weekly round up-some successful tricks/activities

Another week passed and I’m about to start booking the accommodation for my summer trip in U.K. Very much looking forward to it but  work has to be done before play starts:-) So here are some quick note of the little activities I enjoyed with my little friends recently.

Activity 1- crossword for catch-up program

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It was the week of the midterm. I figured kids would need to stretch out a bit after a long day, so we have a crossword card game together. The word cards are from the textbook we are using and I often found packs of them left behind by kids after class. I collected them in a box and have kids categorize them. The blank ones are wild cards. I have 14 kids in this catch up program and most of them shown high interest in this game.

Some variations I did during the process:

1. I have kids pair up since some of them tend to be stuck quite often. Pairing up seems to motivate them more and encourage team spirit at the same time.

2. Later on I have each pair to start their own game and see who gets bigger ‘territory’. They seem to strive on that though they apparently need more work on their vocabulary.

3. Organizing word cards can be a pain in the neck sometimes but you can turn this tedious job into a learning game as well. Have them pick out all the vowel cards or have them sort out the word family letter pairs and bag them (you do the talk, they do the work and learning:-). You can make a list of how you want them to organize the cards and have teams race against each other to see who gets to finish the task first.

Activity 2- the brown bag game

We were covering the vocabulary of stationery. I have several items(eg. pencils, erasers…) in a McDonald bag and have my 2nd graders to guess what’s inside the bag. I get to use a lot of English that is not in the textbook yet can be heard and said everyday. This is a perfect scenario for promoting L1 in the class.

To start the conversation, I have kids feel the item through the bag. You can highlight the word ‘feel’ and ‘shape’. I even brought in the question ‘Do you need a hint?’ and after a few rounds some kids started to say ‘老師給我們一個hint!’(Miss Tsai, please give us a hint!) Ha, love it when you see learning happens so naturally!

Possible themes to generate from this activity:

  1. Dialogue: Is it a …..? Is it round/triangle/square? / Can you write with/eat/play it?
  2. Vocabulary: food, clasrm objects, verb(write/eat/play/draw/color/…)

Activity 3- concentration on the letter A

I found this poster when I tried to declutter my clasrm last week. I must have copied the chant somewhere online and I used it in my 2nd graders this week. It was fun and brings out a lot of rhythm and phonemic awareness.

Here’s the chant:

Concentration on the letter A!

Apples begins with the letter a

Concentration on the letter B!

Banana begins with the letter b

and so on so forth…

At first I have kids clap their hands with me when we recite the chant from a to d, then I’ll start the question ‘what starts with the letter e?’when we do the E part. They started to understand the rules of the chant after a few rounds.

I’ve had several word/picture cards displayed on board and kids are to pick out the word/picture cards when I said ‘concentration on the letter __’

This is a great way to turn a chant to a game. I’ve had the poster displayed in the classroom so kids can use it as a reference whenever we have that extra 5 minutes!

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