Friday, January 31, 2014

My Reluctant Learner

My first grader is what you may call a reluctant learner.  Sitting still and doing book work is not in his vocabulary.  He is a mover and a kinesthetic learner.  He is the exact opposite type of learner than me.  I am constantly coming up with new ideas to make learning happen that doesn't make school seem like it's only listening to stories and copying words, or doing massive amounts of math problems, etc., what he calls 'boring.'

Spelling words are a battle field.  I used to make him look at the word and spell it on a white board.  Then the next day, show him the word, hide it, use it in  a sentence and have him write it.  It was like this for the 4 days we do spelling.  Let me just say, he cringed when I would pull out the white board.  Obviously, this wasn't working for us.  I did the most logical thing I could think of; I went on Pinterest.  

I found some really cool ideas, but only one I could use that he would find cool as well.  Can you guess what it used?  Legos.  I changed a few things about the spelling game so it would fit my plan better.

My spelling words for this week
Here is what I did:

I used an egg carton and put it in the center of a blank sheet of white paper.  I had my list of 10 spelling words and they just happened to have 12 different letters.  (I am currently using the first grade spelling lists from Heart of Dakota's Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory.)  I assigned one letter to each spot.  When my list has more than 12 letters, I'll be adding the lid or another egg container to the game.  I then counted the frequency of each letter and put that many Legos in the corresponding spot.  You can kind of see the Lego man body in the letter "P" spot and the heads in the letter "H" spot.  I separated them so he could build a man as he correctly spelled the words.  I would say the word, show the card to him, use it in a sentence, and hide it.  He would then try to spell the word aloud, picking one Lego piece from each letter spot as he said the letter.  I helped him sound it out and show the card again when needed.  Then, I let him use all the Lego pieces to create his own whatever when we were done.  The first time, we only spelled the words aloud.  I am going to work into having him write each word as well.  I just want it to be fun learning right now.  

Let me tell you that he loved it! *insert "Hallelujah" song*  He wants to play it every day.  Now, I'm frantically coming up with new ways to use the game with other subjects as well!  I love it when school is tons of fun for the one who would rather play all day.

Amanda

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