Sometimes desperation breeds great ideas! I am lucky enough to teach 2 different literacy blocks to 2 different groups of kids. I am serious! I AM lucky. But, I am not always SUCCESSFUL every minute of those literacy blocks. My afternoon block is about 80% below grade level--this is the group that I do RTI and Progress Monitoring with. This is also the group with my most interesting and non-rule abiding students. So...one day when trying to get them settled down to start my Daily 5 schedule <sometimes, truly, with this group it is Daily 1> I picked students one by one and made them spell their spelling words to see if they knew them....and a game developed!
How to play Spelling Swamp:
1. Bring up the spelling lists for your spelling groups on your Smart Board or Promethean Board or Chart.
2. Gather all students on the carpet, or meeting area.
3. Choose one student at a time to turn around facing the opposite way and ask them to spell a spelling word.
4. If the word is not correct when spelled, the student 'stays in the swamp'. If the word is correct, the student is 'freed from the swamp' and he/she may choose a Daily 5 center activity.
While we were playing, students could be heard rooting for their friends, and even a few advised their friends that 'you may want to do some spelling words tonight'. We didn't embarrass those that did not get the words correct, but I would say 'Oh no, you are stuck in the quicksand....sit back down."
What started as a classroom management nightmare has caused students to study their words and even LEARN them!! I think my kids would play this game every day if they could. I hope you can use it during your tough times, too!