Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Making Spelling Fun, and a Freebie

I teach spelling to all of the fifth graders. I have differentiated spelling for many years. What does this look like? Of my 79 students (we are a small group this year), I have two or three separate lists. I give six separate spelling tests, two tests in each of my classes. To make spelling fun, we use activities on Spelling City to help differentiate instruction. I use a spelling contract to also differentiate. Students choose 50-100 points worth of activities to do. I also give a pretest on Mondays. Students that score 100% or better on the previous week's list are eligible for the pretest. Students must score 100% or more on the pretest to be exempt from the spelling contract and other spelling tests during the week. I give a practice test and final test. Some students score 90% or higher on the practice test and are exempt from the final test. Most students will retake to get the highly sought after 100% for the exemptions for next week.

An all time favorite activity for spelling practice are our spelling games we play on Thursdays. Bubble or Sparkle was the favorite game until this year.
Boggle (found on Pinterest and many blogs), has become a favorite. I choose my letters carefully to guarantee students can find at least a couple of spelling words. They earn bonus points for spelling words and word longer than six letters.

I also have a Word Yahtzee game that we play. For the Yahtzee game, you need to choose a Mystery Word. Students then try to make as many 3, 4, and 5 letter words from the letters in the word. We play this game when we have really long challenge words that can be the Mystery word.
I am working on a Scramble/Words with Friends type game. The kids like playing it on our iPads, but I can't get everyone through in a week, so I am trying to get a game board/center activity completed to try out yet this spring. I have a class set of Scrabble Games, but this isn't my most reliable group, so I am hesitant to use the real games. I find game pieces after every inside recess.

Freebies: Word Yahtzee
              Spelling Contract

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