To spice up weekly spelling lessons introduce some action by using Response Paddles. Here are three whiteboard spelling activities that keep students engaged and learning:
- Create a worksheet with one sentence for each spelling word. Leave a blank space for the word. For example: We walked _____ the park on the way to my aunt’s house. Hand out the worksheet.
- Read the first sentence aloud and ask for a volunteer to name the spelling word that belongs in the blank.
- Give the students three possible spellings of the missing word. Example: a) though b) thru c) through. (Prepare an overhead transparency ahead of time with the choices or write them on the chalkboard as you do the activity.)
- Have students write the correct spelling of the word on their Response Paddles and hold them up.
- Show students the correct response.
- Students who responded correctly get one point. Students who made the wrong choice should erase and write the correct word.
- When all students have written the correct spelling of the missing word, go on to the next sentence.
- Create a reward system for high point-getters, such as earning free time or one pass on a future spelling test.
- Use Response Paddles on pre-test day.
- Say each spelling word and ask students to write the word on their Paddles.
- Ask students to hold up their Paddles after writing the word.
- Show the correct spelling of word. Tell students who have misspelled the word to write it correctly on a separate piece of paper. This sheet serves as the list of words that will require extra study.
- Continue through the list. At the end of the pre-test, ask students to let you know how many words they added to their list for future study. This gives you a tally of words missed for each student.
Whiteboard Spelling Bee:
- Use words from all previous spelling tests in an all-class Whiteboard Spelling Bee.
- With students in their seats, say a spelling word.
- Give students 30 seconds to write the word on their Response Paddles.
- Have them hold up their Paddles.
- Students who misspell the word are asked to move and stand to one side of the classroom.
- Say the second word. All students — including those against the wall — have 30 seconds to spell the word.
- If a student in the group against the wall spells the word correctly, he/she can take his/her seat.
- Students at the wall who misspelled the word remain and are joined by the students in their seats who misspelled the second word.
- As the number of seated players shrinks to less than half the class, you can focus the game on eliminating only the seated players.
- Continue until one student remains seated.
To print a copy of these instructions, open this PDF file:Spice up Spelling with Paddles.
And let us know how you use Response Paddles to spice up spelling in your classes.