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Topic: Grammar dominoes UPDATED  (Read 4275 times)
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Redforkhippie
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« on: July 22, 2009 03:01:47 PM »

I wasn't sure where to put this, so I just stuck it under "Miscellaneous Topics." Feel free to move it to a more appropriate location if one exists. (Is there a classroom crafts category that I've missed somewhere?)

I teach sophomore English in an urban high school. If you've ever dealt with sophomores, you know that sitting still is not one of their strengths. It took me a while, but I finally caught on to the fact that my kids learn best through games ... so I'm spending my summer developing games that are keyed to our state-mandated objectives.

This particular game is a variation on dominoes. It's designed to teach subject-verb agreement, which confuses a lot of kids.

I started out with 3-by-6-inch ceramic bathroom tiles. After some unsuccessful trial and error involving paint markers, Sharpies, and polyurethane finish, I found a paint marker designed for use on ceramics and used it to write a pair of words on each tile:



I fired the tiles in the oven, let them cool, and then used clear urethane cement to glue a fun-foam rectangle to the bottom of each tile to keep them from getting scratched up during storage:



(Excuse the toes in the top left corner. My greyhound was sleeping on the floor while I was working and just couldn't be bothered to move his feet out of the frame.)

The paint is supposed to be very durable once it's fired. Most of the sophomores I've known could tear up a bowling ball, but we'll see....

UPDATE: The kids played this game yesterday. The first couple of classes didn't really get into it, because there was WAY too much down time while we were waiting for teams to make their moves. I finally scrapped the competitive aspect and just had my afternoon classes get up and gather around the center table, where it became kind of a free-for-all, with all the kids working together to try to use up all the tiles. It went much faster and was a lot more fun that way. The paint held up fairly well, although I noticed a few minor scratches by the end of the day. If I did this again, I would just make the tiles out of cardstock and laminate them.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2009 07:08:16 PM by Redforkhippie » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2009 03:07:33 PM »

Ok, so how do you use them. They look nice though. You are very dedicated.
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Redforkhippie
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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2009 03:27:57 PM »

It's sort of like dominoes, except instead of matching the number of dots, the kids just have to match a subject with a verb that agrees with it -- for instance, "everybody" could touch "goes" but not "go," or "they" could touch "are" but not "is." Whoever uses up all his tiles first is the winner.

I may have to add some tiles or modify some things as I go, but the main thing is just to get the kids up and moving around. The nice thing about this game is that it hits all four learning styles: The visual learners can look at the words on the tiles, the tactual learners have something to touch, the auditory learners have an excuse to talk, and the kinesthetic learners can squirm and fidget and move around to their hearts' content.

I don't know that it's as much fun as Pronoun Twister, but it should be pretty good.
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terp4u2
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2009 03:39:55 PM »

As a teacher of students with special learning needs... This is an AWESOME project! My students would love to play this game. I just might have to "borrow" the idea  Wink
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Redforkhippie
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« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2009 03:50:00 PM »

If you haven't yet, check out Heather Sparks' Web site -- http://www.hisparks.com. She's the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year, and she does a TON of hands-on stuff in her math classes.

Your kids might also dig my Pronoun Twister game, which is the best thing I've ever done in class: http://redforkhippie.wordpress.com/2009/04/15/best-lesson-ever/.

We totally need a teacher forum on Craftster....
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« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2009 04:00:22 PM »

As a future high school English teacher - I LOVE THIS!!!!
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« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2009 04:26:18 PM »

Excellent idea!  I'm a Spanish teacher and have done something similar with index cards, but your idea is so much better!  LOVE IT!
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fairweatherknitter
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2009 10:45:59 PM »

Hi!
  Your Dominoes are fantastic!  All that work and their parents dont even know.  I bet you are a great teacher!
  I have a suggestion for a game in class.  When my son was in high school he had an amazing teacher and she used to have Jeopardy games.  I think the class was history but no matter!  He loved that part of class.
  Just a suggestion.  Grin
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Redforkhippie
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« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2009 11:34:33 PM »

fairweatherknitter: Thanks for the suggestion. I'd forgotten about this, but somebody gave me a Powerpoint template for a Jeopardy! game to play on the SMARTboard. (In case you're not familiar with SMARTboards: They're like a cross between an iPhone screen and a whiteboard.) I need to track that down so I can use it. Thanks for the reminder!

charmcity: I think index cards are probably more practical than tiles -- especially if you laminate them for durability. I have some serious doubts about how well this ceramic paint will withstand a roomful of teenagers.

Something you might try: Get a pack of index cards and a roll of that magnetic tape they sell at Hobby Lobby (looks like Scotch tape, only it's black and much thicker) and make your own magnetic poetry kit. I put one together because my principal kept pestering me for a word wall, and I didn't have enough bulletin board space -- but I had a surplus of whiteboard space. The kids had a ball rearranging the words to make funny sentences.
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charmcity
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2009 09:29:21 AM »

Ah, Jeopardy PP templates are wonderful.  So easy to adapt for any topic.

I wish I could use magnets in my room.  The only things they stick to are my desk and my file cabinet.   >:(U

I once made a Concentration board with cuphooks on which I hung index cards.  It was wonderful.  Unfortunately, someone stole it over the summer. 

I teach Spanish in an urban area where learning Spanish (or any language) is not valued by students, parents or colleagues!  I've had to come up with tons of games/activities to entice my students. 

A Craftster teacher forum is a fabulous idea!
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