminator, you will be laminating everything in sight! What would you use a personal laminator for? We would love to hear your ideas below!