It's almost winter break so we have been doing all kinds of wintery activities... even though it was in the 70s last week. This week it is actually cold. One of the things we did was my new Snowy Suffixes mini unit. Our last set of spelling words were words with suffixes. I differentiate my spelling in that students take a pretest on Monday and get all the words they missed as their spelling words for the week. If they miss less than 10, they get the challenge words (to make them up to 10.... if they still don't have ten then I tell them they are lucky). If they miss more than 10, the first 10 missed are their words. I have had weeks where students only have 5 words because they got 100 on the pretest so only had the challenge words for the week. Students only have to do spelling homework with THEIR words and for a while they had their own choice from a tic tac toe board each night. They weren't studying. So... I had to come up with a plan to incorporate more spelling into our days. I started that with this mini unit. On Monday, as usual, students took their pre-test, identified their words for the week, and we discussed the suffixes and the meaning of each word/suffix. We also reviewed what a root/base word was (I wish tests would just stick to one or the other but they don't so I am constantly using both words).
The following activities ALL students completed with ALL words:
On Tuesday (mind you up until this point, third grade as a team wasn't doing much of anything with spelling in class...it was one of those things that just HAD to be done at home. But I couldn't sit back and watch these kids become worse and worse at spelling.)- students completed the separating suffixes activity (you see that on the bottom right of the picture above). They had to cut the root word apart from the suffix and glue them into the correct snow globe.
Wednesday- we differentiated and each group had a different level of activity to do. Some groups just sorted and recorded the words by suffix (those are the snowflake cards on the left and the recording sheet below it). One group did that PLUS write the meaning of each word. And my advanced group sorted AND chose 5 words to tell me the meaning and use in a sentence.
Thursday- students worked with a partner to complete a page that required them to add the correct suffix to the base word and make a new word.
Friday we took our tests and the scores were much better! Granted, some of these activities took a LOT longer than they should have and cut into other time, I am at the point where if we want something done right, we have to spend time. So time we spent... and we will continue to spend time.
On another snowy note... my friend Lindsay created a Snowmen at Night mini unit.
Now mind you- I had never read the book before. But when I looked it up it sounded cute so I went to Barnes and Noble to buy it. And what did I find?? There are OTHER snowmen books. So I bought them. And decided that I needed to use them during winter time. So I created a Snowmen at Christmas mini unit (and have another one coming soon). If you have never read these books I highly suggest you check them out. They are absolutely adorable and my third graders loved them! The picture below is a preview from my Snowmen at Christmas mini unit.
There are ten activities that relate to sequencing, comparing and contrasting, writing, and acrostic poems. Even if it doesn't snow in our part of TN, we can pretend we know how to enjoy the snow (I know snow... my kids... well, they think frost on the grass is snow. It does snow here, but not often, and not a lot like back home). Personally... I like the first snow of the season and then to have some snow on Christmas. Other than that, I could live without it. What about you? Does it snow where you live?