Spelling Car Races

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My Ethiopian-born, American daughter is in 1st grade. We just celebrated 2-1/2 years as a  forever family.  English is her third language, and so learning the fundamentals of the English language can be challenging.

I before e.....

If two vowels go a-walkin'....

Sight words....

Special sounds...

Deer...or is it, dear?

... and the list goes on!

She is doing really well, I am so proud of her determination and joyful spirit that keeps thriving for more learning.  

If you will allow me, I do have to share the cutest story before we actually get to the point of this blog.

During the morning drop-off at school, my youngest daughter (pictured above) was wishing her oldest sister a great day at school. Trying to use a weird English phrase for good luck--"break a leg," she says--ever so sincere--

"Tear a leg off!" 

We had a good laugh and then tried to explain....

But in all seriousness, can you imagine how weird it must have seemed the first time she heard someone say "break a leg?"  

In an attempt to make learning fun, to make it "stick", and to help her understand, we incorporate activities as much as possible rather than worksheets. She is practicing spelling words every night of the week. It can get pretty tough to come up with new ideas.

My son came up with this idea and it worked really well. She enjoyed learning with her older brother, whom she adores.

He had her write the words on a small piece of paper. They were small enough that they could be taped on the top of a Hot Wheels race car.

Next, they raced two cars at a time. She would have to spell the word attached to the winning car. The losing car would go back into the rotation until all the words had been spelled.

She LOVED it, and for once, didn't mind the spelling practice.

Do you have any ideas that are "out of the box"?

I'd love to hear from you!