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Friday, March 21, 2014

Trade and Grade Time!

What is “Trade and Grade” you ask? It’s an amazing idea created by my friend Amanda from The Primary Gal. This month, instead of hosting a “Free-For-All”, as she has in the past, Amanda decided to have a blog hop. But not just any blog hop, each blogger was buddied up with a blogger friend and TPT author who teaches a similar grade. We then TRADED and GRADED each other’s work.

I was lucky enough to be buddied up with Abbey from A Teacher Mom. I was super excited to be working with Abbey since, we both teach first grade and we both LOVE to use games as a learning tool in our classrooms. I always think it’s neat that even though we are from different countries, (I’m from Ontario, Canada and Abbey is from Massachusetts, USA) we still have so much in common.

A Teacher Mom

I had the opportunity to use Abbey’s “Blends Phonics Games Pack”. It has a great spring theme. I don’t know about you…but enough of the polar vortexes and snow, I need some spring in my life!

What I loved about this games pack was that there were five main activities. The activities were easy enough that my students could figure them out quite easily. My students found them engaging and fun. This games pack gave the students an opportunity to practice reading words with blends or digraph blends at the beginning or end of the word.

Since I had five activities to try out, I broke my students into groups of four or five students and had them rotate through the activities, throughout the week during their working with words time.

A little about the games.

1. Bingo

 Each student received their own Bingo board. The students took turn flipping over the umbrella cards. If they had that card on their board they would place a counter on it. The first person to create a line vertically, horizontally or diagonally won the round. The students also played until someone covered their entire board.

What I loved about this game was that my students were totally engaged and that the game encouraged them to read the words on their board.

2. Memory

 Note to self: Read the directions. Make sure you make two copies of the cards or your students will never be able to make matches. Can you guess what I did? :S This game is played like memory. Students take turns flipping two cards. If they match they get to keep them. Don’t forget to encourage your students to read the words on the card.

What I loved about this center: I loved that it was a familiar game, and that it didn’t require a lot of supervision allowing me to focus more on the other groups.

3. Build and Spell-a-Word

This was by far my students’ hardest, but most favorite game. Students use the cards to build words. They then add up how many points each word is worth. My students then recorded their words and how much they were worth on the table. We ended up making a class table as well so students could record their word that was worth the most. Notice the phonetic spelling? LOL.

What I loved about this center is that the game aspect of it encouraged them to problem solve, to figure out which word was worth the most. I also loved how students worked together to create words that were worth more points.

4. I Have…Who Has…With Blends

My students played this game in small groups, but it could easily be played with the whole class. In their small groups the students formed a circle and received 4 or 5 cards that they placed in front of themselves. They then tried to see if they could work together to solve the “I have…Who has…” puzzle.

What I loved about this game is that it encouraged everyone to participate and to practice reading the blends.

5. Real and Nonsense Word Sorts

This was also another of my students favourite games. My students worked together to sort the words into “Real” or “Nonsense” words. The students thought some of the nonsense words were really funny sounding.

What I loved about this game is that it created some debate between the students over whether a word was real or made up. We had a resounding debate about the word “gust”. Some of the group was pretty sure it was a real word, but they weren’t positive and others in the group felt it was a nonsense word. The students decided to ask SIRI if it was a real word or not. (I thought that was pretty brilliant.)

Abbey from Teacher Mom has provided a sample of her games.

 You can check out the full version

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