Friday, January 18, 2013

Spelling Chain

Since my school is a magnet school for art (among other things), we incorporate art into our units. Our current math unit is about geometry. They just learned about solid figures and plane shapes. This week they are learning about equal parts.

I got a sudden burst of inspiration as I was thinking up some fun activities for the kids to do with their spelling words when it hit me! Spelling chains! I'm surprised I hadn't done this with them yet this year. I guess with all the other things going on, I completely forgot the obvious, tried and trues I used to do.

But I also thought they need extra practice in getting along as well as using equal parts. So I got out two different colors of large construction paper. I gave all my Peanut Butters (one of my classroom management systems, which I can write about another time) one color, and Jellies another.

I told them to fold it into two equal parts (or half). Once they did that, I told them to fold it again, and then again. This created eight equal parts when unfolded.

They were to then cut out along the lines they made.

They then had to sort the strips of paper so that each partner got the SAME NUMBER of green and purple. I left this step pretty ambiguous so they could figure out their own way of making that happen. I was surprised that most kids understood what it meant. I was also surprised that one of my brightest/nosiest (not noisy, but nosey) student and his partner were not able to figure it out. The first time I walked over to them, they had basically swapped colors one strip at a time. The second time, they had most of the purple on her side, and he had most of the green. Quite comical.

Once they each had equal parts green and purple, they were to write their spelling words with one word on each strip in the middle of the strip and then make a pattern. I gave them two more strips beyond what their spelling words are so they could find two words with the skill for the week in their decodable reader (Super smart idea by the way! It kept the fast finishers busy letting the other catch up.).

They then linked the paper strips together to create a simple chain. I gave them the option of either taking their chain home, or donating it to our classroom for a spelling display above our Reading Wall. Many students donated and I couldn't have been more thrilled!

Here's the final product!

If you need the spelling cards (unit 3) that I have on my focus wall, check them out here on my TPT store.