Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Havin' a BLast with BLends

Have you ever wanted to create something, but time and life got in the way?
You know, like that wreath you've been wanting to 
make every Christmas since 2004.
Or that chair you thought you'd have reupholstered by now. 
That's literally the story of my life.
Grand plans, but extremely delayed execution. 

This is just another example of that.
I've been wanting to make this product since 2009! (don't judge)
So I bought the clipart this past summer and finally put my nose to the computer these past few weeks. A little here and a little there and TA DA...

Please let me introduce you to 
{Click on image or here to buy)

This colorful, not-so-little thing (100+ pages) is packed full of games that 
could take literacy centers by storm!
Six (L) blends (bl, cl, fl, gl, pl, and sl) are covered in 3 game formats: 


After initial instruction, these games could provide hours of practice and challenge for students to put that new learning to use. 
Plus, I threw in some opportunities for extended learning through 
blend creation and writing.  

Since consonant blends are mostly covered in First and Second Grades, you'll find four 1st grade CCSS and six 2nd grade CCSS, in addition to one Anchor Standard. Standards are either covered directly or indirectly through game play. 

Want to see these games in action, keep reading...

I gathered up some sweet friends (K-2) from my neighborhood to take these games for a spin-around-the-block. They did great and genuinely loved playing. I don't even think they knew they were practicing (L) Blends...and I didn't break it to them either. 

We started with the Mend the Blend 3-Piece Puzzles
There are 12 self-correcting puzzles per blend (72 total). 
For the sake of time, I only provided the BL blend puzzles. 
These are simple cut, laminate, & cut again.  
Just spread these bad-boys out and let the kids reassemble. 
 This little cutie was great at recognizing the self-correcting designs.
Additionally, the 5 other blend puzzles are varying colors to help students correctly assemble puzzles if multiple blends are played at the same time. 
 See how blueberries and blackboard have slightly different shaped pieces?
To add an extra layer of extension or challenge, have your students fill out the My Mended Blends Puzzle sheet. You can have students simply list the words in the appropriate blend category. Or bump up the difficulty by having them put words in ABC order under each blend category.

Additionally, if you're looking to really challenge your kiddos, print off a few blank templates and have students create their own blend words and pictures to add to the game.

Moving on. . .
Clipboard Clue requires students to carefully listen to 3 hints and make logical guesses about what blend word is being described. Blend picture cards can help students narrow down choices, but difficulty can be added by removing them from the game. 
An answer sheet is provided in case blend picture cards are removed from game-play or if students are not in agreement on what is being described. Colors coordinate with the clipboard colors for ease of finding answers.
To start the game, blend picture cards are shuffled and divided equally among all players. A student-reader selects a Clipboard Clue card from the top of the downward-facing pile. 
He/she reads the 3 clues aloud to the group. 
 Students use the inferences to guess which blend picture card is being described. If a student has a picture that matches the clues, he/she can offer up their blend picture card. 
!!!WATCH OUT!!! 
Students sometimes like to jump to a conclusion before all 3 clues have been read. I had to remind these lovelies to listen to all the clues first. 
 If guessed correctly, a student wins the Clipboard Clue card and pairs it up with their blend picture card. 
That student selects the next Clipboard Clue card.
Person with the most pairs, at the end, wins!
Great activity for individual and/or partner teams. 
With 72 (12 words per blend) Clipboard Clue and blend picture card pairs, the game could last a long time!

To round out your L blend focus, give students Blend Monopoly to practice all 6 L blends! Very similar to traditional Monopoly with a few slight changes to make the game easy to play. This was a HUGE hit with everyone and if time wasn't limited, they would have played well into the night.
 Add individual games pieces (I like Toy Story figures) and a dice to this game and you're set.
 Students used their Blend Bucks to buy color-coded spaces around the board.
Don't have a gl Blend Buck to buy globe? They may have to borrow from the Blend Bank.
 Roll the dice to see how many spaces you can move.
 Get movin'
 You have a pl Blend Buck?
If so, buy the colorful space by paying the Blend Bank and getting a Spend-A-Blend word card to show ownership of the space. 
Students also have the option to trade Blend Bucks and sell Spend-A-Blend word cards in hopes of winning.  
Speaking of winning? How does that happen?
1 of 2 ways. 
Time runs out and person with most Spend-A-Blend cards wins
Instant Win by the person who buys all the spaces in the same blend category/color row.

Want to really up the ante?
Have your kiddos fill out the Blend Blog sheet to record all their won spaces. 

These games are only a part of L blend instruction and practice. 
Take a peek at these other great resources from wonderful TPT sellers:
Click here to buy this from More than Math by Mo 
 Click here to buy this from The Chocolate Teacher
Click here to buy this from Sarah Cooley

Hope your time with (L) Blends are a (BL)AST!

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