Monday, February 24, 2014

Making Words & Word Work

I try and give my students the opportunity to "build words" in some capacity every single day.  One of the most fun and engaging ways I've found to do that is through a simple "Making Words" activity.    Each student receives one sheet of paper that has letters to cut out.  Students manipulate the letters to create real words, and they list them on their original sheet of paper.  I've created a pack of 31 Making Words printables that can be used throughout the year!
When to use Making Words activities...
1.  Morning Work/Bell Ringer
2.  ELA stations
3.  WORD WORK center
4.  Partner activity
5.  While the teacher sets up for the party or next activity  :)  
Students will work on a variety of skills as they are building words...Word families, phonics, phonological awareness, spelling, sight words, etc.   Before having students begin this activity, it is very important to DEMONSTRATE and MODEL how to build words.  Scaffold students' learning by thinking aloud and showing students your thought process while making words on your classroom Smart board or projector.  
{Please note...Answer keys are not included in this product because every child will create a different list of words.}  Here are a few examples:

Suggestions:

1.  Give students a snack baggie to store their letters incase they do not finish the activity.
2.  Have students work individually or in teams of two.  
3.  If you have a competitive group, add a timer to the equation!  My students are always motivated to beat the clock.  Have older students compete to create the longest word, the most words, or even the most unique word...Something NOBODY else in the class thought of.  
4.  If your students sit at a table, print the Making Words activities on different colored paper so the kiddos' letters will not get mixed up.
5.  As time passes, give students a hint.  "Can you make a word that means..."  "Can you make a word from the word wall?"  "Can you make one of our weekly spelling words?"
6.  For older students, you can assign point values for different size words like in Boggle.  (3 letter word equals 3 points, 4 letter word equals 4 points, etc.)
7.  Use blank spaces for "wild" letters.
8.  When students get stumped, have them share a word with a friend or trade 3 of their letters with a friend so they can build and create even more words.  

I hope your students will love Making Words as much as my students always have!  Leave a comment below (AND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS), and I'll send this Making Words Printable Pack to a few lucky winners.  :) 


Monday, February 3, 2014

Hello, 2014!

Happy February!  I'm linking up with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade for her latest Currently link party.   Be sure to read to the bottom of my post because I've got some Brain Breaks for ya!  
Listening: Silence is truly golden.  :)
Loving: My hubby got me a MacBook for Christmas, and we got a beautiful, old desk from his Aunt. So now I have my very own office at home!  I've gotta be honest...I have no clue how to do most things on my Mac yet.  I feel so OLD and behind the times!!
Thinking: I love creating TPT freebies, and I love teaching in the spring.  Hope to post it later this week.
Wanting: With a 9 month old, sleep is still hard to come by, but isn't he precious!?!?

Needing: I celebrated my 29th birthday on Jan. 31st.  Yay!
2 Truths & a Fib: The first is TRUE.  I'm working from home while my little one is teeny tiny.  Then I'll be back in the classroom when he hits Pre-K.  I tutor and substitute on occasion, so I still consider myself a real teacher.  :)
The second is so FALSE.  I can't even remember what my resolutions were...
We moved to our new house about two weeks ago, and I'm the happiest lady around!  More space is exactly what we needed!  

One of my very first posts on TheHappyTeacher has become one of my most popular posts...BRAIN BREAKS!  
I've added some more ideas that you can instantly use in your classroom Brain Break repertoire.  There are 23 ideas listed on the post in all.  Have fun! 
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