- February 10, 2018 at 9:17 PM #45485
Many years ago I was introduced to a group spelling game and I don’t remember the details. It involved players in a circle, with each person adding a letter to a word (I think). If someone added a wrong letter, the next player called them out in some way I believe. Does anyone recognize what game I’m talking about by my sketchy details? I’d like to know how it goes.
- February 12, 2018 at 9:49 PM #45506
This sounds like “Sparkle”, a spelling game that we play in my classroom on a regular basis!
Yes, the players stand or sit in a circle. In my classroom, I have students sit on their desks and then we go around the room in a set order. When a student gets out, he has to sit on his chair.
The teacher gives a spelling word to the first student and he says the first letter. Then the next student says the next letter, etc. When the final letter of the word is said, the next student says “Sparkle” and student after him is out.
For example, if the word is “cat” the 1st student says “c”, 2nd student says “a”, 3rd student says “t”, 4th student says “sparkle”, 5th student is out, 6th student starts the next word.
Students are also out if they say the incorrect letter in the spelling word. If a student doesn’t know it is time for “sparkle” and says another letter, he would be out too.
You continue giving words until there is only 1 person left- the winner!
My Additional Rules: For a word that needs capitalized like February, the student must say “Capital F” for it to be correct. Also, I don’t repeat the word after we have begun spelling it- this requires the students to pay attention.
My students love this game. Have fun with it! 🙂
- February 12, 2018 at 10:01 PM #45508
Carolyn MartinModeratorOriginal Poster@carolynmartin
Ah, yes! That’s it.
- February 13, 2018 at 9:31 PM #45514
That sounds like a great game! Thank you for sharing it. I think I will try it out in my room. What other great games do you have to suggest?
- February 14, 2018 at 8:48 PM #45519
You’re welcome! If you run into any particular difficulties with it, let me know! I will say that I often wait to play this game until mid-week when students know the words better. That way there’s not as much thinking and waiting time needed.
In spelling class, my students also really enjoy doing a chalkboard relay. I’m not sure if this is a common/familiar game or not.
This is how it looks in my room:
- I divide the class into 3 or 4 teams and one person from each team comes up to his team’s place at the chalkboard.
- Teacher says the word, the students at the chalkboard repeat the word out loud as a group, and then the teacher signals “Go.” Students may not begin before the signal “Go”.
- When the student is finished, he puts his chalk in the tray and spins around to face the class.
- Teacher awards a point to the first player who has the word correct AND the chalk in the tray first AND whose writing is legible.
- Winner puts a tally on the chalkboard for his team.
- February 15, 2018 at 8:45 AM #45524
Thank you! I tried out the sparkle game yesterday with one of my spelling groups and they loved it. I intend to do it with a second group today. I wonder if this provides the same level of practice as writing it on the board? I routinely have one group write theirs on the board on Wednesdays to give me a better idea of how they are doing and a second group the same on Thursdays. I did the sparkle game with group A yesterday instead of the board practice. Since I am a visual learner I did ask myself the question if the oral spelling gives the same level of practice? Likely the answer varies with the student.
Just a comment here on something I find helpful in practicing the meaning of spelling words — each child spreads out his words on the desk, sorted according to the patterns and then we define them by asking questions like, “What makes you think of drawing something?” and they all turn over the word “sketch”. Students really enjoy asking the questions and it gives an opportunity to verify their understanding. (I realize that those who use the workbook approach this is done in a different manner.) Another day students use about half their words in sentences with the requirement of one sentence being a question. Again, it gives me a gauge to check their understanding of the definitions. In the process I find their creativity in using several words in one sentence and consistency with correct punctuation really growing through the year.
- February 15, 2018 at 12:17 PM #45526
The “sparkle” game and the chalkboard (written) team game for spelling practice are qualitatively different activities. Both have value and develop different aspects of a child’s spelling ability. Some students are excellent spellers with paper/pencil (they can visually inspect the word) but don’t do well in an oral-only situation. Even the traditional spelling bee in which the student has control over the whole word is significantly different from the sparkle game where the student must contribute only one letter–no more, no less–when it’s his turn.
- February 16, 2018 at 9:35 PM #45578
And as such varying the methods of practice will help the majority of the students most. I pretty much know which of my students would not do well on a regular diet of sparkle versus writing the words (not race) on the chalkboard.
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