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Monday, December 10, 2012


As we were sharing ideas last week in Des Moines a teacher remarked that it was just like a giant swap shop!  That it was!  Help yourself to some of these great ideas!

Partner Spelling 
Children can use this technique to practice spelling words with a partner.  One child sits and hides her eyes while the other student stands behind.  The standing partner writes/draws on the sitting partner’s back as the teacher points to spelling words.  The sitting child raises her hand when she thinks she knows the word.  When all partners have responded they raise their heads and spell the word together.
*This technique could be adapted to shapes, letters, numerals, etc.

Numeral Puzzles  (Samantha Duncan)
Cut out large numerals.  Write addition and subtraction facts on the numerals and then cut them apart as shown.  As children match up the answers they will complete the puzzle.
Brochure Assessment
This would be a perfect ongoing assessment.  Each month have children make a brochure by folding a sheet of paper into thirds.  Have them draw the following in the six sections.  Be sure and date these and save until your end of year conference.
1.  Draw all the shapes you can.
2.  Draw your best tree.
3.  Draw a person (or yourself).
4.  Write all the letters you can.
5.  Write all the numbers you can.
6.  Write your name or all the words you can.
*You could call this your 2013 assessment and start in January.  You could also adapt the tasks for different grade levels.
Secret Agents  (Melissa Miller)
Invite 3 or 4 children to be agent experts and wear a letter.  Explain that their mission is to be sure every friend in the room knows all about their letter.  The rest of the class raises their hands and the “agents” must get to each one and ask them a fact about their letter within a set time.  (For example, name of the letter, sound, lines required to make it, something that starts with their letter, etc.)  When they have had a visit from an “expert” the rest of the class can put their hand down.  At the end you can tell them they have accomplished their mission!

Nightly Five  (Angie Bonthius –
Angie explained that they do the “Daily Five” during the day and the “Nightly Five” for homework during the week.  The children hang this on the refrigerator and they can do tic tac toe or the whole sheet by Friday.
You can change the activities by asking children to identify the title, the front of the book, the author’s purpose, the characters, etc.
Angie also sent this link of a video her daughter made up with cheerleading friends to teach the vowels.  It’s awesome!
Hang Your Bottoms Down  (Melissa Miller)
A  B  C  D  E  F  G - G?
Hang your bottoms down, down.
Hang your bottoms down.
Some letters stand tall.
Some sit on the ground.
But hang those bottoms down, down!

Bean Bag Listen and Toss  (Lori)
Have children get a partner and give each group a beanbag (or wadded up sheet of paper).  Children listen for a letter at the beginning or end of a word.  If they hear the sound they toss the beanbag to their partner.

Play Dough Letters (Kristi Bilbrey)
Pat play dough flat on a flat surface.  Trace a letter, number, shape, etc. in the play dough with a play knife.  Cut drinking straws into fourths.  Children place the straws into the shape that is traced.  Encourage them to say the letter name, sound, etc. as they put the straws in the play dough.