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I am proud to announce that Stewart the Spelling Minion will join our classroom this year. I’ve already introduced Gilligan in a previous piece, who helps with social studies retention. Gus the Gator used to be part of our class and travelled around with students, helping them with their journaling, sentence structure and grammar.
Stewart the Minion will be our spelling helper this year. Stewart will travel home with a different student each day, as encouragement with spelling words. Since I teach a multi-level classroom, my younger kids will focus on sentences about Stewart the Minion. This will not only help them practice their spelling words, but will also help with sentence structure and parts of speech. My older kids will focus on paragraph practice in addition to spelling word practice.
I have discovered over the years that sending a ‘buddy’ home with students really encourages them to not only complete whatever task is tied to the buddy, but to also be responsible for accomplishing this task without being pestered by parents and to have fun while doing it, not to mention the responsibility associated with returning Stewart so the next classmate can spend time with him.
I usually choose a buddy and subject based on the previous year’s experience with study skills. Spelling seemed to be one of the subjects that kids were waiting until the last minute to really study on their own. Sure we did something with their spelling words every day, but it takes more that just one activity a day to truly retain a weekly list of words, in addition to whatever phonics rule went along with the list.
Enter Stewart the Minion. All of my students love the Minions, plus this gave me an opportunity to visit Build-A-Bear Workshop and make one myself (talk about an added bonus!) Yes, I understand that I could just purchase one quite a bit cheaper off of Amazon, but I wanted this one to be special and have a story linked to it. I love to tell my students personal stories about things I do when I’m not in my classroom, and my students love to listen to these stories. So Stewart the Minion was created this summer at my daughter’s national dance competition, which also turned into my family’s vacation, in Branson, Missouri. This story also opens up discussion with my class about where Missouri is located, what region it is in, what the capital is, what it’s known for and tons of other geographical information. I also share pictures with my class. And I guarantee that every parent will hear the story attached to Stewart the Minion, which in turn opens up the conversation flow that is so needed between parents and children.
So Stewart will have his own backpack, complete with paper, directions and a few overnight things he will need, like his blanket, toothbrush and folder to return work to school. I can’t wait to introduce Stewart to my new crop of kids!
How do you try to make subjects interesting for your students?[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]