Saturday, 5 January 2013

Creative Writing a FREE 7-wk workshop : Part 3

The 3rd lesson commenced with a word game... one that I recall affectionately having played with Daddie when I was younger, to build up vocabulary. It was somewhat cute that the ladies chose this game to play that day. I was invited too. Despite having sent out leaflets around the neighbouring estate with regards to this FREE Creative Writing Workshop, it had not garnered that many interests. Very much to our surprise to be honest, because Sara & Janelle are waaaayyy more fun than English teachers. Then again, they have always iterated that they are not teachers. Tehehee.. Hence, to make the game more vibrant with participation (two other siblings were absent) Sara and Janelle said, "The more the merrier."

In this word game, there are 7 rows and columns. Each column denotes a specific category for everyone to fill in their inputs. The first person to shout "FREEZE" declares the game to cease... whether or not this person has indeed completed all the boxes on paper. 1 point given to any word not already repeated or chosen by someone else. 

1st column : Letter
Everyone takes turns to choose any letter from the alphabet. The letter chosen is to represent the first letter for the words to the rest of the categories.

2nd column : Country
In DD2's game-entry above the first letter chosen by Sara was "R". So everyone had to come up with a country beginning with the letter "R"... DD2 wrote Russia.

Now, because I too wrote Russia... no one gets points for the country category, so we cross out the word to make it easier for calculation of points.

3rd column : Animal
Next, everyone was supposed to come up with an animal that begins with that selected letter. In this instance, DD2 chose "rabbit" as her animal input.

4th column : Occupation
Because she was pressured for time to think of something concrete, she cutely wrote "Rescue Hero" as her chosen occupation that began with the letter "R". Sara and Janelle had a small comical dispute about that for awhile but eventually, that occupation was accepted and DD2 scored a point there! LOL!

5th column : Fruit
Similar to the other categories, everyone had to think up a fruit name/word that began with the letter "R".. DD2 wrote "raspberry" which I wrote in mine too, so no points for that once again.

6th column : Feelings
Now, this column was new. Meaning to say, Daddie never had this column before when we played our games. The two ladies, (Sara & Janelle) cleverly added this category to hint of that session's theme that they were going to introduce. Good one, ladies! I found it extremely interesting how children can come up with words that quickly related to feelings what more with a specific beginning letter rule.

DD2 chose "rage". Wow. I think I forgot to ask her where she read that from. Or whether she felt that way before..

Aniwaes, after everyone has a fair turn to choose their own favourite beginning letters and had a few rounds of the game it was beginning to get pretty fun as everyone was getting a hang of it. But all good things had to come to an end. So the word game ended after  all 6 rows were filled up and all points tabulated.

Sara & Janelle scored 16 points together. Yup, they were a tag team. So if evenly distributed, they scored 8 individually. DD2 scored 9 points and I scored 11 points. Ehem. 

It was a swell game and we all enjoyed it lots. I for one, enjoyed reminiscing the moments of the old days when I was Daddie's wittle girl... Made me miss him. As if it was telepathy, Daddie texted that he was free and could fetch us all after the lesson was over.

The evening followed up with Daddie joining us for dinner and for the girls and hubs, a round of Mario Brothers' Wii game at home as dessert.

NOTE : Even during my teaching days, I found that it was more constructive and more positive to commence lessons with ice-breakers or games as a warm-up activity. It starts off like a beat which later builds up tempo and children continue to maintain rhythm throughout the session. When you're having a lull from revision of work with your children, try some relevant yet simple activities to start off that study period or even as a closure to a quality study time together. It works for us. 

Here are a few that we (my children and I) play for vocab and well also a hidden-tinge of spelling practice.

I've been receiving PMs from parents asking how to help children with spelling. Some are unable to get children to learn spelling words given by their schools. So here in this post, i wanna share fun spelling resources..  .. and also ideas to hopefully get the children psyched on spelling revision. 
By CREATIVES for 10yrs & above 
It is a colourful board game which is challenging, educational and enjoyable. 
Comes with 4 play pieces, 300 colour coded cards graded from easy to difficult. 
Each player or team chooses a coloured play piece and places it on the space marked START. The word cards of any one colour are placed on the space marked in the middle of the game board. The youngest player can have the first turn... as what my DD2 would always say...  Easy does it if the players take turns going clockwise. 
Each player rolls the dice one at a time. The number rolled determines the number of spaces the spelling words are worth and which word to be spelt.
For example, if a 1 is rolled the top word on the card picked is to be read..
and so on. 
In the game instructions, is stated that whoever spells the word first gets the
points and the right to move the play piece. However, i played it this way to avoid two girls screaming letters at me...  I allow the player who has the current turn to pick the card/roll the dice to spell the word first. If the player is unable to spell it right then, the next player gets a go at spelling it and gets to move their play piece according to the number rolled on the dice.
I also allow for pencil and paper for them to think through the possible spellings for the more difficult words instead of just having them think of the words in their heads. Less pressure for my DD2 when playing
against her jie. Hehee.. 
I usually play judge, since even if i do play... i'd win hands-down anyway. 
DD2 likes to say that i'm the dictionary.. 
Speaking of dictionary, i ask my girls to guess what the word means by they way they sound or are spelt. For correct guesses i'd give them a star sticker. For subsequent games, i'm thinking i'd add another point
for them to move on the board so that it'd motivate not to use me as their walking dictionary. 
By TIMES Multimedia @ TIMES Bookshop : Centrepoint
For 9 years old and above

This is an educational cd-rom designed to enhance the teaching and learning of the basic skills in spelling. Spelling games uses a children's TV show format to present to students with many interactive exercises to monitor understanding and exciting games to enhance motivation.
The areas covered in this cd-rom are :
Spelling Sounds
> Consonants
> Vowels
> Combining Letters
> Silent Letters
> Homophones
Prefixes & Suffixes
> Suffixes
> Ending in 'e'
> Endings
Doubling Letters
> Main rules
> Main exceptions
> Ending in 'l'
In doubling letters for example, they have this penalty shoot-out scene. For every correct word spelt, a voice would scream "GOAL!!!" 
If the word is spelt wrongly, the voice would say, "It's a save this time!" and goes thru' the word together with the player. So, in a way it's very interactive.
> Adding 's' and 'es'
> Ending in 'y'
> Ending in 'o'... 'f'... 'fe'
Punctuation & Spelling
> The apostrophe
> One or more words
> Hyphens
> Capital Letters 
In Cloud Catcher, players have to fly the plane into clouds if the word on
the cloud needs capitalization. Like this example below... 
In the Home Run game, the player spells words in a baseball game setting. If the guess is wrong, the pgrm will assist the player on how the word issupposed to be spelt. The pgrm will also indicate which letters were not supposed to be in the word or if any of the letters are in the wrong position in that word.
I intentionally spelt the word "downstairs" wrongly to see what was gonna happen.  The pgrm showed the correct way the word was to be spelt. After three strikes though, the player is OUT!  Then the player has the option to try again..  
For getting the word wrong i got a strike.. cute arh?  
And if the player spells the word correctly then he/she gets a HOME RUN! 
By go.Play @ Growing Fun for children 4 years & above 

Helps kids to practice their spelling, improve their vocabulary and have fun. Using this on-the-go magnetic game, they can play anywhere and anytime they want. Best part is, they don't even need to write the words down!    The play pack can even go on the fridge so no keeping needed. Bring down from the fridge to play and bring along when out on the go & simply put them back up on the fridge when you get back.  

White rectangle pieces represent the number of letters that particular spelling word has. In this instance the teacher gave the word, "acceptable" in the list for the week. If your child can remember the last 2 syllables - "table" then he or she can stick those letter first and work backwards. No hard and fast rule but more to encourage spelling revision without the fears or lethargy.  

Helps kids to practice their spelling, improve their vocabulary and have fun. Using this on-the-go magnetic game, they can play anywhere and anytime they want. 

Guide the children till completion (spelling the word correctly) with the magnetic letter pieces or until the man gets hung... the play rules are set by you and your child together. 
Important thing here is to have fun while learning spelling words! 
Luv, buds! 

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