Archive for Activity

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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[extra] time savers

So you find yourself with extra time to fill…what to do?

Before the kids get antsy & the chatter begins, make sure you are prepared:

Aside from picking up a favorite book (or a Choose Your Own Adventure novel), it is important to have some “back-ups” ready to go when you’re in a pinch.

 

extra time FILLERS FOR SPELLING
[free printout, examples, & grade levels included]

  • rainbow writing: have students trace spelling words several times using a different color each time. (k-2) view my Rainbow Spell Example!
  • bye-bye cherry pie: a twist on the ever popular, sparkle. have students pass the cherry pie while spelling out the word one letter at a time. students sit down when sharing an incorrect letter. the last person to correctly spell the last letter passes the pie, that child then says (and waves) “bye bye cherry pie” and the next student sits down. repeat until one child remains. (1-6) print, color, & laminate your own Bye Bye Cherry Pie
  • speed spelling: have a board race between teams where they have to spell one word or the whole list — get creative! (2-6)
  • synonym search: have students have a spelling test (using white boards, as a board race, independently) by giving synonym clues for the spelling word (3-6)
  • spell benders: have wiki sticks or pipe cleaners? students can bend simple spelling words at their desk (k-2)
  • body spelling: teach children to stand tall for tall letters (b, d, f, h, etc.) sit in their chair for short letters (c, e, i, etc.) and touch their toes for letters that dip down (j, p, q, etc.). once students know how to use their body, give them spelling words to spell out loud & with motions (k-2)
  • basketball: have a hoop in the classroom, a trashcan, or bucket? then you are all set for basketball. divide students into teams, correct spelling = 2 points, a basket = 1 point. (1-6)
  • invisible man: a modern twist on hangman. draw a body (or have it relate to a unit: dinosaur, animal, house) and erase one part as team members spells a word correctly. first team to have an invisible man, wins! (1-6)

This is just the start of a list of things you can do to when you find an extra few minutes here & there. Being prepared & ready with fun fillers is a excellent management technique!

I’ll be updating shortly on more [extra] time savers.
Feel free to comment with your favorite, go to filler!

miss miller


 

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Choosing Your Own Adventure

Hello & Happy twenty- eleven! My apologies for the extreme hiatus.  Much has happened in the last few month & I’m excited to continue my blogging about the ups, downs, & all around adventures of substitute teaching.

A new year, a fresh start ~ It’s the perfect time to readjust your thinking & get excited about the journey you are on in the great, ever-dynamic world of teaching. I couldn’t help but start this post with some encouragement. January can be quite a stagnant month for educators, so why not take this time to find a mantra & cling to it for the new calendar year & the duration of the current school year. 

It makes me think about one of my favorite childhood series, Choose Your Own Adventure. When reading these books, you would get transported to a world with abominal snowmen or deep sea creatures. At the peak of the adventure, you would be left to choose how you would respond, altering the path of the main characters and ultimately the ending of the book.

We have the same choice, too, in our lives to decide our attitude towards our current situation. I encourage you to choose your own adventure — find a motto & stick to it, set a goal & take small steps to achieve it, steal a moment to reflect on the past year & choose the path you will take this year to make a difference in the lives of others.

Not only can this book be a great reminder for us daily, but it can also be a super time-filler for substitute teachers. Need a transition activity? Have extra time at the end of a class? Trying to find a way to get children settled before dismissal? Sounds like you need a copy of Choose Your Own Adventure! Check one out at the local library or snag your own copy & keep with you at all times.

It is perfect for the elementary child. After a few pages of reading, the class is left to decide between two options — take a vote, call on a child, or roll a dice to decide the next step! This keeps students engaged and is perfect for reinforcing habits of good readers: predicting, making inferences, drawing conclusions, summarizing…& the list continues!

Just another idea to keep stashed in your bag of tricks. I hope that these stories can come in handy ~ especially during the sluggishly slow month of january!

Do you have a book of choice that you pick up to read as a filler? Comment & let me know!

happy 2011,
miss miller

  

  

 

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