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Dry Erase Board Challenges
20 Nov, 2013. 3 Comments. A Day In First Grade, First Grade, First Grade Language, Reading. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Teaching children how to read is probably one of my favorite things to teach. On any given day in my classroom you will see us engaged in a bunch of activities with the main goal of making us better, stronger, more confident readers. 
One game that we simply adore is a game that is so easy. All you need are dry erase boards, markers, and erasers. (we use socks) I just call it our ‘challenge of the day’. 
This week our special sound is “ch.” Before we started the game I placed a large piece of butcher paper  on my board that said “TOP SECRET” to cover up words that I had written that had “ch” in them. I then told my class that I was going to tell them a story about our new special sound. I told them that our new special sound’s favorite restaurant was Chuck e Cheese, that he loved going to church and that his favorite food was anything with cheese. They then had to turn and talk to their friends to figure out what they thought the special sound of the week was. 
They all guessed ch. 
We then revealed our new “secret words” and read them with gusto! 
After we read them I told them that I had a challenge for them. The challenge was that with their partners they had to write down as many words as they could think of that had the “ch” sound in them. {Spelling the words correctly does not matter in this activity– but I do encourage them to spell the special sound correctly.} The purpose is that they are working together to come up with as many words as they can think of that have our new sound. This not only gets their brains thinking about our phonics pattern but it also helps with spelling, and it builds schema to the words that they are going to be seeing all week long. 
 I handed out one large white board to each team (of 2) and gave them each a sock filled with a dry erase marker, spread them out around the classroom, and then gave them 3-5 minutes to record as many words as they could think of. 
 I love how this activity builds teamwork skills! 
After time is up, I have them share their words with a different group. They love it when they have the same words AND when they have different words.
At the end of the lesson I have my students share their favorite word that they heard during the challenge and then in the same partners, they read our daily phonics reader that focuses on the weekly spelling pattern. 
Today we did the same activity; however, this time we did it with proper nouns (that name places). Same idea, just a different concept. My students had the same level of engagement and worked super hard. You can use this game with just about anything! 
This afternoon during our writing block we wrote about things that we are thankful for. I saw this cute craft on The Moffat Girls Blog and I knew we HAD to do this one. We are having a GIANT feast on Friday with all of our families and these are going to be the centerpieces on our tables. 
 My students carefully wrote all the things they were thankful for on each strip of orange paper. 
 And then we turned them into our centerpieces! 
 My students were so excited about how they turned out! 
 I hope that you are having a great week so far! 

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3 Comments
  1. I got distracted with the whole using a sock as an eraser and storing the marker in the sock . . . brilliant! I just asked my husband: do you have any old socks? I’m totally going to implement that very soon!

    What I Have Learned

  2. I love the idea of using these challenges to activate schema. I usually just introduce the pattern and then we spell words, but this would be a very engaging way to peak interest. Thanks so much for the idea!

    Becky
    Compassionate Teacher

  3. Love how you get them SO engaged in the phonics skill at the beginning of the week!

    Andrew
    Mr. First Grade

3 Comments

  • I got distracted with the whole using a sock as an eraser and storing the marker in the sock . . . brilliant! I just asked my husband: do you have any old socks? I’m totally going to implement that very soon!

    What I Have Learned

  • I love the idea of using these challenges to activate schema. I usually just introduce the pattern and then we spell words, but this would be a very engaging way to peak interest. Thanks so much for the idea!

    Becky
    Compassionate Teacher

  • Love how you get them SO engaged in the phonics skill at the beginning of the week!

    Andrew
    Mr. First Grade

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