23 March 2016

8 Fun Spelling Word Activities (Word Work)

This year instead of doing the same old weekly spelling words with a test on Friday, we changed things up a bit. We still have a list of words for the week, but we are finding ways to make it more fun and meaningful.

Here are some of our favorite activities that will work with any list of words!

1) Dice Roll - Grab some dice and have fun with this spelling word roll activity! You can grab the free download to use for some fun practice! There are 2 versions, so you can choose which works best for your students.
2) Spelling Apps - Of course anytime kids get to use technology to practice something, it automatically becomes more fun! But computer games and iPad apps are also great for word work because it gives students practice with keyboarding skills as well! We use an app called The Spelling Bee on the iPad. You can type in your own words to use, and there are different activities for students to complete and earn badges. There are many other apps as well that are great, but this is the only one we have actually bought and used.

3) Word Search - Find an online word search maker and make one using your weekly words! There are many sites you can do this, but I like this one from A to Z Teacher Stuff.
4) Students Make Word Search - This is a new favorite of my kids! I give them a template and they create a word search from their list of words! You can then have partners complete each other's word searches. I love that this activity not only gives them practice writing the words, but they also have to plan out and strategize how to fit all the words in the spaces. You can create your own template, or use this free one from Mel D - Seusstastic. It's included in a pack with some other great freebies as well.
5) Alphabetize - This gets your kids reading the words, but also working on ABC order at the same time. To make this more fun, I use a page like this so the kids can cut and paste instead of just write. I have the template in power point and each week I just change the words and print it out! The students can cut out the words and glue them on the left side. This week we were learning about rocks and minerals in science, so I picked words that the kids would be seeing a lot anyway. Just another way to make the word list more meaningful. Instead of cut and paste, you could also write the words on popsicle sticks for the kids to line up in ABC order.
6) Charades - Play charades and have students act out words. If someone wants to guess, they must spell the word instead of just say it.
7) Magazine Cut Out - Have students find the words in old magazines, cut them out, then glue them on a separate paper. If the word cannot be found, they can cut out letters to make the word!
8) White Boards - Have students write words on an individual whiteboard. You can do this as a whole class activity, or have students partner up and have one student be the teacher, calling out words while the other writes them down. 
If you don't have whiteboards for each student, here is an easy hack: use paper inside a plastic sheet protector, then use a sock as an eraser!
I hope you can implement some of these ideas to make spelling words more meaningful for your kiddos! 

08 March 2016

States of Matter Fun!

This week we introduced states of matter in science! We did some reading about solids, liquids, gases, and talked about characteristics of each.

I love the "Let's Read and Find Out" science series! This one is  perfect for introducing states of matter.

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We did a little experiment mixing baking soda (solid) with orange juice (liquid) to create bubbles (gas)! You could also do the classic volcano experiment with baking soda and vinegar, but we just wanted to try something new this time.

We also made this representation of the atoms in each state of matter using cheerios! It was a simple, yet fun way to help the kids visualize the concept.


If you'd like a copy of the page we used for the activity, you can download it for free HERE!

Tomorrow we will be learning about density and doing a sink/float experiment with some household objects!

04 March 2016

Long Vowel Activities

Are you looking for some fun and simple ways for your kids to practice reading long vowel/CVCe words? Check out these ideas!

For this first trick, all you need is a popsicle stick to make  a magic 'e' wand!

I printed out some CVC words that can change into CVCe words and taped an 'e' on a popsicle stick. Then we practiced reading the words before and after adding the magic 'e'. When we would add the 'e' we would exclaim "bippity boppity boo!" to make things a little more fun.

Fluency strips are also a fantastic way for readers to build fluency, so I created some using long vowels! See the strips in action:

You can make some of these yourself by typing up sentences, cutting out strips, and stapling them together (or put them on a ring). If you'd like some that are already created, you can get mine here: Fluency Strips Bundle.
For more practice we did some interactive notebook pages!  
This week we have also been adjusting to life and homeschool with a newborn! Our sweet #5 was born on February 16th.  He is a very good baby and still sleeping most of the time (he's almost 3 weeks now), so for the most part, we are able to complete our work with little distraction from him. Now my 2 year old is a different story...