Tag Archive | sight words

Sidewalk Chalk Learning


Last week, our top 10 was on activities to spice up recess. One of the fun things to do at recess, was use sidewalk chalk.  However, sidewalk chalk can be used in lots of educational ways too!  Here are 10 ways to use sidewalk chalk to get your kids out in the sunshine, but still learning, often in kinesthetic ways!

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1. Sight Word Jump – Before taking your students outside, write some of your sight words (spelling words or vocabulary words would work just as well for older students) on a large cement area.  Once you are outside, have students jump on the words and read them as they hop.  You can also call out a word and see who can find it.  (For older students you might call out a definition and let them find the word that matches.)

 

2. Fast Fact Hop – Before taking your students outside, write the answers to some of your basic math facts (any operation that you are hopscotchmathworking on will work) on a large cement area.  Once you are outside, call out fast fact problems.  Have students hop to the correct answer.  (If you require them to hop rather than run, you will have less collisions!)

 

3. Coordinate Grid Kids – Before taking your students outsidecoordinate grid, create a coordinate grid on a large cement area.  Once you are outside, call out a student’s name and a point on the coordinate grid.  Let that student find their spot and become the “point”.  Once all of the students are points, challenge them to find the fastest route to get from their point to a neighbor’s point.

 

4. Really, Really Big Graphic Organizers – What a better venndiagramway to introduce simple graphic organizers, than outside on a large scale.  My favorite graphic organizer to do with sidewalk chalk is a Venn Diagram.  Before going outside, draw a large Venn Diagram on a large cement area.  Once you are outside, give the two categories.  If you are wearing white come in this circle.  If you are wearing red, come in this circle.  If you are wearing both, you get to stand where the two circles come together.

 

5. Visualizing the Story– Give the students a chance to draw with the sidewalk chalk!  Gather them outside for story time – preferably under a shady tree – but do not show them the pictures.  Instead, have students draw a picture of what happened in the story and practice their visualization strategy.

 

6. Jump the Number Line – Before you take your numberlinestudents outside, draw a number line in a large cement area.  When you go outside, call out a number on the number line and have one of your students stand on it.  Then have that student hop to the end of the number line – talking about which direction numbers move.  You can also use this type of number line to work on addition or subtraction!

 

7. Verb Ring – Before taking your class outside, write a list of vverbcircleerbs in a large circle on the ground in a large cement area.  Be sure to write one verb for each of your students.  When you go outside, have students walk around the circle until you say stop (you could also play music – musical chairs style).  When they stop, they must read the verb and then be the verb.  ie. If they stop on the word run, they must run in place; if they stop on the word sit, they must sit down.

8. Human Body Labels – Kids love to trace one another with sidewalk chalk, but have you ever labeled those chalk bodies?  Have students work in pairs.  One student lays down and another student traces their outside of their body, then they switch.  Then, have students work together to label as many parts of the body as they can, with extra points for internal organs (heart, lungs, veins, kidneys etc.)  This would be a great health lesson!

 

9. Sentence Strings – Have students work in groups of 4-6.  Give each membsentencestringer of the group a different color chalk.  Students should create sentences WITHOUT talking to one another.  The first student will write the first word, and each other student will add a word to the sentence in a different color until the sentence is complete.

 

10. Graph your students – No matter the topic, no matter the type of graph, kids love to “be the graph”.  Before going outside, draw the axis for your graph on a large cement area.  Once you are outside, give the students the criteria and use them as the points, bars, or pictures on your graph.  For more advanced students, see if the students can put themselves into a graph in a small group without your guidance.

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Word Play With Jenga


I LOVE to play board games at home, but I also enjoying using them in my classroom. In addition to encouraging cooperation, turn taking and a variety of other social skills, I find I can often use the games to work on math and literacy skills. So, every Friday, I am going to post a Friday Game Night post, giving tips on how to use a particular board game in your classroom. Here’s this week’s Friday Game Night Tip:

Jenga – Part 2 (Literacy) I know, I know, Jenga is a block game, how are you going to teach writing with it? Well, last week I gave you some tips for how to teach math with Jenga, now I have some ways, and all you need is Jenga and a little masking tape (the thin tape works best).

For each of these variations on Jenga, put a small piece of masking tape on each Jenga block. On each piece of masking tape, write vocabulary word or sight word.

1. Read the Sight Words – Play Jenga using standard play rules, except if a student can read the word on the block, they do not put it back in the pile.  If they can read their word, they get to keep it in a pile in front of them.  When the tower falls, or you run out of blocks, the person with the most blocks in front of them wins.  For older students with vocabulary words instead of sight words, they can give a definition for the word instead of reading it.

2. Line them Up Play Jenga using standard play rules, except do not have students return their blocks to the top. Instead, have each student keep the blocks they take in a pile in front of them.   When the tower falls, or when each student has 7 blocks in front of them, stop and have the students put their words in alphabetical order.  The first one to get their words in alphabetical order wins.

3. Make the Longest Sentence – Play Jenga using standard play rules, 100_6826except do not have students return their blocks to the top. Instead, have each student keep the blocks they take in a pile in front of them. When the tower falls, or when each student has 7 blocks in front of them, stop and have the students use their words to make a sentence.  The student who can use the most words to make a sentence that makes sense wins.

4. – Sorting by Parts of SpeechPlay Jenga using standard play rules, except do not have students return their blocks to the top. Instead, have each student keep the blocks they take in a pile in front of them. When the tower falls, or when each student has 7 blocks in front of them, stop and have the students and sort their words by part of speech (noun, verb, adjective).  The student who can sort their words first wins.  Note some words can fall into more than one part of speech.  For those words, allow students to justify where they have chosen to place that word.

I hope some of these suggestions will allow you to use Jenga in a new, interesting way in your classrooms. Do you want other game suggestions for your classroom? Here are some suggestions for Yahtzee, Chutes and Ladders and Battleship. Keep playing games and watch your kids learn!

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Read the Word Wall Center


How do you use your Word Wall?  One of my students’ favorite things to do is to read our word wall.  Our word wall is HUGE –  200 sight wordreadtherooms and about 150 word family words, plus shape words, color words, number words and the kids’ names, so we’re talking about close to 500 words.  My kids are challenging each other right now to see who 100_6170can read more of it.  (Mainly because I’m offering a lollipop to any student who can read the whole thing at the end of the year.)  When we started reading the word wall, I used this sheet to help them record a few of the words that they could read.  At the end of centers, I choose one or two students (always randomly) to read their sheet to me.  It’s a great way to monitor a Read the Room type of center!  I uploaded the sheet into Google Docs, so feel free to grab a copy for FREE.

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Yahtzee Reading


I LOVE to play board games at home, but I also enjoying using them in my classroom. In addition to encouraging cooperation, turn taking and a variety of other social skills, I find I can often use the games to work on math and literacy skills. So, every Friday, I am going to post a Friday Game Night post, giving tips on how to use a particular board game in your classroom. Here’s this week’s Friday Game Night Tip:

Yahtzee – Part 2 (Literacy)

One of my favorite games growing up was Yahtzee, and I was super excited when my oldest son was old enough to learn how to play it! It can be such an educational game, and so, I thought it was the perfect game to feature as my second board game for Game Night Fridays! (The first game was Chutes and Ladders, click here if you missed it!) Here are four ways to use Yahtzee to teach literacy skills. Check out last Friday’s post to see my four ideas for how to use Yahtzee to teach math skills.

flashcardsFor each of these variations, you will need to use index cards to write a variety of words (sight words, spelling words, vocabulary words would all work). Make sure you have a variety of length to your words. Rather than rolling dice, have students draw 5 cards, read the cards out loud and then proceed with each variation.

1. 3 of a Kind, 4 of a Kind, Yahtzee! –  Using the number of letters in their word try to make a 3 of a kind, a 4 of a kind or a Yahtzee.  (You might allow them to put cards at the bottom of the pile and redraw as you do in Yahtzee.)  Award one point per letter and keep score on a Yahtzee score card.

 YahtzeeScoreCard

2. Word Grouping –  Have students group words by the number of vowels or consonants are in each word, using the number of vowels or consonants in their word try to get their 1’s, 2’s, 3’s, 4’s, 5’s or 6’s.  ie. ate would be a 2 if you were playing with vowels or a 1 if you were playing with consonants. (You might allow them to put cards at the bottom of the pile and redraw as you do in Yahtzee.) Award one point per letter and keep score on a Yahtzee score card.

 

3.  Categorically Speaking – Allow students to put their cards into categories.  If they can sort their cards into 2 piles and give you categories that they can justify, they can get their points for a full house.

 

4. Straight to ABC Order – Have students put their words in alphabetical order.  Students who get their cards in ABC order on the first try can get a large straight, students who need a second look can get a small straight.  Keep score on a Yahtzee score card.

 

I hope some of these suggestions will allow you to use Yahtzee in a new, interesting way in your classrooms. Keep playing games and watch your kids learn!

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Exploding Words


Recently heard in my classroom “Ms. Raki – The S is full!!”  My darling student 100_61691who was stating the obvious, was looking at my exploding word wall.  In the beginning of the year, I envisioned this beautiful, useful, huge, word wall.  Well, it’s beautiful, and it’s very useful, but 100_6170man is it HUGE!  It takes up a whole wall in my room, and my student was right, the S is already full.  Since it’s only halfway through the year, it’s also only half full!  So, my chore this week is to figure out how to rearrange it so slightly to fit more S words on it.  (While I’m at it, C and A are getting pretty full too!)  Here’s what’s on my word wall, that’s making it explode:

 

 

1.  The first 100 sight words (there are 100 more to put up!)

2.  My students’ names with their pictures (this is why A is so full – I have 5 A names in my room!)

3.  Shape Names

4.  Color Words

5.  Number Words

6.  Word Family cards (word and picture) for the ap, at, ed, et, ip, it, and op families – we add another word family each week, so this is the bulk of what will be added going forward  (Unfortunately, they have cut me off the color printer, so these are now in black and white – the kids don’t mind, but I do!)

Luckily, my kids really use the word wall.  They use it during writing and reading time (and on their spelling tests, which I allow, because if they can find the word what out of all of those words, that’s just as important as memorizing it in my book!) on a daily basis.  I love my word wall, I really do, but man, I’m not looking forward to taking it down at the end of the year!!

If you want any of the word wall cards on my word wall, or the word wall labels, they are available at my TPT store.  For direct links, click on the words above, or visit my store at http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Heidi-Raki.

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