Updated: May 3, 2019
And so it has begun. A new school year is here and after a week of easing ourselves into the new routine, grade 5 and I are ready to get down to business! For the next week or two we will be revising ... and when I say we I really mean them, because my plan is to sip coffee and watch them work on their own 😉
To achieve that blissful state I first needed to plan and create materials which require no or little involvement from me during the lessons. This post puts them all in one place 😊
For those of you who don't know what a spell check is: it is a material I create for vocabulary learning, spelling specifically. It is a simple list of all the vocabulary items I want my kids to learn. I usually base it on the book we're using in the class. This year my kids aren't working with books but I'm still using Brainy as my basis for planning so I created this spell check based on Brainy 5 Unit 1.
How to use it: kids copy the sheets and fold them along the dotted lines. They can only see words in their L1 (Polish). They write the English equivalent in the empty space next to the L1 word. Once they're done they open the folded paper and check if their spelling is correct. They correct their spelling mistakes and keep the spell check. Next time they want to practise spelling they can look at the previously done spell checks to see what mistakes they'd made. The kids work completely on their own. They do not need me even for one second of the whole process 😏
Read more about spell checks here.
Kaboom! is a language game in which players draw sticks with words written on them. If they know the word they keep the stick. One stick is one point. If they don't know the word from the stick, they put it back with all the other sticks. The winner is the person with most sticks at the end of the game. If at any point of the game a player draws a stick with "Kaboom!!!" written on it, they have to give back all the sticks they've collected so far.
I've pimped out my Kaboom 😝 My sticks have all the vocabulary from a unit my kids are studying. My sticks have also sound recorded onto them!! Every stick has the pronunciation of the word recorded onto it which makes the game a perfect revision tool for the kids. They can play the game and study the words or simply use the sticks to practise the words on their own (kind of like flashcards). They can repeat the pronunciation or say the word and then check if they were right. If you're confused, I wrote a whole post about my Kaboom sticks here. Read it if you want to know how I get sound onto them.
Tinycards is a wonderful website which lets you create sets of vocabulary you want to practise. It's got pictures that you can use in your sets and obviously the pronunciation. I don't even have to create a set for my kids: they'd much rather do it on their own. So one of their tasks is going to be creating a set with all the vocabulary they'll need to learn. Again, they don't need me for this.
I wrote a bit about Tinycard here as well.
If you'd like to follow Montenglish on Tinycards click here.
Grade 5 will be starting their journey with this website this school year. Because they have never worked with Quizlet, I'm going to create the first set for them. I might actually create all the sets this year to be able to track their progress on it.
If you don't know Quizlet: it is another website which helps to practise vocabulary. The best thing about it is that the vocabulary set you create can be transformed into games. Do check it out if you've never used it before ... which I doubt 😅
This is one of my latest projects which I'm very excited about. It's an activity which lets students practise word order of various grammar structures. Since we're starting this week with "to be" revision and are later moving on to "have got" revision, I have prepared two sets of Scrambled sentences to practise just that.
Scrambled Sentences is exactly what it says on the box: scrambled sentences 😅 But as always I had to make it in such a way that will enable students to self correct. Each set of Scrambled Sentences is made up of colour coded sentences cut up into single words (sometimes phrases), a sheet to assemble the sentences on, and a control card which has all the answers.
I wrote more about Scrambled Sentences here. My students will have to copy all the sentences they work with into their notebooks. If they get something wrong when assembling the sentences they have to self correct and copy the correct sentence, highlighting the part they got wrong.
Short answer velcro cards
If you read my blog you know that I like these a lot 😄 The cards are used by kids to practise short answers. At this point I've got 8 different sets and they're all available in my shop. I wrote about the cards many times. Check out this post to see what the cards are all about.
Multiple choice peg cards
I made these last year and I'm very happy about it now 😁 They're waiting in my classroom, ready to be used whenever. The cards help with short answers and are a multiple choice activity. You need laundry pegs to mark your answers. The correct answer is at the back of each card. Check them out here.
I hate testing (if you want to know why click here) so instead of making my students take a test at the end of a unit I make them do projects 😍 They will have to create 4 projects by the end of September! Sounds crazy but it's gonna happen.
Project 1: Grammar posters
They will be divided into groups. After working with all the materials I described above they will have to create a poster about one grammar point. This way they'll end up with 3 posters in the classroom: one for "to be", one for "have got", and one for "can".
Project 2: My monster/crazy animal
Each child will have to create a drawing of a monster or a crazy animal and describe it using all the grammar structures. I'll prepare a poster for them with various animal body parts to help them with vocabulary. They will have to describe their monsters character, looks, and abilities. They'll be able to use the posters they created to check the grammar they need.
Project 3: Introduction letter
This year we'll be corresponding with a school abroad (I don't know what school just yet so if you're reading this and are interested in working with us please contact me 😉). Their task: write a letter to a new friend in which you'll introduce yourself. On top of giving their name, age and any other basic information, they'll have to describe their character, looks, and abilities as well. Likes and dislikes will probably pop up, too.
Project 4: Record an intro video
I'll also ask them to learn their letter by heart and record themselves. We'll send the videos to our sister school (wherever you are our sister school! we're waiting for you! contact us!).
Obviously, I'll have to check their projects ... I should to do some work in the classroom, right? 😆
So, as you can see most of my students' studying for the next week or two involves me in maybe 20%. The other 80% is all them. Oh yes! There's one more thing that I'll be doing with them that actually involves me. When they'll be working on their own, I'll be working with groups of 4 playing Fun Card English by Creativo. My cards arrived on Friday and made me squick with joy 😅
If you like any of my ideas feel free to use them in your lessons 😉 Give me a shout if you do.
Have fun creating,