Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Quick and Engaging Guided Group Activities

Do you ever have a change of plans right in the middle of a lesson? 
 Or even worse, your students BEG  you to make a game and you tell them you will, but you forgot?  
That was me last Friday.  
My kids know I make the majority of our games/activities.
Last week they asked me to make them a new game.
I think that between school, gym, housework, baseball and softball life for my own children---
I forgot.  It wasn't on my weekly plans--they asked me on Thursday, and life just happened.
I felt SOOO bad.  
BUT--you know, we teachers can make a game out of anything!
Plus, if you act like it's exciting and the best thing yet--your kiddos will love it!

SOO--when my kiddos entered my room Friday and asked about our game for the day, I quickly looked around the room, thought real hard about what we could do, and said, 
"Well, of course we are going to play our game today.  We are playing Tic-Tac-Toe."
They looked confused.  I hear "Mrs. Davis, that's not a learning game."
Apparently they know me so well--heaven forbid we not have learnin' goin' on! ;)

I said okay--well let me just put some of your spelling words and phonics words in the grid.
I used counters for our game pieces.
Students  had to read the word before placing their counter on the board.
Play continued like normal Tic-Tac-Toe.
We played a few rounds, with a variety of game boards.  Students switched partners and played again.
Then they wanted to challenge me.  
Who am I to argue with them reading words? :)


Later in the day, I had another group that was working on the same skill.
They, too, played the game for a few rounds and enjoyed it.
But they said, what other games do you have to play?
UGH--uhm, hold on---let me see what I can grab.
*quick glance around my room and I see this little set of words that are used for sentence making*
Thinking off the top of my head--oh we can play this game.
(Never let them see you sweat--I just act like I know what I'm doing)
They ask, "What game is this?"
Me:  "Ohh, a sight word game" 
Them: "Well, how do you play?"
Me: "Well, uhm, we have to flip all the words over."
(I knew that would buy me a second to figure out what we were doing..lol)
 They quickly flipped them all over.
Then I told them the rules.
Here's how to play:  
Roll the die.
That's how many words you have to select and read.
If you read them correctly, you keep them.
Then it's the next person's turn.
The person with the most words at the end, is the winner.

Shwoo..that was a close one!  It sounded like I know what I was doing! :)
Plus side, they LOVED it.

We even threw in a a little math.
We grouped our words into rows of 5 to aide in quicker counting.
Then we compared numbers to see who won, and did some subtraction to see how many more they had. 
Great review of the 100s chart for adding/subtracting sets of 10! 
When they left one student said, "But we didn't do any reading today."
uhm, okay! :)  


Now I don't try to make it a habit to "wing it" or shy away from my lesson plans, 
but some days you will have that in our jobs. 
 If my students are actively engaged, and learning--then I know I have done my job.

Now, some of you know that I get pulled occasionally to sub or to assist/administer our state assessments.
This week, I thought that was what I was doing.  Therefore, I didn't plan on having my students.
THEN--I find out the day of the state assessment--that I'm not being used for assessing 
I wasn't told I wasn't being  used, but no one came to get me---therefore my groups of kiddos show up AND......I have no plans.  This is where I have to get creative and wing it....So I do 
(and I still am--EEK!  Shh!!---Winging it all week so far)

Some of my kiddos are working on the sounds of  long o with oa and ow.

We did a word sort.  This was a fun way to spruce up our sorting activity.


Since this was such a fun, simple way to get my kiddos sorting and engaged, I thought 
let's just do it with the 2nd graders. :)

They are working on Wilson's FUNDations sounds of ew, oo, ue, and ou.  

I happened to have a story that had those phonics sounds in it. 
We read it, highlighted the words that made the long u sound, and then sorted them onto the flowers.
Each flower held its own sound.  We then added other words to complete the flower.
They truly loved this...so simple and effective for them to see the different spelling patterns. 


As our week has progressed, I have yet to have helped with assessing.
Basically, I'm just going with the flow and enjoying my groups of students.
We're taking it easy and working on our phonics patterns.

Another engaging activity for them was the Riddle Me This pack.




What I love about this is I can use it with all of  my students.
It is differentiated to assist with instruction.
Some riddles contain the words and the pictures together as seen here:



And with the same vowel sound--some have the word missing and students match the spelling to the word.

You can see that there is a word bank down at the bottom of the paper.
Then students highlighted the vowel pattern on the page.

The third version only uses pictures and students have to spell the word on their own.
I didn't use that activity with my groups.

You can download a sample of this activity by clicking the image below.
Riddle Me This--Phonics Riddles with Vowel Teams


Stay tuned tomorrow as you see  yet another activity for those
OH NO, I don't have lesson plans--what do I do now...days! :)




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