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Seven Strategies to Help Children Remember Spelling Words

Some children remember sight words easily, but there are others who have a hard time remembering the spelling of words that don't follow the rules. 

Seven Strategies to help children remember spelling words - based on brain research, this blog post shares seven strategies to help those kiddos who struggle to remember spelling!
 

Here are a few strategies, based on research, that will help kiddos remember spelling words.


Seven Strategies to help children remember spelling words - based on brain research, this blog post shares seven strategies to help those kiddos who struggle to remember spelling!
1.  Spell it aloud! The act of saying the letters along with hearing the letters helps the pathways form in the brain.


Seven Strategies to help children remember spelling words - based on brain research, this blog post shares seven strategies to help those kiddos who struggle to remember spelling!
2. Get them moving! Studies show a connection between movement and memory. Students can bounce a basketball while spelling, jump while spelling, or even do interpretive dance while spelling the words. 


Seven Strategies to help children remember spelling words - based on brain research, this blog post shares seven strategies to help those kiddos who struggle to remember spelling!
 3. Integrate Music! Ever notice how you can remember song lyrics from years ago that you never even tried to memorize? Music is closely connected to memory! Make up a little tune to the spelling of the words, or have the children make it up!
 

Seven Strategies to help children remember spelling words - based on brain research, this blog post shares seven strategies to help those kiddos who struggle to remember spelling!

4. Integrate the Arts! Have the children write the spelling words, then make up a design around them. Or, you could have them paint their words! Don't forget the performing arts: they could dance their words or act out their words!

Seven Strategies to help children remember spelling words - based on brain research, this blog post shares seven strategies to help those kiddos who struggle to remember spelling!
5. Color code! Brains really connect to colors! Have the children write the words using one color for vowels, and one color for consonants.

Seven Strategies to help children remember spelling words - based on brain research, this blog post shares seven strategies to help those kiddos who struggle to remember spelling!
6. Hands on! Use blocks, toothpicks, pipe cleaners or other manipulatives to create the words.

Seven Strategies to help children remember spelling words - based on brain research, this blog post shares seven strategies to help those kiddos who struggle to remember spelling!
7. Get social! Get the kiddos to have conversations about their words. They can talk about the letters that follow the rules, and the letters that DON'T follow the rules. (Add color coding to this one, and that doubles the chance they'll remember the spelling!)

Want more ideas?  


Seven Strategies to help children remember spelling words - based on brain research, this blog post shares seven strategies to help those kiddos who struggle to remember spelling!

This is a set of task cards with 48 color and 48 black and white task cards that can be used with any spelling list!

These cards contain activities based on brain research that include integrating the arts, multi-modality, and multiple intelligences. This set of sight word practice task cards is perfect for a word work center, homework, or extra practice in any setting. 

For more information, see: Brain Friendly Spelling Task Cards.


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Spelling-Fun-Task-Cards-Research-Based-Sight-Word-Practice-Fun-for-ANY-Words-2821443?utm_source=blog%20post%20seven%20spelling%20strategies&utm_campaign=Spelling%20Fun%20Research%20Based

In case you want to see how these Spelling Task Cards work, here's a sample freebie: Spelling Fun Task Cards Sampler

 
Seven Strategies to help children remember spelling words - based on brain research, this blog post shares seven strategies to help those kiddos who struggle to remember spelling! 
 

How do you help children remember Spelling words?


Seven Strategies to help children remember spelling words - based on brain research, this blog post shares seven strategies to help those kiddos who struggle to remember spelling!


Even or Odd? A Game for Two Students

I played a game with my students this week, since we were studying even and odd numbers. 


I remember doing this activity as a child.
I don't remember what we called it.

I don't remember much about it at all, so I shared with my students what I remembered, and made up the rest.
 
Even or Odd: A Game for two students.  This game requires nothing but fingers, but it's a great way to practice even and odd numbers.
 

It worked.

Here's how we did it.


1 .Children chose partners.
2. The partners decided who would represent even, and who would represent odd.
3. Players stood facing each other with one hand behind their back.
4. One partner said, "One, two, three, shoot!"
5. On "shoot," each player shoots out 0, 1, or 2 fingers. 
6. Both players determine if the total fingers is even or odd, and that player gets a point for that round.
7. Play continues until time runs out, with players keeping track of how many points for "even" or "odd."
A more advanced version: use up to 5 fingers for each draw.
Another way: use dice, add them, odd or even gets a point. They can keep tallies on a whiteboard to keep score.  Playing cards would work, too!

All my games end with a handshake and the words, "good game!"


I had all my students playing with partners at the same time. Of course, I had to join in the fun since I have an odd number of students. We now play this game often as part of our Morning Meeting or as a Math warm up!

Even or Odd: A Game for two students.  This game requires nothing but fingers, but it's a great way to practice even and odd numbers.

The Importance of Read Alouds!

I am committed to reading aloud to my students daily. 

 
The Importance of Read Alouds: Reading aloud has many benefits. Here are 15!
 

Not only is it my very favorite time of day, but there are so many benefits of reading aloud to kids.

Here are some advantages of reading aloud to children:


1. It's a shared literacy experience within the classroom community.
2. It's a great way to model important reading concepts like understanding characters, using inference skills, predicting, and more!
3. It's a great way to model phrasing and fluent reading.
4. Read Alouds are like an advertisement for books! Ever notice how the kids want to read a book right after you read it to them? Or perhaps another book in the series?
5. Read Alouds develop a child's vocabulary.
6. Shared books are a great way to model writing skills!
7. Shared books are a great way to spark discussion about sensitive subjects.
8. Children learn language patterns and figurative language through Read Alouds.
9. When you have multiple reading levels in your classroom (which most of us do!) it "evens the playing field."
10. Reading aloud helps build attention spans.
11. It's a chance to "think aloud" to model decoding new words using context clues.
12. It's a great opportunity to bring literature into other subjects like Science, Social Studies, Mathematics, and even Music, Art, and Phys. Ed!
13. Reading aloud encourages thinking and using imagination.
14. Reading aloud helps children learn about the world. Not just their own world, but other places, cultures, time periods, and even fictional worlds.
15. It's fun!

Looking to get families involved? Enjoy this freebie!


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Tips-for-Helping-Children-at-Home-With-Literacy-Skills-Parent-Communication-5851913?utm_source=blog%20post%20on%20read%20alouds&utm_campaign=Tips%20for%20Reading%20With%20Children

Want some more reasons to Read Aloud to students?  Here are a few references! (Click each image for a link to Amazon.)

             

What books do you like to read aloud to children?

What other advantages to reading aloud can you name?

 
The Importance of Read Alouds: Reading aloud has many benefits. Here are 15!

 

Pass the Clap - A Fun Game!


A couple of years ago, I learned a fun circle game called "Pass the Clap". My kiddos really love it, and it's got many benefits!
Pass the Clap - A Fun Game for all ages! This is a great game for team building. with many benefits in the classroom, and plenty of giggles, too!
 
1. It's a nice break from the regular routine.
2. It helps the children learn to work together.
3. It forces them to focus and concentrate on each other, and the game.
4. It's been known to create giggling children. 
5. It works well with all ages, preschool through adult!

If you don't believe #4 is a benefit, you'll have to read THIS post about how laughter is healthy!

So here's how to play:

To pass the clap, you must make eye contact with the "clap receiver", then clap.
That person passes the clap to the next person, and so on. 

There are a few varieties. We start simple.

1. Pass the clap, one by one, all the way around the circle.
2. Pass it around the circle, then reverse and bring the clap back to the starting point.

My students like to time how fast it takes for the clap to get around the circle. Then we time it again and see if we beat our previous time. (Which usually brings a celebration!)

A couple more variations:

3. Anyone can change the direction! This certainly livens things up!
4. The clap can be passed across the circle.

This last variation really requires focus and concentration, and plenty of team work! The children do rise for the occasion, and it's totally amazing!

If you like this team building game, try some of these: 60 Team Building Games and Activities.

Pass the Clap - A Fun Game! This is a game with many benefits in the classroom, and plenty of giggles, too!




Building Social Skills and Academics with Morning Meeting!

I am so thrilled with my schedule this year! Last year my students had RTI first thing in the morning, so I was never able to spend mornings with them. They came in, dropped off their stuff, and ran off to their Tier 2 assigned groups. This made it tough to build relationships with my students, and build community within my group.
 
Build Social Skills and Academics with Morning Meeting: morning meetings have numerous benefits for children and classrooms, including building social skills, emotional skills, community, focus, and productivity.
 

This year, the children stay in the classroom in the morning, and we are encouraged to start our day with Morning Meeting!

Most typical Morning Meetings have these parts:


1. Greeting
2. Sharing
3. Group Activity
4. Morning Message

There are many ways to do each part, and hundreds of references for ideas, but here are a couple: 

     

Why do Morning Meeting?


Morning Meeting helps build social and emotional skills. It builds community and helps children learn to work as a team. It helps children develop a positive tone to their day, and affects their focus and productivity for the rest of the school day. Morning Meeting helps establish a climate of trust and motivates students to feel significant. It builds relationships with classmates and teachers.

Looking for some ideas for the group activity? Try these:60 Team Building Games and Activities for Classrooms.

I did Morning Meetings ages ago (I'd estimate 20+ years!) but I haven't been able to do it recently, so it's like starting over. I'd love to hear what other teachers do during their morning meetings!


Build Social Skills and Academics with Morning Meeting: morning meetings have numerous benefits for children and classrooms, including building social skills, emotional skills, community, focus, and productivity.

I've Got This!

I'm trying to muster up all my courage and all my stamina, because I'm about to run a marathon!

After a fabulous summer with lots of rest, relaxation, and good times, I'm going back to school.
I've GOT This! Some words of encouragement to help teachers get back to school with a smile on their faces.




I'm looking forward to seeing my colleagues again, and I'm really excited about my schedule this year!

Plus, I get to meet my kids tomorrow night at the Open House!

And I get to have them in my class starting Wednesday!

This year will be tough (they all have been, in some ways!) but I'm trying to be positive and look forward to the year. 

After all, I can't be on summer vacation forever! 
(But I sure will miss staying in jammies until noon!)

I've been giving myself a lot of "coaching"... kind, encouraging words.  I thought perhaps you could use some, too.

This is from my Dad, the football coach. I say this to myself often!

I've GOT This! Some words of encouragement to help teachers get back to school with a smile on their faces.

Every time I get stressed about how much we have to teach and how little time we have to teach it: (the visual works for me, too!)

I've GOT This! Some words of encouragement to help teachers get back to school with a smile on their faces.

 
As above, I do get stressed! (I suspect we all do!)

I've GOT This! Some words of encouragement to help teachers get back to school with a smile on their faces.

 
Being a fan of the arts, I love this quote from John Steinbeck!

I've GOT This! Some words of encouragement to help teachers get back to school with a smile on their faces.


This is my own quote. You could sort of say it's my mission!


I've GOT This! Some words of encouragement to help teachers get back to school with a smile on their faces.

Just a little reminder how important it is to build bonds with the children!

I've GOT This! Some words of encouragement to help teachers get back to school with a smile on their faces.

This is also my own quote. It's something I remind myself frequently!


I've GOT This! Some words of encouragement to help teachers get back to school with a smile on their faces.


Have a great school year!



I've GOT This! Some words of encouragement to help teachers get back to school with a smile on their faces.



My "Not So Cute" Classroom


They're all over the internet this time of year: Those sweet, adorable classrooms with perfectly matched accessories and delightfully painted shelves, and cleverly decorated bulletin boards.  I admit, I love looking at the pictures of the "Pinterest worthy" classrooms, and imagine what it might be like with one of those classrooms. Seriously, if I win the lottery, I'll use some of the money to hire a decorator for my classroom.
 
My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!
 

My classroom doesn't look like these. First of all, I don't have the "decorator's eye" that these teachers have. Second of all, I don't have time to sand, paint, and decorate all the furniture in matching colors. Nor do I have the money. (Did I mention I was a single parent, still recovering from sending my daughter to college?) Third of all, I just don't have the time, since I'm busy teaching!


My classroom is real. 

It has furniture I have inherited over 40 years of teaching. 
My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!

Here are a couple of my chairs, both held together with duct tape. The top one is usually hidden by my desk, where I rarely sit, but couldn't live without, since it's where I pile everything! The bottom chair is a classic. It's one of the few adult chairs where my feet actually reach the floor. It looked great a couple of years ago when I covered it with duct tape. And over the years, it has earned the nickname, "The Drop Chair!" Seriously, anyone who sits in it eventually drops stuff!
My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!

You can see a corner of my desk here, nothing fancy. I went out and bought these cheap, plastic, white shelves, and have several throughout the classroom. They're not very sturdy, but I need the space. (I'm not completely unpacked yet, these are usually much more crowded with "overflow" from my desk!) Thankfully, these white shelves lighten up the classroom, and offer plenty of space!
My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!

Speaking of shelves, most of mine don't match. At the top, are some second hand metal shelves. Yes, they make noise when the kids bump into them. No, they're not all the same color. But if you look closely, you'll see all my kids' book boxes match, and I've got tons of great books!
 
My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!

 
My file cabinets. 
No, the green one doesn't lock. 
Neither do the others.
But they hold my stuff!

My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!

 
 The door doesn't work on my closet. 
When you turn the knob, two metal pieces just clang together. When I shut it, I have to tuck it in.
But it still holds my "job chart" just fine! 

My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!

 
 My rug was in another classroom before I got it. 
It has holes from pencils, and "permadirt". 
But it's still a comfortable place to sit and listen to stories and lessons.
My easel is new to me this year, but not new to the school. I have yet to get the 3 legs even. It's probably the only whiteboard easel in the school that is NOT magnetic. But it holds chart paper!
 
My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!

 
My desks don't match. They are covered in "permadirt" and scratches. The chairs don't match and aren't all good sizes for the kids I have. The legs aren't adjustable, so some kids will have legs swinging and others will barely fit their legs under their desks.
But I have enough desks for them all!

My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!

I have a number of shelves and tables throughout the classroom. None of them match, they could use a good sanding and painting or staining. But luckily I have plenty of places to put games, books, supplies, and, of course, children.

I'm still working on my classroom, and it's going to look a whole lot better than it does now. But I've learned not to compare my "hand me down" classroom with those "Pinterest worthy" classrooms. 

Why?

Because that's not what it's all about! Teaching is about the kids. We make the best of all we have, and my focus is always on the kids. I plan to keep them so busy learning and having fun that they won't even notice that our furniture isn't the best!

My "Not so Cute" Classroom: I don't have the talent, eye for design, or money for materials that we see in Pinterest worthy classrooms, but my classroom has just what it takes!
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