How are you? I don’t know about you, but I find word searches both fun and educational. They are great for this time of year when students are looking forward to Christmas and winter break. I have written about my thoughts on the educational value of word searches in the past. You can read it here.
The last time, I wrote about a summertime word search. This time, I thought I would provide you with a Christmas word search based upon the birth of Jesus as written in the gospels. This is my gift to you. Feel free to download it and use it as many times as you would like.
As you solve it and find the words, I hope you and your students think about each word and its significance to our Christmas story. Grow in love for our Lord and Savior, as well as the peace and joy of His birth.
We often talk about the “reason for the season”, but do we actually know it and live it? Using something as simple and enjoyable as a word search can introduce a conversation as to our “reason for the season”. As you introduce the word search, you can ask your students to think about why these particular words were chosen for the word search.
The gospels of Matthew and Luke tell about the birth of Jesus. You could even read the stories of Jesus’ birth in one or both of the gospels. Maybe compare and contrast the two. There are quite a few things you can combine with a word search to create an enjoyable and comprehensive lesson.
I have heard of people dismissing the significance and educational value of word searches. However, I still believe that they are great resources. It may be how they are used and what kind of word searches you use.
Mine, for example, don’t have any backwards or diagonal words. I don’t want to encourage or misrepresent a word. I sometimes give false starts to words to promote concentration and attention to the spelling of a word all the way through.
Yes. I know this content may not be considered appropriate for public schools. However, I know there are many Christian schools, Sunday schools, and homeschools who may enjoy it. Whoever uses it, I hope you find it both enjoyable and inspiring. Enjoy not even the word search itself, but the content and message behind it as well.
Now, it is your turn.
Thank you for being here. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Do you enjoy word searches? Do you find them valuable educational tools? Do your students like them? Please, comment below or contact me.
Know that DUO Inspirations makes and sells educational materials of all sorts. You can check them out here. If you are interested in requesting a particular word search or any educational resource, please contact me. I am open to requests. I would like to help you teach and learn.
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I will soon be changing DUO Inspirations' site a bit. If you would like to explore the site now, to get a before and after feel for it, please feel free to do so. Also, any questions, ideas, and suggestions are welcomed as I ponder the renewal of the site. Please, comment or contact me. Thank you.
How are you? I want to tell you about an activity that I used to do with my kindergarten students about this time of year. One of the popular traditions of this time of year is hanging a stocking in hopes that it will be filled with treats.
So, I created an activity where students could draw or write items that started with the letter “S” inside of a drawn stocking. It is a fun little activity that students enjoyed.
It was really nice when this lesson came as I was teaching the letter “Ss” or when we were starting to write words based on the sounds we knew. Everyone enjoyed the “Stuff the Stocking with Ss Things” activity.
First, we reviewed the letter “Ss” as a group and went over the sound that the letter made. We brainstormed a few words verbally that started with the letter “Ss”.
Then, I handed out the “Stuff the Stocking with Ss Things” activity page. It is a page with a simple stocking drawn on it.
Here is an image of a stocking just for you to use for the activity. Feel free to download it and use it with your class. It is my gift to you.
As a student handed out the stocking activity, I told students to work in pencil first. After their work was checked, they would be allowed to use crayons or colored pencils to color their picture.
I walked around as they worked. Each worked at his or her own pace and ability. I asked each student what he or she was drawing or writing. For the students with the lower abilities, I wrote the word for the object next to his or her drawing or word. Some students only portrayed the things we brainstormed as a class. However, for the students who could do more, I encouraged them to do more. I encouraged them to come up with their own items starting with the letter “Ss”.
After students were finished drawing and writing, we came together in a circle as a class. I asked each student to share something he or she drew or wrote that started with the letter “Ss”.
Now, it is your turn.
Thank you for being here. I enjoy hearing your thoughts. Please, let me know some of the activities you do this time of year or some that you do to teach or assess the letter "Ss". Did you know that DUO Inspirations creates and sells educational products? Check them out. If you don't see what you need or want, feel free to request something. You can comment below or contact me.
If you find value in what I share, please share with friends and family. Also, if you haven't already, consider signing up to receive the Education Blog and other education content in your inbox. Thank you again.
How are you? Earlier this month, I wrote about fact families, an important beginning math skill. This week, I thought I would write about identifying nouns, an important beginning language arts skill.
Once we start learning about letters, letter sounds, and simple words, often one of the next skills is to identify nouns. Nouns, as we know, are people, places, and things. It might seem simple to us, because we know it. Yet, for students just starting out, it may not be quite so easy. It may take practice and a variety of activities to get the idea of what constitutes a noun and what doesn’t.
I have used a variety of ways to teach and reinforce noun identification. The first way that I will tell you about to teach, reinforce, and practice the skill of identifying nouns is to make it fun. You can make up simple silly stories leaving out the nouns and having students come up with nouns to complete the stories. (Yes, there was a product that was out when I was growing up that was very much like this.)
Another way to teach, reinforce, and practice the skill of identifying nouns is to have word sorts. For a simple sort, have just noun and verb sorts. Don’t make the words too difficult at first. Have simple nouns like, “man, boy, cow, book, car” or simple verbs like “jump, run, clap, read, eat”.
Believe it or not, some words that may seem like simple nouns or verbs may be a little confusing. For example, when I was writing the examples above, I originally had toy as a simple noun. However, if a student has ever been told, “Don’t toy with me” he or she may wonder why it is a verb in this case and a noun when it refers to something with which to play. I also had hide down for a simple verb, but a student who has heard of animal hide, may not understand why it is a noun in that case and a verb when playing and trying not to be found.
You may decide to use the words that may be a little tricky, however, I do feel that it is worth considering before you teach them. This may be especially true when teaching the skill to those whose first language is not English.
A third way to teach, reinforce, and practice nouns is to have students do activities in which they color in words a certain color based on the type of speech. I actually created an activity where nouns are colored in blue. It seems to be one that people enjoy.
Now, it is your turn.
How do you teach, reinforce, and practice the identification of nouns? Please, comment below. I look forward to your ideas.
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P.S.- Did you know that DUO Inspirations creates educational materials? If you are interested in having me create an activity for you, please contact me. Also, some are given free, especially if you are on the email list. Thank you.
How are you today? I think of math as a cool puzzle. In most puzzles, there are only a right way and a wrong way to put the puzzle together. Yet, with math, the puzzle pieces can go together in a variety of ways and still be right. Teaching fact families once students know how to count and start learning to add is a great way to show them that math can be a cool puzzle.
There are fact families for addition and subtraction as well as multiplication and division. However, right now, I am only addressing the fact families for addition and subtraction. I believe the skill should be taught in addition and subtraction. Yet, I think it should be reinforced in multiplication and division.
Fact families are four closely related math statements. To me, it shows that numbers can be manipulated to make them easier to solve or explain. This may not make much difference in the early years of simple addition and subtraction. However, in later years during more difficult problems and algebraic equations, this skill will come in handy.
Let’s look at a sample fact family: 2+3=5, 3+2=5, 5-2=3, 5-3=2
These four equations use the same three numbers. There are two addition equations and two subtraction equations. The first two equations shows that it doesn’t matter which order you add two numbers the answer is still the same. This is also known as the commutative property.
Fact families help you to know more than you think you know. For example, if you know that 2+3=5, you also know that 3+2=5. If you know that 2+3=5, you also know that you can “undo it” by saying that 5-3=2. And, if you know that 5-3=2, you can also switch the order of the numbers you “take away” to make 5-2=3.
Attitude can make a difference as to whether students find this information to be “more that they HAVE to remember” or “more that they GET to know.”
Sometimes adding silly parts to a lesson make it more enjoyable to students. Maybe start off by asking, if I put two purple and pink polka-dotted pigs and Johnny puts three purple and pink polka-dotted pigs in a pile and we add them up, how many purple and pink polka-dotted pigs do we have all together? (Yes, five. That is right.) If we take them back and then Johnny puts his three purple and pink polka-dotted pigs in the pile first and then I put my purple and pink polka-dotted pigs in the pile second, then how much will we have all together? (Yes, five. That is right.) So, does it matter who puts their purple and pink polka-dotted pigs in the pile first? Does the number of purple and pink polka-dotted pigs that we have all together change in any way by which order we put them down? (No, that is right.) It is the same with adding numbers. It doesn’t matter if we add 2+3 or 3+2 because the answer is still 5. Then, you can go through the same process, showing that it doesn’t matter in which order you pick up your purple and pink polka-dotted pigs, because the same three numbers are being used. You are just “undoing” what you did when you put them down. You can then relate the picking up of the purple and pink polka-dotted pigs to subtraction.
Make it a game. Have students come up with the objects that are being put in the pile and picked up again. Ask them to choose silly objects, fun objects, dull objects, sharp objects, etc. Relate them all back to numbers. Have the students to choose the numbers, count them, and add them too. Ask the students to write and/or draw the math equations that make up their fact families.
The idea is to not only teach the important skill of fact families, but to also show students that math doesn’t have to be difficult and boring. The idea is to show students math can be helpful and exciting as well. It also gives you as a teacher to role model to students that the right attitude matters.
Now, it is your turn.
Do you teach fact families? How do you introduce fact families? I would be interested in your thoughts. Please, leave a comment.
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How are you today? Do you have planned work to give the students who finish early or to give the class to do when you are not in the class? There will always be times when you will not be there to guide the students or will be busy with other students. So, it is good to have enrichment or review materials for students to do in every topic or skill you teach.
Sometimes, it takes time to gather enrichment and review materials for every topic and skill you teach. However, it is easier when you have someone who will create these materials for you. DUO Inspirations is such a resource. If you need an enrichment activity or review materials in any particular topic or skill, please contact me.
In the meantime, please, let me tell you about one of the activities that I enjoy. It is something that almost any grade can do. The activity is taking a word with quite a few letters in it or a short phrase and asking the students to make smaller words they can make out of the letters in that word or phrase. It is better if you can use a vocabulary word or topic phrase that goes with the subject you teach.
Creating words out of letters of a larger word or small phrase is an important skill. It helps students to notice the letters in a word. This helps in spelling as well as reading.
Here is an example I did out of the letters in the word education. There are other words. However, I thought one hundred was a nice round number.
If you notice, most of the words are smaller words. That reinforces the fact that it can be done with success with most grade levels. Also, as you can see many of the words have prefixes or suffixes. So, this is makes a wonderful activity to review root words, prefixes, and suffixes.
I usually tell students that they cannot use slang, bad words, or proper nouns. However, you can use whatever guidelines you wish. I hope you and your students enjoy this activity.
Another good idea for doing an activity like this is asking students their strategy to finding words. One of my strategies is to choose endings and look for any other words that have the same ending, such as ten and den or can and tan.
Now, it is your turn.
Have you ever done this activity? What are your guidelines? Do you and your students enjoy it?
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Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.