Monday, April 23, 2012

The Joys of Stickiness

Give first graders some labels and permission to stick them on someone else, and their level of engagement is pretty sweet. I discovered this years ago, and it's become one of my favorite ways to practice all sorts of skills.

I use daily shared reading with big books to teach a lot of my phonics instruction.  I'm not much for random skills practice.  I'd much rather it come out of the literature we're enjoying.  On this particular day, I used words from our big book to teach the sounds of y at the end of a word.  After a quick secret sort and discussion about the sounds, I got out the labels. 


I put the above labels on the foreheads of two of my better readers.  (I choose these kids carefully.  Their job is important and not for those who don't already have a good understanding of the skill.)  Then they stood at the front of the room with these two sounds of y stuck to their heads, anxiously awaiting the next step.


All the other kids got a strip of blank labels like the one below.  (By the way, I cut the labels in half so they last me longer.)  Their job was to hunt for words in the room that ended in y.  After writing down a word, they took it to the correct person at the front of the room.


This next part is really important.  The person with the forehead label had to say, "What's the password?"  That was the clue to the child with the label to read the word they wrote.  (This is essential because otherwise it simply turns into a copying activity.  They must be reading.)  Then the person checked the word to see if it indeed belonged on them and that it was spelled correctly.  If so, the child with the label stuck it to the person's shirt, which they did with great joy.  Here are pictures of the two shirts at the end of the activity.
(I'm pretty bossy about where the labels belong and don't belong by the way.  They can easily end up in some inappropriate places.)
 

To sum up:  
It takes very little teacher prep and no copying of papers.  It comes right out of meaningful literature.  It doesn't take much time, so kids spend most of their time reading that meaningful literature.  It can be used with most any skill (compound words and contractions, /ow/ and /ou/, long a and short a, etc.)  The kids write.  The kids read.  The kids think.  The kids are engaged. The kids are motivated.  The kids love it!  Grab some labels and you're ready to go!

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36 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Reagan, thank you. I appreciate that you came by and left a comment.

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Jennifer. It is fun indeed.

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  3. We call this scavenger hunts! I appreciate the fact that one of your rules is reading the word back so it is not an exercise in copying! I have not done this with labels. Can't wait to do it this way!
    Lori
    Conversations in Literacy

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    1. Lori, nope, we don't like copying. I'm not surprised you picked up on that important step! Thanks again for your comments.

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  4. What a great idea! I bet the little ones really love it :)

    Natalie
    TeacheryTidbits

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    1. Yep, they do Natalie. Thank you for leaving me a note!

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  5. Replies
    1. Great Dawn! I'd love to hear how it goes if you try it. Thank you for coming by.

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  6. Tammy, this activity looks like sooo much fun & educational at the same time. I know it would be a big hit in my classroom.
    Connie :)
    welcometofirstgrade

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    1. Connie, I'm so glad you think so. Let me know how it goes it you use it in your room.

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  7. Wow! I am already brainstorming how I can use this with my third graders. What a fantastic idea!
    Julie
    Light a Fire in Third Grade

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    1. Julie, I love that your third graders could use this too. Cool!

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  8. We do this with post it notes! But labels would be cheaper especially if I get some donated from my hubby's work!
    Thanks for the tip!
    Tammy2


    First Grade @ Klinger Cafe
    dtklinger@gmail.com

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    1. Tammytoo, let's get your hubby right on that. Thanks for coming by!

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  9. Replies
    1. Thanks Jill. They do think it's fun.

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  10. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this!! Going to try this with parts of speech!!!

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    1. Fonda, I'm thrilled that this will come in handy for you and your kids. Good luck with it!

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  11. Hi Tammy,
    I'm your newest follower. I've just noticed that I've been following you around the "comment circuit" -- ha ha -- so figured I better check you out :)
    I LOVE your label idea. Especially the simplicity of it.

    ❀Barbara❀
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

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    1. Hi Barbara, I've noticed that our paths have been crossing. Thanks for tracking me down and leaving a comment too.

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  12. Great idea! I trying this next week. Thanks for sharing!
    Petersons-Pad

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    Replies
    1. Sheree, I'm thrilled that you're going to try this out. Let me know how it goes, and thanks so much for coming by.

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  13. What a great idea! I bet they loved it!

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    1. Sandi, they do enjoy it. Sticking things on others is thoroughly enjoyable for them. Thanks for coming by and commenting!

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  14. Replies
    1. Thanks so much Jen. I'm glad you came by!

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  15. Cute blog! And this idea is fabulous. I will be pinning it to use next year when I am hopefully back in the classroom!

    Ashley
    Live2Learn

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    1. Thanks Ashley. I'm glad you'll be able to use this idea in the future!

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  16. Thanks for sharing such a great idea! I am going to try it this coming week with my class ! I know they'll love it!

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    1. Thanks Mrs. Young for coming by. I'm glad that it will be helpful to you.

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  17. I'm loving this idea Tammy! I have plenty of old stickers that would be perfect for this. :-)


    First Grade Delight
    imgoingfirst@gmail.com

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  18. Delighted, I'm so glad that you are loving this idea and already have some stickers to put to help you put it to use. Let me know how it goes.

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