Saturday, February 6, 2016

Whack-A-Word Wednesdays - GIVEAWAY!

I have a new spelling game that is MAXIMUM strength fun!  I have had so many questions about it that I decided it would make a good blog post.  I am going to give you all the tips and tricks I have for successfully implementing my new Whack-A-Skill games in your classroom.  I also think it would be terrific to give away a set!  I love giveaways!

Here is a video of my kiddos using the spelling version of the game:

How stinkin' fun is that?  So, how do you make it?  Well, there are two ways to play.  Here is the first:

We use mallets made of pool noodles stuck on pencils.  These are SO easy to make.  I bought two pool noodles at Target.  I used a serrated knife to cut them into four-five inch chunks.  I was able to make 30 mallets out of two noodles.  Next, I took sharpened pencils and stabbed them through the center of each noodle chunk.

 Students will each need their own mallet and their own mat to play.  I have made a variety of mats that go with PowerPoints.  As the PowerPoint runs, students whack the correct letter on their mat.  This is so much fun!

In the files, I have included three levels of ink usage.  I prefer to use the black and white version so that my kids can color their own mats.  It makes them their own.  To make it easier for my kiddos to find the letters on the mats, I had them color vowels red and consonants blue.

I laminated their mats and bound them in a booklet of work mats.  I have lots of different "whack-a-mole" skills, so we have several different mats.  Each student has their own work mats booklet.

Remember when I said there were two ways to use this?  The first uses mallets, the second uses large stomping mats.  To make the stomping mats, I took rubber shelf liner.  (You know, the stuff that goes in drawers or kitchen cabinets?)  I cut this into large ovals.  Next, I cut out a square window on the center of each oval.  I made the window about eight inches.

I cut about eleven inch squares of the liner and glued this to the back of the oval.  BUT, only glue it on three sides!  This creates a pocket that you can slide different moles in.  Why shelf liner?  I didn't want any kiddos bustin' their buts by slipping.  These are going to be stomped on.  We need to keep our little guys safe!  There are so many different skills that by creating pockets on the stomping mats, we can use them over and over.

I LOVE these big stompin' mats, but I honestly don't think it would be practical to make a class set of these.  They would be awesome for a center.  They could also be great for homeschooling parents or special ed teachers.  I use the stomping mats at home with my daughter and she loves them!  In this picture, we were working on whacking the vowel sounds.   Lilly loves to use the mallets with the mats.  Sometimes we play with them on the floor (like in the picture) and sometimes we put the large mats on the table.  Little changes like this add a new novelty to a game we already love.

If you want even more info, watch the video below.  I explain how it all works.  (Beware!  I was totally wearing my bathrobe when I took this video and it makes an appearance a couple times!  Eeeek!)  

My class has loved our new tradition; "Whack-A-Word Wednesday".  This is SO easy for me to use.  There is an editable template that I use to type me spelling words each week.  My firsties focus on ten words a week, but after ten words they were not ready to be done so I add the words from the past two weeks as a review.  This is set on an automatic timer.  I just turn on the PowerPoint and it runs itself for five minutes.  FIVE minutes!  Every single Wednesday, I get FIVE MINUTES to catch up on grading, conference with a student, write an email...Ahhhh!  The joys of FIVE MINUTES!

I started off telling you that I have had tons of questions about this.  Here are a few of them that I have not quite answered:

Can I use it if I don't have a projector?
YES!  This will work on any computer.  I use it at home with my kindergartner, Lilly.

Do I need to glue the pencils in?
Nope!  I just stabbed my pencils in and they hold tight.  I also like to remove the pencils for easier storage.  I can just pass out the noodle part and my kids poke their own pencils in the existing hole.

Do you have these games for math?
Right now, I am focusing on finishing up the reading bundles, then I will start to add math skills.

Aren't you worried they are going to hit each other?
Before I gave my kids the mallets for the first time, I told them that I only made 24. (That is a lie!  I made 30!  Please don't rat me out!)  I told them that our mallets are made of foam and if they are too rough with them, they will break.  If they break it, they will not get another one.  I also told them that if they hit their friends, they would lose their mallets and then they would have to practice their spelling with the DREADED WORKSHEETS!  Nobody is willing to risk losing a mallet for a worksheet!  Problem solved!

I have bundled skills according to grade level.  Here are the bundles that I have so far:
 Click here to see the Kinder Bundle!

 Click here to see the 1st Grade Bundle!

 Click here to see the 2nd Grade Bundle!

Are you ready for the big giveaway?  LET'S DO IT!!!!  I am giving away one bundle (you pick K, 1, or 2).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for reading and good luck with the raffle.  

Until next time,