Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tried It Tuesday: Guest Blogger-AMC!

How lucky am I to have one of my favorite bloggers, Anne, guest blogging for me while I'm out of town? If you're not already following her, you need to go check her out!!! Lots of ideas and resources, plus she's helpful, sweet, and hilarious! Thanks again, Anne! I owe you one!
She's linking up with our friend Holly for Tried it Tuesday!

My name is Anne and I blog over at Looking From Third to Fourth. When Joanne asked me to be a guest blogger for her I knew I was the perfect person because I have tried almost everything she has ever blogged about : ). Seriously, I would even tell my students "This is an idea I got from my friend Mrs. Miller". Inference notebooks, check. Teacher of the Day chair, check. Teaching in high heels, um, well, okay maybe not that one! One of Joanne's ideas that I have tried is her Word Wizards.
I printed them off on two different colors of cardstock (just like she said to in her directions). Cut them apart and in no time I had an instant hit in my classroom.
The activity goes a little something like this. Select an alphabet card, it gives you a letter and a point value. Then select a topic card, which obviously gives you the topic. Students have a limited time to name all the things they can that match the topic and start with the letter. Here is how I tried them in my class for the first time. At the end of the day after we fill out our agendas we gather on the carpet for a read aloud and often a little game, ticket out the door or reflection on the day - I like to end on a happy, positive note! So I pulled out this activity. Students were sitting in a circle so we easily split in to two groups. I pulled a yellow card and a blue card (alphabet and topic) and let one whole side yell out answers. Then I repeated with the other half of the class. They LOVED it! They came up with some great and some creative and some off the wall answers. A few days later we played again only this time, only this time, we kept score and assigned points (I was the recorder and judge if an answer fit!!). We played one more time as a whole class only this time we played one student at a time. This activity is now an option for early finishers. I keep the cards in a travel soap container(a favorite way of mine to store cards - I trimmed this on the sides to fit perfectly!). When the students play they put one color in the lid and the other in the container and pull the top card. (In the picture they are face up, when playing we put them face down of course!)
But wait, that is not all! I have also tried them with my family. My little family lives smack in the middle of our two bigger families geographically. It is a 3 hour drive to visit either side of our families. Only, to travel to my husband's side of the family, or the family cottage, we need to drive through Toronto and what is usually bumper to bumper traffic! Our nice 3 hour drive turns into a stressful 5 hour drive. We do not have a DVD player in our car (gasp, I know, we are the last known family not to have one). So often we play games. One of the games we play, Word Wizards!! I take my handy dandy travel soap container, put half the cards in the lid the other half in the container, pull one of each and call them out to one member of my family. Yes, some of the topics are school related - but we quickly make it work for our family. Like the one that reads "Something the teacher does" quickly becomes "Something mom does" or "Something the teacher says" becomes "Something dad says" (it can't all be about me!). This word game helps pass the time while we sit in traffic and helps us avoid the dreaded question "Are we there yet?" or "How much longer?" Plus the whole game fits neatly in the glove compartment! I am so glad I tried Joanne's Word Wizards and all of the other ideas I have "borrowed" from her blog! If you haven't stopped by to try my blog I'd love it if you would!
Looking From Third to Fourth


  1. The word wizard idea sounds like a lot of fun! Not only do kids practice categorizing and beginning letter sounds, but they also can keep score and practice adding. I can't wait to play it with my kids. Thanks for sharing!!


  2. This game sounds like so much fun! Thanks for sharing. I'm going now to add it to my wishlist.
    Polka Dot Lesson Plans

  3. Great activity!Love the fact that you have it in your glove box for travel time!
    Going to share this with several teachers!
    Fabulous Fifth Grade Fun

  4. What a great idea to keep it in your glove box. I used this activity with my students at the end of the year and they loved it too.

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  5. What a wonderful game!! I have played versions of this orally but I like the cards that go with it so early finishers can play on their own. I also love the idea of using soap boxes to hold cards! Thanks for linking up with a guest blogger. Love you BOTH!! :)
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  6. Great activity!Love the fact that you have it in your glove box for travel time!
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