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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Spark Student Motivation {Spelling Review Game}

I love this time of year!  I just got home from our teacher's annual overnight shopping trip to some outlet stores a couple hours from home.  Although we always get some great deals, my favorite part is just hanging out friends and, of course, the FOOD!!  So fun!

I am linking up quick with the amazing, Joanne, at Head Over Heels for Teaching to share how my class plays some quick spelling review games every Friday for motivation.
Yesterday, when I announced that it was time to play "Sparkle" the students cheered!  This is the typical reaction when it is time to play this quick review game.  So, I thought this would be a great idea to link up with Spark Student Motivation Saturdays!  We play two rounds of sparkle every Friday for a few weeks in a row and then every third or fourth week, we have a real "spelling bee".  The students love playing these games!  Most of you probably know what "sparkle" is but, in case you don't, this is how we play.

1.  Decide on how the order will go in the classroom or have the students line up in a straight line.  
2.  Name a spelling word.  
3.  The first student says the first letter of the word.  The second student says the second letter, and so on.
4.  When the last letter has been stated, the next student in line says "sparkle".  The student next to them is out and sits down.  Play continues with a new word each time until there is one student left standing.
5.  If a student says the wrong letter, they are out.
6.  If a student loses their place or takes too long to say the letter, they are out.

I like this game because it is SUPER quick (takes less than 5 minutes for one game in my classes of 16).  It also gives all students a chance at winning, even my students who struggle because there is quite a bit of luck involved.  Students also love to "play the teacher" during sparkle and I have this has one of the rewards for Class Dojo trade in points days!  

Spelling bees are fun too and we do those every three to four weeks.  These take longer and I only go through the class once with the current spelling words.  Then, we got to other more "challenging" words.  Our county hosts a spelling bee each spring and there are three top spellers sent from each grade.  The students really get into it and the super spellers just get a thrill from the competition!

There are only three hours left to get 20% off in my TPT store for my three math fractions centers aligned to the CCSS!

Be sure to check back at Head Over Heels for Teaching to see many more ideas for motivating students!  There are always amazing tips to learn about each week!!


  1. Overnight shopping trip! I am working at the wrong school:).

  2. Sparkle is my students' favorite spelling game too! My students like to play "singing" sparkle, where they sing the letters :)


  3. Oh, how I love dah words 'outlet shopping'. That's my kinda shopping. I also enjoyed learning about Sparkle. Thanks for sharing such a fun game. On Fridays, we do Fun Friday where I have my students play a team game. I give them a definition, a true or false, and/or a fill in the blank type of questions and they have to give me the correct word. Now, I will add this game to our Fun Friday.
    I think I'll even have them do Sparkle when they're waiting in line. Thanks!

  4. Our students love Sparkle (and yes it is nice and fast).
    This idea is also good for skip counting, which I do a lot with my smaller groups (but also done in whole class).

    Digital: Divide & Conquer

  5. I LOVE Sparkle and shopping. I'm moving in...make soon room!

    1. Some...I meant to say...I need a bigger phone to see.

  6. I, too, need an overnight shopping trip! How motivating for teachers! I love Sparkle, but we haven't played in a long time because we don't have "traditional" spelling tests anymore and I can see a definite decline in my students' spelling! You're right it's quick, fun, and they're practicing! Perfect! Thanks for sharing and linking up my friend!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching