In the beginning I thought "Active Spelling? Spelling...active. Write it down, learn it and move on to the 3 times table surely".
Well let me tell you about SPARKLE. If you already know about it then move along, there's nothing to see here, however if you don't...........
Get the class to stand in a circle.
Teacher says "the word is (for example) dog. Jimmy you start"
Jimmy says "d". If he gets it wrong he sits down.
Pupil next to Jimmy says "o". If he gets it wrong he sits down.
next pupil says "g". If he gets it wrong he sits down.
Next pupil says "SPARKLE". If he doesn't he sits down.
But once SPARKLE is said in the correct place the next pupil sits down.
Being a good speller might keep you in the game longer but you can never guarantee you won't be SPARKLE'd.
I typically use Dolch's list of common words and drop in topical words we have come across, plus days of week and classmates' names which is always a good one, especially if you have someone called Ruairidh.
In the beginning there was a lot of huffing and puffing, or worse, cheering, when some children went out, so it was a good chance to talk about sportsmanship and respect.
In the end you are left with 2 children standing who are 'ping-ponging' the letters of the last word back and forth.
My class love it more than they love their parents.
Let me know if you have anything similar that has worked for you.
My April Fool went down a treat. I explained to my class that the council were considering opening schools on Saturday mornings, and as an experiment the first day for trial was tomorrow, April 2nd.
"I''ve got swimming.." says one
"I''ve got football..." says another and so on and so on
"Well school is more important" says me "Now draw a line in your jotters and write the date. What is the date?..."
Oh how I laughed. Might not be laughing tomorrow when 20 odd children turn up at the school gates though.
That co-operative learning CPD session was good. Pity it didn't arrive before my shambolic observed drama lesson. Never mind, we learn more from our mistakes. Jings I must have learned a lot!
Anyway today was the end of my second term as a probationer. I feel good. I can do this - not as well as some, but better than others........Gie's a job.