Friday, February 12, 2010

Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary

My son wasn't too interested in reading when we first started out.  He was hesitant and apprehensive.  Knowing that he is a kinesthetic, tactile learner I had to formulate a plan that would encorporate these learning styles.  So, I went to Target and purchased a few sets of ping-pong balls.  On each ball I wrote a sight word.  Here's a link to 300 sight words click here.  I used some of the basic ones on the first 30 balls.  I would then slowly introduce him to some of the words just a few at a time.  We later turned it into a tossing game.  I would set just four balls in front of him.  Then I would say, "Throw 'to' to me.  Throw 'for' to me.  Throw 'this' to me."  He would evaluate the words in front of him and toss me the right ones.  Next, I would have him tell me the words I needed to toss back to him.

It was fun.  It was engaging.  It was visual, audial, tactile, and kinesthetic.  And he loved it.  Is he reading today?  Yes, he is.  And he likes it.

Change boring into fun.  Try something fun today.

Humbly,
Melissa

21 comments:

  1. As an educator myself, I have never seen this idea, but I LOVE IT!!!! I am always looking for new ways to get my Special Ed students to learn to read and to learn the basic sight words. The ping pong idea can be applied to other concepts as well. Thank you so much for sharing!

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    1. Sherry, so sweet of you to reply. Thank you. And what spectacular feedback as well. I hope you enjoy this teaching strategy as much as we do. You are welcome.

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  2. Hi Melissa
    What a cute idea - I will be linking to it this week in my round up of sight word activities (looking for some inspiration for my girl!).
    Cheers
    Emily

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  3. What a neat idea. We have loads of golf balls around. I think I'll see if I can write on and wash off with vis a vis markers and play this game with rolling the balls. - CD

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  4. I love that the child is able to be active while learning. I have 11 ADHD students this year. Most of them are not on meds so I am always looking for ways to incorporate movement in my learning acitivities. I am going to buy ping pong balls in a few minutes and put it to use right a way so that next school year it will be up and ready to use! Thank you for the cute idea.

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    1. Lisa, so sweet of you. Thank you. I am sure your students will love this. Enjoy.

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  5. I'm a seventh grade math teacher and I'm trying to think of how I could use your idea....

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    1. Greg, I really enjoyed my 7th grade and 8th grade math teachers. They were fantastic. Both of them were males, actually.

      How could you use this? Maybe a few of these may work for you...
      1. Have them choose the value of the variable during whole-class demonstration (various students toss you a ball with a value already marked on it). 6x + 4 = ____. Here, students would provide a value for x.
      2. Use the above strategy to plot a line graph. Have the students compare how various values produce similar or dis-similar graphs.
      3. When working with percents, have the students suggest a value to plug into a sample problem. You have pre-written a collection of values on various balls. Students toss you (one at a time) the value to plug into the equation. This would happen during the whole-class instruction time.
      4. Statistics and probability. Get orange balls. Get white balls. Lunch bag. Divide into pairs. How many times did you pull one particular color from the bag?
      5. Vocabulary words. Divide class into 2 or 3 groups (or pairs if you want to purchase that many balls). Everyone has the same vocabulary words written on balls. You say the definition. They toss you the answer. Groups get points for correct answers.

      Oh, and coffee filters are great math tools as well. Line. Symmetry. Radius. Diameter. Circumference. Angle. Each of these can be explored by the circle of a coffee filter. Folding the coffee filters is an easy way to demonstrate some of these ideas. Have a great academic year!

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  6. Awesome Idea.. I am the mom of a beautiful little girl with Down syndrome and Autistic tendicies I am looking forward to trying this with her.. Thank you so much for sharing

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    1. Laura, that is lovely. Thank you for sharing. I bet the two of you will enjoy that so much. Smiles, m

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  7. I'm a homeschool mom, and I have a kinesthetic learner too. I am so thankful to see this. We were using M&Ms and Skittles for manipulatives in math, but I was at a loss for reading. This is a really good idea, and I can't wait to use it for our school time.

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    1. Lovely. Thank you for your feedback. I hope you have as much fun with it as we did. Blessings!

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  8. I'm in the UK, working with children who are struggling with reading. I have a special intervention programme to work with them, which is great, but I really wanted to do something more kinesthetic with my boys. They are both bright as buttons, but dyslexia is one issue and attention span another. This will hopefully get them reading those small, on-sight words that make reading so tricky for them. Thanks so much for this.

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    1. Lovely. So sweet of you, Sue. Thank you for these sweet words. Enjoy your time together exploring reading in a whole new way. Cheers!

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  9. Awesome idea...my 7 year old down syndrome daughter will love this!! :) yeah!!

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    1. Lovely. That is wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. Awesome ideas!!!
    I am taking an ESL Methodology course. Your post is very interesting and useful.
    I will link this one on my SNS.
    thank you for sharing.
    hwan su

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  11. I just saw this idea on Pinterest and had to stop by. What a wonderful idea . . . for active learners and just to spice things up a bit! Thanks for sharing this with us. I'm off to look around your lovely blog now. Hope you've had a good weekend.

    Mary Catherine of Fun-A-Day!
    www.fun-a-day.com

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    1. Sweet of you for stopping by and commenting. Thank you.

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