Monday, June 29, 2015

Paper Chains in Language Arts

To continue from my last post, here are a few ways you can utilize paper chains in language arts.

* Spelling out words. Put a letter on each loop, then connect them to spell words. This would make a great activity to spell their names, too!

* Have them make word families lists by writing one word on each piece of paper before looping them together (ex: _at words).

* Have them write 3, 4, 5, and up to 6-word sentences, then put a word on each loop so that connected they make the sentences.

I helped my class learn their color words by having them write the color names on the correct color paper before looping them together. 

* Divide class into teams. Give each team a letter of the alphabet. Have them write as many words as they can think of that begin with that letter. Spelling doesn't count!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Paper Chains in Math

Paper chains - remember them?

They can be so much more than decorations. Here are a few more ways how you can utilize them in math.

* Patterning

* Have a race! Divide the class into groups. Tell them the first team to have their chain reach (ex: five feet) wins. Of course, this would mean they would need to know how to use a ruler. Or, in my case, I told my little ones the chain had to reach from one end of their study table to the other.

* Have them show addition/subtraction problems. (Ex: 10 = 3 red + 7 blue, or 6 green + 4 yellow)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Things to Do When You're Stuck in a Professional Development Workshop - Word Lists

You always need word lists to make reading cards, games, or whatever. But sometimes you may not have the time or the energy to sit and think during your conference period or after school. Especially if you're trying to come up with words other than the _AN and _AT combinations.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Add a Word - Building Sentences

Here's another group activity that my class enjoyed.

* Start out by writing a simple sentence on the board
* Have the class write the sentence in their journals. (The above is an example.)
* Have the class come up with a word they can add to the sentence, and make sense. (I once had a child suggest, "I see four cats." Although the sentence is correct, the original uses the singular "cat", so the other sentences have to keep the singular version.)
* As they come up with a new word to add, write the revised sentence on the board and have them copy it.
You can take this as far as you wish or have time for.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Change a Word - a Creative and Fun Writing Exercise

This is a creative and fun exercise.

* Start off with a simple sentence no more than 6 words long.
* Have the students copy the sentence in their journals/spirals.
* Challenge them to change ONE word, but still have the sentence make sense.
* Write the new sentence on the board and have them copy it.
* Now change another word. Write that new sentence.

You can take this as far as you have time.

A frog sat on a log.
A frog sat on a dog.
A bug sat on a dog.
A bug rode on a dog.
A boy rode on a dog.

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak

B.J. Novak visits a class of elementary school kids to read from his marvelous Book With No Pictures, a pro-literacy celebration of how the human imagination brings stories to life.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Things to Do When You're Stuck in a Professional Development Workshop - Word Cards

I used pictures cut out from workbooks I found at the dollar store. These can be use in many ways: as flash cards, letter matching with magnetic letters, or you can make a game out of it. 

Lots of possibilities!