Thursday, November 20, 2008

Spelling Game (Substitue for Word Game)

On Wednesday November 19, 2008, Chantel and I did a spelling lesson instead of a word game lesson. The teacher asked us to do the spelling game/lesson instead of a word game because it went better with what Mrs. Revilla had planned that week and that day. A spelling list with all the words we used in our lesson was given to the students on Monday. The class had already done homework assignments on Monday and Tuesday and a practice quiz on Monday. In other words, the students had seen the words before and were fairly familiar with them. After our lesson the students would be taking their second practice spelling test. Mrs. Revilla has the students take a shot at spelling the words when they first get the fifteen word list on Mondays, and next the students take a second practice spelling test on the words on Wednesday. After the second practice spelling test, Mrs. Revilla assigns each individual student ten words to study for their actual spelling test on Friday. I like the way Mrs. Revilla takes the time to individualize the students spelling lists to the needs of each student. If the student knows how to spell a few of the words already, then Mrs. Revilla makes sure that the students are doing homework and working with the words that they may not know how to spell yet. I also really liked how low-stress the spelling tests were because of the practice quizes. The students knew that the first two practices were not going to effect their grades at all, and I think this allowed the students to really try and take chances when it came to spelling the spelling words for that week. The teacher made a comment to us about how the school didn't have a consistent spelling or vocabulary plan. Mrs. Revilla thinks, and I agree, that the school needs to have a certain standard for words that each grade must master. She says that one of her problems is that the students have a wide range of spelling abilities, and that some of the students don't know how to spell very basic words that they should already know how to spell. This is one reason Mrs. Revilla individualizes each students spelling tests each week because she is trying to get them all up to grade level. The lesson that Chantel and I did was called spelling battleship. Below is the general lesson outline:

Spelling Lesson Plan – Spelling Battleship

· Write the word groups on the board & draw an example battleship board
· Word Group 1: Slogan, honest, Shadow, Eleven, and Radio
· Word Group 2: Minutes, Virus, Humor, Balance, and Basis

· Count off the students by 2’s

· Students with # 1 à use word group 1

· Students with # 2 à use word group 2

· Spelling Battleship Instructions:

o Each will get a game board piece and a folder
-> Use the folder as a divider between the students
o Put your word list into any of the spaces on the game piece (one in each square)
o Take turns guessing squares (B2, C4, etc…)
o If you guess a square that has a word in it, your opponent will tell you what the word is.
Spell the word correctly à get a point … Spell the word wrong à no points and end of turn
o Guess a square with a word and spell it right à get to guess again
o The person to spell the most words correctly wins!

· Handout game boards and folders

After we had explained the game, paired the students up, and passed out all of the materials, we walked around the room doing informal assessments on how well the students were doing. The students were extremely enthusiastic about the game, and every student in the class had played the boardgame Battleship at least once. The students played the game for about fifteen to twenty minutes, or until about all of the students had tried to spell all five of their words. Most students were able to spell between 2-4 words correctly, and most of them were spelling 3 or 4 out of their 5 words correctly. I thought this was a good place to be considering it was in the middle of the week, and the students were still learning the words. The informal assessment allowed me to note that all of the students were on the way to mastering their spelling words for that week. I would definitely use this spelling game in my future upper elementary classrooms because the students really enjoyed it, and they really wanted to spell the words correctly so they could beat their classmate!

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