Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Life Size Game Board!

We have all had one of those great ideas hit us at an unexpected time. The kind of idea that you get while your showering, in bed ready to fall sleep, know what I am talking about.  The other day I had an EPIC idea, as one of my sweet little firsties put it.

I was tutoring one of my first graders after school one night and we were trying to memorize our high frequency words.  I could tell he was getting frustrated and bored.  I started writing words, with dry erase marker, on the square tiles on the floor.  The idea was to make him walk his words. As he was smiling and practicing his idea hit me like a TON of bricks!
What if I made a HUGE game board on the floor so that all my students could practice their words. (Perfect Daily 5 Word Work activity!)

Here is the finished product!

To make this game board I went to Walmart and bought the cheapest electrical tape I could find.  You will not believe it, but I got it for $0.52 a roll!  What a steal.  I liked the idea of using electrical tape, because it is more durable than masking tape or painters tape, but not as intense as duct tape. 

The actual sticking of the tape did not take me very long.  I just followed the lines from the tiles on the floor.  No measuring, not kind of prep!

After making the board itself, I started writing one high frequency word per square with Vis-a-Vis marker.  I also liked the idea of Vis-a-Vis because I could keep the words on the floor for a few days.  Dry erase markers would just rub off every time a student would walk on it. 

As I was writing words in the square, I thought to myself, "What is a game, without a few twists and turns?"  So, in some square I wrote "lose a turn" or "STOP, jump 5 times and say all the digraphs."  You could put any type of phonics review in the square.  

To play this game, I had students roll a giant, soft, not annoying quite dice.  Students would move that many squares. Once at their square, students had to read the word.  If they read it correctly they were good to go for their next turn.  However, if their partner said that they read the word incorrectly, they missed their next turn.  If they landed on a special square, they had to do what the square said before their next turn.  On the FINISH square, I had a very special ending task. 

I would say that my students LOVED this game. The best part about this activity, my students enjoyed it so much that they asked if they could play it at recess! WINNING!!!  The second best thing, I can wipe the words off and make another high frequency word game, vocabulary game, or math game. WINNING WINNING! (That's double winning for me!)

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