Sunday, January 24, 2016

Let's Get Scratching! Using 'Scratch-Offs' In The Elementary Classroom!

Hi All!
Today's post is all about a 'Do-It-Yourself' project that is sure to spark excitement while engaging your students in meaningful academic practice!

Grab your coins because it's time to...
Get Scratchin'!

Last year I stumbled upon a 'how to make scratch-offs' on Pinterest...but it was geared toward small business owners who may want to include for a 'mystery percent off' on future purchases when shipping goods.

It got me thinking about how I could use it in my classroom and I gave it a 'trial run' to see how easy/hard they would be to create.

You can read about it in more detail HERE on my blog but here is a quick 'how-to' and some pictures of how well it worked in my classroom last February!

You will only need 3 ingredients...
Dish Soap (any brand)
Silver Metallic Paint (can be acrylic or latex)
Packing Tape

I was able to find the paint at a local 'hometown' hardware store, but you can also find it at craft stores!

I used a glass plate for mixing because I didn't want the paint to get 'soaked' into a paper plate.

Watch how easy this is....
1. Print your scratch-off cards
2. Cover the 'scratch-off area' with a piece of packing tape
Just laminate the entire sheet of cards!  DUH!
This occurred to me AFTER I cut packing tape into small rectangles!
Plus then the cards would be re-usable for next year- I'd just need to whip up some more 'potion!'

Now it's time to mix up your 'potion':
2 parts paint to 1 part soap (but I will be honest and say I DID NOT measure!)
I just 'eyed' it and used a big fat brush to make sure it all mixed together well!
Once well mixed, 'paint' the area(s) to be revealed.
You want to sort of 'gob' it on so that when it dries there is no 'see through'!

Let it dry 1-2 hours.
You can check the cards- if you can see through then do a second coat.
All of my cards were A-OK after one coat, but I had put it on pretty thick!

Now comes the magic...
What will be my mystery word?!
Use a coin just as you would for lottery scratch-offs:
It has thicker 'flakes' than traditional scratch-offs but kids won't know the difference (or shouldn't!)

Here is how it went in my kindergarten classroom last February:
I made it a center for the week leading up to Valentine's Day.
They picked a card from a heart-shaped basket (not sure where that picture went!).
I had a cup of coins for them to use for scratching and then they used it in a sentence.
They LOVED that they got to glue the card to the paper to take it home too!

LOOK at all the sentences they wrote using their 'mystery word!'

They asked for 'mystery words' repeatedly after this activity!

They loved it so much I made scratch-offs as part of their Valentine gift:

It went into a baggie with a Smencil and some Smarties candies:
They took them home to scratch and then had to bring it back to me to redeem their prize!

I PROMISE making these scratch-offs DID NOT take a lot of time!
The most tedious part was covering the spaces with packing tape- but that can be avoided by just throwing the entire sheet of cards through the laminator!

Maybe your students are beyond practicing sight words and you are wondering how to use them in your classroom?

How about:
1. classroom incentives (Do 'X-Y-Z' and earn a scratch-off!  You determine the prizes so you can cater it to what you have!)

2. reading log incentives (Read so many books/for so many minutes and get a scratch-off!)

3. participation or attendance in classroom events (this could even work for parent/teacher conferences or open house- attendance gets you (or your child) a scratch-off!)

4. word work centers (vowel patterns you are working on, vocabulary, spelling words, etc)
The scratch off could also determine what they do with their weekly words that day (rainbow write, write 3 times each, use in a sentence, etc!)

5. letter and/or word to picture match activities (scratch the word and find the matching picture in a pocketchart- great for CVC words or beginning sounds!)

All you'll need to get is some soap, paint and tape or laminate because I am giving you the cards and recording sheet for FREE in this download!
I also included the Valentine bag topper pictured in this post if you would like to use that idea for gifts!
The download will included pre-programmed frog word cards, as well as a sheet of blank cards that you can print/write additional words you may want to use!
It also has the monkey gift cards- programmed and blank sheet too!

I used KG Red Hands font for my words.  It is free for personal use and can be downloaded HERE.

And don't forget to check-out last year's Primary Pack 'Valentine's Day' theme post from me...
Dancing Hearts Experiment if you are in need of some 'love'-ly scientific fun!

 Hope you and your students have fun scratchin' and wishing you all a 'love'-ly Valentine's Day!
Until next post,


  1. Such a cute idea. I'll definitely try it out. Thanks!

  2. Oh my goodness! This sounds like so much fun! I'm definitely going to incorporate this into my classroom. Perhaps I could give them a two-digit number, and they would need to come up with equations that equal that number and then write a story problem that has that number as an answer! Thanks so much for a brilliant new idea.
    Laughter and Consistency

    1. That sounds like a great idea too! It is a lot of fun...enjoy!
      Thanks for commenting!
      Crayons & Cuties In Kindergarten