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Topic: Grammar dominoes UPDATED  (Read 3878 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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« 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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« 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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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2009 10:31:52 AM »

The latest NEA e-newsletter has a bunch of slideshows of classroom decorations. The first guy they featured uses that plain white bathroom paneling to create huge whiteboards for his classroom. They said it costs about $20 a sheet at the lumberyard. I thought that was pretty brilliant, really.

It drives me crazy when kids steal my stuff, but at some level, it's sort of heartening to think they were interested enough to want it.
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charmcity
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2009 02:34:50 PM »

I believe it was a teacher who stole my board!  It would have been too big for the kids to carry on a city bus! Smiley 
I've used that bathroom paneling before, it's great.  It's not magnetic, but it is an excellent alternative to our pocked chalkboards.  If I really want something magnetic, I could probably get some plywood and paint it with the magnetic paint.  I've never used it, but I've heard that it works. 
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« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2009 06:20:17 PM »

I'm sending a link of this post to my teacher friends.  I think this is a brilliant game!  One that my 22 year old brother needs to play  LOL (and to think, my dad was a grammar nazi, wonder how that happened...) 
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march
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2009 06:36:18 PM »

As a new English teacher I'm totally snagging and stealing this idea and many of the others listed here! Thank you so much!  Grin
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Luna1375
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2009 07:32:24 PM »

Those are awesome! My boyfriend was looking over my shoulder and said you should call them "Grammarominoes."
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You can totally buy stuff I make!  http://www.etsy.com/shop/craftyluna  Smiley
Redforkhippie
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« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2009 07:51:41 PM »

Thanks for all the great feedback! I'll try to remember to post an update when I use this in class. I'm really interested in seeing how the paint holds up.

When I get it finished, I'll post the English II Pictureka! game I'm making. I'm also working on a variation on Monopoly that involves stuff from our literature book, but it's going to take longer to finish.
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« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2009 08:13:18 PM »


It drives me crazy when kids steal my stuff, but at some level, it's sort of heartening to think they were interested enough to want it.

I had to laugh - I work at an urban school too, and once a kid stole books from a colleague's room (on 2 separate occasions - never caught).  My Principal's first reaction was "Yay!"

On topic - I'm so stealing your idea (I'm a learning game fan), but with sharpie's on heavy duty tag board - unless I can find raw wood rectangles....  My kids (I always teach intervention or Special Education positions of some sort) can really benefit from repeated practice and peer dialogue (or arguments) regarding any concept.  Games can sometimes do that - and this one does! Thanks!
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dancedupapillon
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2009 03:05:14 PM »

Hooray for crafty teachers!  I'm an education student and I LOVE turning lessons into games!  I did a geometry bingo with a grade 5/6 split for one of my final projects last year Smiley

My mom is a grade 5 french imersion teacher, and this would be an awesome way to practice verb conjugations! Most kids HATE learning verbs in french, but this looks like it would make it much more palatable. I'm aiming to do my student teaching in a francophone school, so I'll probably adapt this if you don't mind...

Also, pronoun twister is a stroke of genious!
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« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2009 07:44:32 PM »

La Maestra: If your school has a laminator, you could probably do these faster with inDesign or Publisher or whatever desktop publishing program you have. (Print Shop is great if you have a PC.) Just print them on cardstock, cut them out, and laminate them. Typing the words in about 42-point Helvetica or Arial would probably be helpful for some of your struggling readers. I usually write on my whiteboards in small-cap block letters with flourishes at the ends, which my kids like, but I had to tone it down after one boy with a diagnosed reading problem of some sort told me he had difficulty making out the words. The flourishes, while pretty, were just too distracting for him. Your  principal sounds like a good one. Smiley

dancedupapillon: Grab ideas everywhere you can, and riff on them endlessly. The more fun your kids are having, the better they'll learn. I might swipe your bingo game and use it with literary terms or other vocabulary words. I could give the definition, then let the kids find the correct word on their cards. I might do that with Greek and Latin roots. I wonder if anybody has put a bingo card generator online? There are some great crossword and word search generators out there....
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« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2009 07:09:48 AM »

http://www.teach-nology.com/web_tools/materials/bingo/5/   Smiley
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« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2009 12:05:58 PM »

That's a great link!
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« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2013 06:21:59 PM »

OMG I am totally stealing this idea for my seventh graders.  Probably not sub/verb agreement ... perhaps a parts of speech one.
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