I am always trying to find interesting ways to keeps my students engaged, and quite frankly it can get very tiring. I spend my weekends doing lesson plans, grading papers, and researching fun learning engaging ways to keep students active in their learning. My go to places are teachers pay teachers and pinterest. (I am sure that most teachers are familiar with both of these). I am usually pretty successful in the activities, and they go rather smoothly in class. The most challenging chore that I have trouble with is planning things for students to do with their spelling words.
Now, I am aware of the ways most people assign spelling words: Write them 3 times each, write them in rainbow colors, abc order, use them in sentences, and so on! However, my students seem to get bored with each of these activities.
This year I have Interactive Notebooks for each subject. We use these notebooks relentlessly, and the students seem to like them because they can look back at previous lessons when unit week comes up. I like that about the interactive notebooks, but I am still not happy with doing the same old routines with the spelling words.
I have been reading online and looking for more ideas when I cam across a blog that seemed to be pretty interesting. The blog is called Cork board Connections and can be found at: http://corkboardconnections.blogspot.com/
In the blog the teacher had some very interesting activities for students to use with their spelling words, and they will align with the common core state standards in more than one subject. The author of the blog, Laura Candler, is a teacher and the creator of the Teaching Resources website. http://www.lauracandler.com/
Mrs. Candler surely can relate to my frustration. She has came up with a fantastic idea to use with the spelling words. She suggests that students start with half of the spelling words, and with those half write them in sentences. The next day, the students will take the other half of the spelling words and do the same thing with them. Once the students have their sentences with their spelling words Mrs. Candler then has the students put on their “thinking caps,” and get creative. The students are to write a story using their spelling words. The students must already know what they mean because they used them in a sentence, but putting them together in a story with require higher order thinking. The students may use the sentence as they wrote it or change it.
It doesn’t stop after the story is done. The students then get to share it with the class, and once they shared it, the teacher posts them on a “Cork Board” in the room. If you need a grade then Mrs. Candler has also provided a grading rubric on her blog that can be uses(just click the first link above).
When students have completed this task, the teacher can align this with at least 3 standards in vocabulary, writing, and listening and speaking. I am so ecstatic that found this blog from another teacher that can relate to my frustration. I wanted to share it here so my followers may also use this information to make their classroom more successful!