Engaging Homophone Classroom Activites

Can I just say that I LOVE when we cover homophones! I've done some cute projects over the years, but this week has included some new things. After playing some math Scoot games, I knew I had to create one for our spelling list.  We(teacher included) love Scoot. Getting up and moving around while having a focus is a wonderful combination.  Scoot is new to me.  Where the heck have I been?

We used Reading Street-Common Core edition. Both the old and new versions have a week where the vocabulary skill and the spelling list match: Homophones. So, I created a scoot game using our Spelling list plus a few more to have enough cards for the game.  Version 1 has  word clues like (to, two, too) where the kids pick the correct word used in context.  I thought this would be a good formative assessment to see where we are at the beginning.  I think we will use the open-ended version Thursday to see how we have progressed. That should give them a pretty good idea about where to focus before our test.  Who know.....if they do well, I'll count it as the test as a surprise!

Here are some of the kids as they wander around the room with their task at hand.

Next, we gathered on the carpet to check them.  It was super easy to just display the PDF file on my Promethian board.  It was great to hear them say, "Yes!" To their correct answers.

I don't usually ASSIGN homework on Spelling City. I like for my kids to use their little hands and write, despite the computers they have been issued. This time, though, I did.  They had to match the correct word in the sentences and WRITE the sentences that were given.  They always take a practice test on Thursday (spelling City optional), but I did want them to this time....but WRITE the words after the computer calls out the words.

One day a week, our gifted students are pulled out.  We are not permitted to teach new material, so I try to have a creative yet purposeful activity  for them to enrich their learning.  I usually have my kids create sentences with their spelling words, but they have to be in the same sentence. Like, I hurt my left hand, so I had to write with my right hand.  takes some creativity, but they usually like that a lot.  However, I was talking with our new gifted teacher and she shared an activity she likes to do: Drive My Teacher Crazy. You create sentences using the WRONG homophone and illustrate  it.  I knew right away I needed to do that.  There were so many giggles when we checked our Scoot answers that I knew they saw the humor in using the wrong one.  Unlike us grownups that are perturbed when people use your instead of you're!

We created a list of homophone pairs we knew ( not the spelling words) and Boy! Did we fill the board.  We folded our large paper into fourths( fractions!) so that they could create their own sentences to drive me crazy! There is no way I could share all of their super ideas, but I've included a few favorites.

Well, I need to fill my wish list for the big TPT SALE! Have to use some self-control!  I have all EIGHT(small, I know, but I am starting) of my items on sale.  Maybe you will see something you can use!

What's on your wish list??  I bet I'll have a few more Games of Scoot!


Comparing Fractions Using Models

Fractions are one of the toughest things I teach each year.  They either get it or they don't.  This year, I pepped up my routine by adding a few things.

Some concepts have me a little bumbuzzled.  How best to teach the "Common Core" way yet stretch the lesson for my high achievers.  Especially when it comes to simplifying fractions and finding equivalent fractions.  Enter my math guru...Math Teacher's Corner on Facebook.  It seems I spend more time on Facebook looking at teacher stuff than seeing what my friends are up to these days.  She posted a well timed link to Learn Zillion.  What a gift!  Not only can you assign videos for your students to watch.....remediation, folks, but you can also get a peak into the next standard.  I feel like the 3rd grade standards don't give the right attention to simplifying in the same way we are expected for them to perform on Topic tests and the BIG tests each spring.  Raise your hand if you taught your kids the right way to do simplifying or how to find equivalent fractions only see them using their fingers to compare......ME!  Even my bright ones!  I found this video using the identity property BY NAME and had an A-ha moment.  I'll admit to knowing what you're supposed to do by not really knowing why.  But weren't we all taught procedures?
I'd love to show you the actual video, but it seems that Learn Zillion has taken the video off to update.  Grrrr.  Here's link for future reference though!  Be sure to check the other useful videos.

To tie it all together, I needed to get my creative juices going.  It seems I only have time about once a month to make something cute and useful.  Perfect time for a........

I fell in love with these cute bingo cards made by the Math Coach's Corner on TPT and decided to buy the clip art and make something to go with it.

They are printed and ready to be laminated.  Yeah!  What a great activity for get my kids up and moving during this cooooooold winter!  I made them so that they will not only spend time looking for "like denominators" or "like numerators" but to really see the shapes, too.  My follow-up with be comparing without the visual model and having them create one to "prove it".  I threw in a few equivalent fractions so that they can practice using the identity property to prove it.  That skill will be very useful on our next STAR test and hopefully on the ACT Aspire.
You can find them in my TPT store now!

So, now I'm ready for school Monday and the next Monday Made It!

Off to make some lo-cal treats for the Super Bowl. Go Broncos!