Teaching

Making Word Work Powerful – and Fun!

I can’t believe that I only have three weeks of summer vacation left! I am really excited to get back into the classroom and working with my new little ones, but am also so nervous about the grade switch! Going from third grade to first grade is going to be quite the adjustment, but I’m ready to take on the challenge!

I’m STILL working on that rental property I mentioned in the previous post, and we’re finally down to the painting. We’ve also been getting ready to make a patio out of pavers in our backyard and putting in a sliding door in our kitchen, heading out to the patio- keep an eye on my blog for those upcoming posts!

Back to the topic of school, I’ve planned out a daily, 30-minute word work block into my school schedule. I got the idea from Facebook, actually. I ended up with a video from Anna Brantley’s Teaching Resources on my wall, and instantly fell in love with the idea for my own classroom. She has the most amazing resources at her Teachers Pay Teachers store — check it out!

Instead of buying her resources, I ended up making my own variations to her worksheets. I had already spent A LOT of money on Teachers Pay Teachers, and figured I could try my hand at making my own!

I started by creating a word wall on an extra whiteboard in my classroom. If you can even believe it, I have THREE! I used my Cricut to cut out the letters, and used Washi tape and Loctite mounting squares to make it happen. All three of these things have been complete life-savers in my classroom!! Anything cute that goes on the wall is all due to these three things.

Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine

Washi Masking Tape Set of 24, Decorative Masking Tape Collection,Tape for DIY Crafts and Gift Wrapping Office Party Supplies

Loctite Fun-Tak Mounting Putty 2-Ounce (1087306)

I measured my whiteboard and made my squares as even as I possibly could, which is surprisingly difficult with a giant piece of Washi tape. Using the mounting squares, I stuck the letters into each box, and there you have it!

IMG_4067

The rainbows on the right are a new idea for me. I was given a list of the first grade sight words from an amazing first grade teacher, Morison Catten. She has the sight words separated by colors of the rainbow, and when they pass them off, they get to color in which words they’ve mastered.

I loved the rainbow idea, so printed out one for each student in my class. When the kids pass off their “red” words, they get to color in the top arch of the rainbow red, and so on. I think the kids will love it, and it also helps me see exactly where the kids are at without having to search through papers or spreadsheets.

IMG_4082

Next, I bought a rainbow rolling cart to keep my word work organized. The cart has ten drawers, and I created nine activities. I labeled the drawers to keep my first graders organized. (I’m all about organization, if you couldn’t tell!)

Finnhomy 10 Drawer Rolling Cart,Storage Rolling Carts with Semi-transparent Mutli Color Drawers, Organizer Cart for School, Office, Home, Beauty Salon,Utility Cart with Wheels

My cart ended up looking like this with the labels. I know I could have created fancy labels, but I figured these were simple enough, and I don’t think six and seven-year-olds will care that much!

IMG_4083

Next up was creating the worksheets. Like I said, I created nine activities. I plan on going through each activity with the students at first. After the modeling and following along, they should be able to complete these on their own later in the year.

Word Work 1 – This sheet is a rainbow. Each word will be written across the rainbow multiple times in a different color of the rainbow.

Word Work 2 – This activity calls for the students to use five different materials: pencil, pen, colored pencil, marker, and a crayon. They will write each word with the five different mediums.

Word Work 3 – The kids will LOVE this one! They will write their words with a white crayon and then color over it with a marker to make them show up!

Word Work 4 – This hands-on activity will be more like a game for the kids! They will need at least one die, and could even work with a partner. Depending on which number they roll on, they will write their words in the specified color.

Word Work 5 – This sheet has the kids write their words in their fanciest writing inside the picture frames. I also put some fun pens in the drawer for them, as well!

Word Work 6 – This activity has them write their words normally, and then decorate them. Encourage their creativity!

Word Work 7 – This activity also incorporates math. Each letter is given an amount, the same as in the game, Scrabble. The students will write their spelling word, the equation of what the word is worth (cat = 3+1+1), and figure out the sum of each word.

Word Work 8 – This one requires the kids to move their papers all around their desks! They will write each word around the spirals.

Word Work 9 – This activity gets the kids working with graphs. On the spinner provided at the top of the paper, they will write each word, and also write each word at the bottom of the columns. Using a paper clip and their pencil, they will spin to land on a word. They will color in a box in the column of that word once they land!

I hope these activities are helpful and get your students excited about working with words! I plan on seeing a huge increase in their reading and spelling using these activities.

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