Sunday, June 3, 2012

Lakeshore Find

At the beginning of May I won a lovely gift card during Teacher Appreciation.  More recently, I made it to Lakeshore Learning to spend it.  After picking up some laminating sheets, I had 30 left to spend.  In the clearance pile at the front of the store, I found 2 games on sale for 14.95 each!  As it's the end of the year and I've been trying to wrap up things that we've already been doing and I keep missing kids, just last week I was able to play both games to see what they were really like! 

I can't find them online as they are being discontinued - so if you want them - check a Lakeshore store near you - soon!

Adjective Silly Circus

Adjective Silly Circus is a Mad Libs Style game where kids go around a game board they collect adjectives to fill one of 8 story cards.  There are adjectives around the game boards to choose from or kids can pick their own adjectives.  I played it with one group and noticed a few things.

1) Kids need to be readers to be successful.  I played it with a fourth grade group of several different reading levels, and my lowest one really had a hard time getting into the game while others were having fun.  I helped with all reading tasks, but he was too frustrated by the reading to get into the silly adjectives.

2) This should be a way to practice adjectives but this isn't an introduction.  I have a group of four kids who were combined later in the year to accommodate a move in who can't be seen in a group.  Two of them have done a lot of work on adjectives and really thought about their choices and seemed to be using their skills.  The other two have been introduced to adjectives but we haven't delved deeper.  These two really struggled with the concepts and didn't get into it as much.

Overall this game is a great way to practice adjective skills and show how a story can change when you add adjectives - especially if you read the card first skipping over all the blank spots.

Verb Volcano

Very volcano is game that works on verb tense and verb agreement within a sentences. 

I tried this game with a group of third grade girls (who I didn't know were coming, so I just grabbed the game to try it).  We have done no work on verbs in my room, so these were new language concepts in this environment.  I read the cards saying "blank" omitting the verb, and read the sentence 3 more times inserting each choice.  The students then selected their guess.  I had the student who's turn it was pick first, and then I had the other two agree or disagree with the answer.  The girls had fun and really were thinking about their responses.  As we haven't worked on verb skills, I was surprised by what they knew and didn't know.

One thing I really appreciated, was that all the cards were focused on a Volcano Explorer theme, so it would be easy to use along with a explorer's or nature unit from the classroom.

I could really see using this games in two different ways:
1) As a check to see what verb tenses my kids know and don't know and what they need to work on.
2) As a way to practice verb tenses that we are working on.  It would be relatively easy to sort on the four main verb tenses shown in the game: present, third person singular, present progressive and past tense and focus those kind of cards with a group.

I would recommend both games, but can see my self using Verb Volcano more often.  If you developed a list of adjectives containing target sounds - the Adjective Silly Circus Game could be a fun way to work on reading in Articulation Therapy.

**these are games I own and Lakeshore Learning has not asked me to review them and I am not being compensated in anyway.

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