Friday, April 13, 2012

The Magic "E"

This week we learned about the "magic e" and how it can "magically" change a word into a new word. We learned that the "magic e" does its magic silently. It can change a short vowel sound to a long vowel sound. To practice using the "magic e", we first made "magic e" wands.
First, I pre-made some wand toppers and they decorated them with crayons. The  more colorful, the more magical the wand would be. 
This wand topper was sure to be magical. 

Next, they glued the toppers to wand-sized sticks. (They gathered these at recess...thanks to the playground supervisor.) Then they embellished their "magic e" wands with ribbons, feathers, and even a few googly eyes. 
Finally, the wands were ready to be put to use and to do some magic. First we played a game. I placed 28 base words around the classroom. Some were on the floor, taped to the wall, or on the tables. Then each student had to collect as many new words as he/she could in ten minutes. The rules were simple. To collect a word, the wand had to TOUCH the end of the base word. In addition, the new word had to be read in order for the magic to work. Once the word was touched by the wand and read, it must be written down and "collected" on the list. 
The kids LOVED this game. The room was so quiet as they moved around to find and collect new words. Everyone followed the rules and I could hear them say each word, "cone... mate..." It was magical!
After the ten minutes of collecting, each student found a partner. They counted their own list of words and then checked their partner's list of words. Finally, they each read their list to the partner. In the end, everyone was a winner!

As a follow-up activity to the game, they completed a worksheet. First they read the word. Then they added an "e" and made a new word. They also had to draw a picture of the new word.
Later in the week, we used our "magic e" wands again. A co-worker shared an idea that he used in his classroom. Each student was given a base slim. First, they drew a picture of the base word. Next, they added an "e" to their base word and create a new word along with a picture to go with it. 
But here is the fun and magical part. Each student shared their words with the class. First they read the base word to the class. Then after a swish of the wand and the magic words of "abracadabra", the base word magically changed into a new word. After the magic was performed, the student read the new word to the class. 
It was funny to hear my students pronounce the magic word. I almost got whacked a few times with a wand when the swishing took place. :)
Now when we read, my students and I will point out "magic e" words. "Look Mrs. Scott! It's a magic e word. It says bike!" 
Here are the wands and words on display. Aren't the wands beautiful?

Math Centers

For math, we will sometimes have math centers. The centers allow my students to practice certain skills independently.
One center is "Domino Addition". Students randomly select a domino from a basket. Then they "draw" the domino and change it into a number sentence. This helps them to practice their important math facts.
"Dice Addition" is another center and it is similar to "Domino Addition". Students roll a pair of dice. Then they "draw" the dice and change it into a number sentence.
Since we learned about centimeters this week, we had a measuring center. They had to measure the items that were in the basket. They needed to use the centimeter side of their rule. They would write down the name of the object measured and then record the number of centimeters long that is was.
The final center was a memory game. One game was matching coin amounts to the written money amount. Another memory game was matching the analog clock time to the digital time. My students love to play memory games.
Here are the three worksheets used for the Domino Addition, Dice Addition, and Measuring with Centimeters centers.