Spelling Surprise!

I struggle with finding interested ways to motivate kids to study their spelling words. Over the past few years, I've used SpellingCity. It's a website where you can upload lists and students can play different games with the spelling words. It's really awesome if you do Words Their Way or anything else with differentiated lists, as you can have students choose their word list for the games. You can also have the site give them their spelling tests and score them!

Another math game I've played is Sparkle. Students stand in a circle. The teacher says the spelling word and chooses the first person to start it. That person gives the first letter, then it rotates around the circle. If a student says a wrong letter, he sits down and the next person has to provide the correct letter. When a student says the last letter of that word, the next person says "sparkle" and then the NEXT person sits down. The next person begins the new word and play continues until only one person is left. Hard to describe, but the kids love it.

I now have another fun trick up my sleeve for practicing spelling. I got it from Jessica at {Joy in the Journey}. It's called {Spelling Surprise!} Here's how you play. Divide the class into two teams. I was nice and projected the spelling list so they could quiz others on their team while I was setting up. Anyway, call on a student to spell a word. If he spells it correctly, he gets to draw a slip out of the can (or bag or whatever).

Points are assigned based on the slip. Some slips have you add to your score, some subtract, some add to or subtract from the other team. One even has the teams trade scores. Some involve rolling a die.

Definitely a great opportunity to work on mental math! When we played, we were working a lot with negative numbers because it seemed that all of the subtract ones were drawn first! The students really got into this game and have asked me to play it frequently. Of course, it doesn't hurt that I give the winning team a Dum-Dum ;)

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