Archive for February, 2011

[extra] time saver: categories

seriously. love. this.

why? because it is flexible, educational, and quite fun (if I do say so myself).

oh, and the set up is easy.

= a great [extra] time saver!

need: chalkboard/whiteboard/smartboard
topic word
creative thinkers
thats it!

categories

1. Think of a topical word pertinent to season, holiday, class content

2. make sure above word does not have a lot of repeat letters
(Instead of using Steelers, use Superbowl)

3. Write that word, leaving spaces between each letter at the top of what will become your grid:
Since it’s almost the holiday of love, I’ll use HEART as my word
or, if teaching in an intermediate setting, VALENTINE would be great!

4. On the left side, vertically write your categories: noun, verb, adjective, pronoun, flower, food, sports team, city/country, color, historical figure, etc.
You can choose as many or as few categories as you want — based on time & grade level!

 

it should look like this:


you can also add grid lines to help separate spaces

5. Now, how you play this “game” is up to you. Usually, I call on students one by one to come up and fill in a square with a word. I usually do not give points or make it a race, just a fun brain stretching activity.

6. As always, it is incredibly important that you go over the guidelines: only school appropriate words, good behavior is rewarded with a turn, poor behavior is not, etc.

7. Once students get the hang of it, they can even make their own for a partner (graph paper aids this activity immensely!)

Woo hoo! And there you have it — a quick game that supports Language Arts skills, creative thinking, writing, & spelling.

enjoy creating these categories,

miss miller

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Resource Round-up: Spelling City!

This might be one of my favorite tools to use. I know it might not be something a day-to-day sub will use frequently, but trust me — this site will come in handy.

Spelling City allows teachers to upload weekly spelling lists — Awesome, I know! — for free!!!

1. this allows parents/students quick access to words at home
2. this creates a wonderful opportunity for independent practice
3. this website can be used for a center activity
4. this gives no excuses for students who “forgot their list at school”
5. this provides games at your fingertips (which you did not have to create!)
6. this gives substitutes an easy way to create a spelling/language arts center

Let me explain:

Once you have registered at Spelling City’s site, simply upload the words into a list — easy!

Then students have the ability to access this list using your username that you provide. (My students could search under the username missnmiller)

[[Your homepage not only includes the list of words, but can link to fun sites to practice math skills, learn language arts skills, & practice writing! It also provides you with space to write a message to students & parents]]

SS TIP: I found that labeling the list by week is the most helpful!

Students then have opportunities to learn, practice, & take a test! *audio required. The learn tab reads the word & spells it aloud for the student, including it in a sentence for understanding. The practice tab provides cool games, such as hang mouse [like hang man] & unscrambling games to help students retain the spellings.

Below is a nice instructional video for a quick overview & howtos for SpellingCity. Some of the features included [vocabulary & print outs are available only with the premium membership]

So if you’re caught in a bind & need a quick activity or center, the list only takes minutes to type [but I would suggest signing up now —  it’s free] OR if you’re in a more permanent teaching position & are looking to spice up spelling, this site is perfect for just that!

happy spelling!

miss miller

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