We've been reading about, playing with, and making gingerbread boys and girls all week. I've heard "Run, run as fast as you can!" so many times that I think I am saying it in my sleep :)
My son goes to school all day (he is in 1st grade), but doesn't want to be left out on the fun when he gets home. I end up differentiating most games that we play, so that my 3 and 6 year old can play together.
I know that every class has a students with varying levels of ability. That is what makes differentiation so key! You can differentiate almost any activity, so that all the kids can play in some way.
I wanted to share with you some of our adventures with the gingerbread man. I started out with the "Gingerbread Man Scavenger Hunt". I printed out all the upper and lower case letters and some of the recording sheets.
My daughter is able to identify all of her upper and lower case letters and is beginning to be able to form the letters on her own. She is more comfortable tracing letters, so we used the traceable recording sheets. The kids wanted to play together, so we made it a partner game. This would work great in the classroom. One person takes a turn using the gingerbread wand to highlight the letter and the other partner records the letter on the recording sheet.
Having students work as partners builds communication and gives each student a chance to work on their specific skills. When it was my son's turn to record, he wrote a word for each letter that my daughter found. He told me that this was too easy, so turned the paper over and wrote a sentence with each word. He differentiated for himself!
After we played the scavenger hunt, they wanted to hide the letters for me. They would then call out a letter and I would search all over to find it! Here is my favorite:
Later on, we used the letters to build words. My daughter used the letters to build names.
My son used the letters to build words. I gave him a word and he would find the letters to spell it. He then changed the word by changing one of the sounds. We focused on blends and digraphs. Here are some examples: "cat" to "spat" to "spot" to "pots".
One of the last games we played was "Memory". My son chose 6 pairs of upper and lower case letters and laid them out for my daughter. Then, they had to find the matches. We all had a ball playing this, because memory is always a hit!
I wanted to share something fun with all of you! I am including a copy of the gingerbread wands that we used in our games. You can download from the link below. Print out the wands, cut out the circles in the middle, and laminate the gingerbread boys and girls. If you can print on card stock, or glue them to card stock afterwards. This will make the wands more durable. After laminating, hot glue popsicle sticks to the back and you have an adorable wand! Click here to get your own wands!
Happy Holidays! Hope everyone finishes out this week with style and sanity :)