Word Association Tasks for Teaching Vocabulary

7 Jul

It’s time to talk about strategies for teaching vocabulary again. Vocabulary is the cornerstone for most of what is taught in our schools and is important at every level. Studies have shown that a good vocabulary is a good indicator of success in the classroom.

Students acquire vocabulary best if they are taught through activities that allow them to think about the words rather than just memorize the definitions. Figuring out the similarities and differences in word meanings is a good way to study and retain the information.

My word association task cards are based on this principal. I made this post to tell you about additional features that are now included. If you have purchased the task cards in the past, you now have additional access to EASEL on Teachers Pay Teachers. This gives you two instructional methods. You have the option of two sided task cards that can be printed out and used as flash cards or a digital activity. The digital activity is a multiple choice activity which gives immediate feed back.

The already prepared digital activities are available with individual sets and as part of the bundle. Below are screen shots of the Animal and Household sets to give you an idea. All 3 sets are similar.

If you have purchased these in the past, go check out the new features. If it looks interesting to you, follow the link to see the Preview. You save by purchasing the bundle.

TPT link

Update on Before and After Picture Cards

23 Apr
Before  and After cover

This post may look somewhat familiar to you. I am bringing it back up to the top to make you aware of changes occurring to my products on Teachers Pay Teacher (TPT), in particular the Before and After Picture Cards. You may be aware that TPT has a program called EASEL that allows purchasers and authors of Teacher Pay Teachers products to create and use products on digital devices. New features have been added such as movable pieces, color choices, writing, text, and uploading of pictures, clipart, and videos. Teachers can create their own lessons from the products or use ones that teacher authors have created. As a start, I updated my Before and After Picture Cards. If you have purchased these cards you will now have access to a pre-created digital version using features of EASEL from the TPT site.

You may have bought Before and After Picture Cards in the past to be used as flash cards. At that time I suggested using a “Top Secret UV Pen” (often found at book fairs) to write the answers before or after in the blue boxes. Students could light up the answers with a pen light and some found this very motivating.

Now, you will continue to have the ability to print and cut the cards out, but in addition teachers can use the EASEL feature to assign lessons to students through EASEL. I prepared the Before and After cards for you to try out. Students will have the ability to drag the words Before and After to the appropriate spots on the cards. They will not need the fine motor coordination to write the words out. When students have completed the assignment they can turn it in digitally to be reviewed and corrected by the teacher.

I also updated the EASEL version of Sentence Sequences for Complex Sentences. If you purchased this activity in the past, you will also have access to the EASEL version. The digital version gives instant feedback when the students make answer choices. Go try it out.

Click below for a direct link to my store The Spontaneous Speech Spot

Valentine Social Group Activity

10 Feb

Many schools have returned to in classroom instruction so there is opportunity for social interaction. Students need this now more than ever. Some classrooms celebrate Valentine’s Day with group activities and would benefit from a themed version. This activity is a way to celebrate the holiday and still have a learning experience with your social skills groups. It is the same as Trial and Error Pass except with Valentine clipart. I am making it a FREE download activity to celebrate our ability to be social. It is presently on my Teachers Pay Teachers store and you will be able to download it free until the end of February. There is a link at the bottom of the post.

This activity requires students to use a trial and error method of problem solving. This is quite difficult for some students who want success on the first attempt and have difficulty when they fail. This activity reinforces the idea that mistakes are not necessarily bad and can be used for learning. It also teaches students to work together toward a common goal. The solution will be found by observing the mistakes of everyone and it would be very difficult to succeed individually. It also requires students to use their short term memory and make inferences to predict the pattern.

This activity can be used with small groups of students, two competing teams, or with one or two students. The object of the game is to cross the grid in 6 moves stepping on the correct sequence of images.

Valentine TandEgrid
Trial and Error Grid

A judge, who could be a student or teacher, is selected. The judge takes one of the pattern cards that will be the solution to the stepping pattern. A student begins the challenge by stepping on one of the cards in the first row and moves one row ahead for each step. As the move is made the judge indicates if it is the correct one by saying right or wrong move. If a buzzer is available that can be used for the wrong step. There are some buzzer sounds available on apps for electronic devices that students really enjoy using. If it is the right step the student continues to move forward. If it is the wrong step the person returns to the start or the end of the line and waits for another turn. Students can watch the attempts of others until they get to the front of the line again. The students may notice that a pattern is developing as students discover the correct moves. This will speed up the progress until someone finally makes it across. The students should be reinforced for working as a team and not make it an individual competition to make it to the finish.

free download
click here for link to TPT and free download

Tier II Vocabulary Task Card Challenge 3

23 Nov
Tier II Challenge 3 Cards Cover

Take a look at my latest set of Tier II Vocabulary Task Cards. Challenge 3 is written using words off 7th and 8th grade vocabulary lists. If you have used the Challenge 1 and 2 cards using lower level vocabulary, these are similar. Words are presented in a short paragraph and students complete word meaning and comprehension tasks. I have included a free sample in this post for you to try out. Scroll down to find the free download.

The cards are flexible for a variety of teaching situations and student ability levels. I always liked materials that I could tweak for different learning styles and students don’t appear to be getting something completely different from their peers. I think the instruction sheet below, included in the download, best explains the different options available.

The full set of task cards are on Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT). You can assign them to individual students digitally on their EASEL platform. This allows for paperless teaching if you wish. You can also download and print them out on cardstock. They can then be used with individual students for home work or in learning centers. 126 words are covered in 20 cards/slides. A variation of the 20 cards using the same words means there are 40 cards/slides total. The free sample provides the word list used.

click here for free sample.

If these cards work for you and your students, you can purchase the whole set at my store “The Spontaneous Speech Spot”. Click below for a direct link to the full set.

Summer Games For Speech

26 Jun
Summer game toys

Summer is here and thankfully we are getting back to normal for summer play. The age old question may be coming up now. “What can I do?” Take advantage of that boredom to review language concepts. Students may be interested in participating in their own Summer Olympic Games. Just go into that toy closet and bring out the beach or nerf balls, balloons,  pool noodles, frisbees, and jump ropes  for some fun. Students won’t even know they are reviewing concepts at the same time.  These items can be adapted for almost any ability level.  Here are some ideas I have used in the past.

For a game of badminton, tie a jump rope between two chairs, trees, or poles to make a net.  Use the pool noodles to hit a balloon over or under the net in a game of balloon badminton. Review vocabulary such as over, under, beneath, high, and low. Best of all, the noodles won’t hurt anyone who is accidently hit in the enthusiasm. Also the balloons are slower moving for individuals who need a slower pace. Make sure you have back up balloons for when they break.

Take a few of the noodles and bend them in an arch. Fasten them to the ground with dowels, sturdy sticks or lawn stakes. Use the center holes in the tubes to fit over the sticks after you pound them into the ground. Make a course similar to the one used in a game of croquet. Use other noodles to hit nerf balls or balloons through the arches. The dog may even let you use his frisbee. Count how many hits it takes to get through the course and use comparison vocabulary such as less, least, more, and equal.

pool noodle arch

Make circles with the pool noodles by joining two ends. with a dowel. Fill juice or milk jugs with water to make good sturdy targets for a ring toss. Practice throwing the circle or hoops around the jugs as you would at a carnival. Use distance vocabulary such as close, further, near, and far.

noodle ring

Fasten rings to chairs, trees, and poles with bungee chords, or tape. Make an air golf course. Use straight noodles to hit balloons through the hoops. This may not work with a breeze but you can change to nerf balls or a frisbee You can also switch it up by throwing the noodles like spears through the hoops. Review vocabulary such as almost, close, far, near, and through.

I hope you enjoy your summer and come back refreshed. Hopefully these ideas give you a good start for making your summer games a success.

Family Dog