Today has been a pretty good day. Following the excellent start to my weekend, things got a little crazy and stressful. Huge thanks to those of you who sent prayers up for my uncle. He could still use more. His health is not improving like it should and we are all extremely concerned.
This week starts state standardized testing at my school, so I had to strip my room of all reading strategies, word walls, and anything that looks like it could ever help someone answer a question. Because I knew my kids would be stressed out about tests the rest of the week, and I don't really believe in cramming, we did a lot of word study games today, including this activity that I found in LLI and kind of developed into my own game:
Word Endings Group Activity
First, I make this ginormous list of words on the board, in columns that have endings listed above.
The students line up in front of the board. I remove the marker that I used to make the chart.
Two at a time, the students come up to the board and make the necessary adjustments to the words in each column. I let them pick whichever words they want to change, in whatever order. They use different colored markers to erase and add letters where needed.
When all of the words have been changed, I give each student the opportunity to make one "fix." For example, one student might have (in a rush) put an -est ending in the -er column. A student who has noticed this can fix the error so that it is not counted against them.
Then we review the words as a group, with me at the board with a red marker. We discuss both right and wrong answers. This particular list has 45 words, so I told my 5th grade groups that they needed 35 or more words right to get a piece of candy. (Yes... I can use candy as an incentive, still.) They work as a team to make sure they get the most accurate answers possible. One of my groups today got 40/45 words correct after the "fix" round... I was very impressed!
You'll notice there are words up there with the intention of making the students think... like "run" and "swim" in the "-ed" column.
Overall I think it's a pretty good exercise to get the students thinking about spelling, grammar, and words, and they still have fun. I've also used this activity in 2nd and 3rd grades, to different extents.
Also, exciting news today - I found out I am getting my full time job back next year!!!! : ) I'm excited! It's going to be busy and stressful but I will be teaching what I love and working full time. (Which will be especially helpful as the deferment for my grad school loans ends in September... haha)
Today's weather was gorgeous, also. I'm planning on wearing a dress with leggings tomorrow. I might be a little too excited for this. I'm so ready to get my open-toed shoes out.
This evening I had a few lessons, and one of my cello students had me cracking up. We were in the middle of playing a song and she started playing some wrong notes. I went to stop her and she says, "Oh yeah, I meant to play that wrong." I told her I'd love to start using that excuse when I don't know the answer to a question. "Oh yeah, I knew that was the wrong answer. I meant to answer that wrong." So silly.
I hope you are all having a great start to your week - enjoy the nice weather and take a minute to appreciate all of the good things in your life!