Monday, February 10, 2014

Learning Words with Boggle

We have recently started playing Boggle in our classroom.  This is one of the choices students can make when they are finished with their assignment.  To play, the student will take our their Reading Journal and copy the letters at the top of the page.  Then, they will attempt to make as many words as they can from the 16 letters in the squares.

This is a great open-ended activity, because it can be as challenging as the student needs it to be.  Some students will stick to finding two and three-letter words, but others will challenge themselves to find longer words.  In the few minutes we used to introduce this new activity, the students had found the words and, am, and man.  How many words can you find?  :]

Monday, February 3, 2014

Writing a Pro/Con Chart

     For the third nine weeks of the school year, we are working on writing about our opinions.  Last week we asked the question, "Is winter the best season?"  As a class we created a Pro/Con chart to help us organize our thinking.  Below you can see our completed chart.  We talked about the fact that pros are good things and cons are bad things; the smiley and frowny faces help the students remember what the words mean.

     When students are writing opinion pieces, ask them to start with a pro/con chart.  Once they writing in all of their opinions, they should decide what they think.  For our writing, the opinions are either, "I think winter is the best season," or "I do not think winter is the best season."  When they know what their opinion is, they will write it across the bottom or their pro/con chart.