Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Fun Ways to Help Young Kids Learn to Answer Multiple Choice Questions

*** Updated December 29, 2013 ***

I'm starting to think about helping my kids become confident with the format of multiple choice questions before end of year district and state assessments.  Here are some ideas and materials that I'll be using.    
Ask questions in a multiple choice format during daily routines. Here's an example of a simple calendar question. Giving each student a strip of tagboard with a clothespin to pin on their  answer is an easy way to make sure every child participates.

Kids are much more fond of multiple choice questions when they associate them with class rewards! 

Get a small group active by putting letters on the corners of the rug and having kids walk to their answer for multiple choice questions.

During group lessons, pose a multiple choice question and have kids use sign language to show their answer.  So simple!  Here's the link to download: Sign Language for Multiple Choice Questions.

I've created a set of reading comprehension passages with multiple choice questions to help kids develop the skills they will need to be successful on our end of the year assessments. These passages ~ currently available for Guided Reading Levels C, D, E, F, G/H, I/J and K/L ~ are available at my Teachers pay Teachers shop and on my Teachers Notebook shop. 

Thanks so much for stopping by.  I hope you find these ideas useful. If you have more ideas for helping kids prepare for multiple choice assessments, I'd love to hear about them!

:) Anne

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Tic Tac Toe with Numbers, Letters or Sight Words

I just love Tic Tac Toe!  There can be so much to a game - the planning, the strategy and even reinforcement of academic skills.

I like to use half of a foam carton from a pack of 18 eggs.    

We select appealing objects to play with.  For some kids, that might mean Legos or Unifix cubes.  Pom Poms are always a great choice too! 

Kids play until they understand the game well.  Then it's time to add another element!

To work with letters, partners each choose a color.  Select the letters you want each child to focus on. Depending on the letters you select, this works well for kids who are learning their first few letters and also for kids who need reinforcement with a few letters they find tricky.       

This works well with numbers too! 

My favorite way to use this game is to reinforce knowledge of sight words.  Just tape the words your kids are working with onto colored tiles or unifix cubes and they're ready to go!   

To add some writing, have kids record the words they use for each game.       

I love simple, classic games that can be used in many different ways.  That makes Tic Tac Toe an all-time favorite for me!

Thanks for taking a look.  I hope you find these ideas helpful.  If you have favorite games that work throughout the year, I'd love to hear about them.  Anne  

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Don't Spill the Words

Here's a simple variation on the classic "Don't Spill the Beans" game that kids ask to play again and again. Just tape sight words onto tiles or unifix cubes and follow the directions for the original "Don't Spill the Beans" game. 

Also works well with magnetic letters!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Long Vowel Scavenger Hunt - Oh So Simple!

Scavenger Hunts within Favorite Texts

I really want my kids to "see" how word study connects to reading their favorite books.   Here's a simple activity that's been helping kids understand these connections.

After we take a close look at a word feature, we go on a "scavenger hunt" to find words with that feature.  For instance, after we studied the long vowel/ silent e pattern, kids picked their favorite guided reading books and highlighted words with this pattern. 

Kids also read the pages they had selected, stressing the long vowel/ silent e patterns.  

Next week, we're going to try a scavenger hunt looking for  -ing endings. 

If you decide to try this out, want to let me know how it goes? 
Thanks!  Anne

P.S.  I'm happy to have linked to Laura Candler's Blog Hunt.  Hope you get a chance to check it out!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Building Fact Families

Awhile back, I saw a great idea from Margaret at KinderJourney. She was using clothes pins and craft sticks to build sight words. I loved the idea because kids enjoy working with the materials and get to develop important fine motor skills while also working with academic tasks.   

My kids couldn't get enough, so we started using these materials to build addition facts and then fact families.  

To build addition facts, just write the addition sign and equals sign on the craft sticks. Provide kids with sets of clothespins with numbers you are working with.  My kids love to fill a table with facts they have built!

Kids love building fact families too! I put the craft sticks and number pins that kids will need to build one fact family in a large ziploc bag. Kids then act as detectives to figure out what fact family they can build using these components. 

To develop an understanding of missing addend problems, kids pick up a "fact" and remove one of the pins.  Their partner has to figure out what number pin they removed.    

Works for multiplication/division fact families as well. 

If you decide to try this out, I'd love to hear how it works for you! Thanks for stopping by! Anne