Archive for the ‘Scrabble’ Category


Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

After 2.4′s class today I got stopped by two of my competition kids who thanked me for helping them during the competition and wanted to tell me that they along with one other second grade girl placed! Considering there are only 4 high school winners, that is not bad at all. Yayyyy Changpyeong!

Their prize is that they get to go to Australia on a paid vacation February 2nd – 10th. I told them to buy me a kangaroo, and they responded that they’d get me a koala also. I responded that I hate koalas (vicious little creatures) but thanks for the offer. Then there were high-fives all around.

I really like class 2.4… I just wish they liked me as much as I like them. Recently I had a conversation about different types of classes with the ever-awesome Sam Morrow – first grade girls are the most receptive and willing to listen and easiest to discipline, second grade girls you have to earn their respect but once you do they’re super thoughtful and will listen, and first grade boys are crazy and have lots of energy. They’re all relatively easy to cow, though, and for the most part there’s a reciprocal amount of affection there. The girls’ classes are the easiest to work with, and that makes them really really nice, but second grade boys are honestly my favorites. However, I think generally I like them way more than they like me. Thus is life.

Today I taught 2.6 (girls, science track), 2.4 (boys, society), and 1.1A (girls, advanced, not tracked yet) and it was the first day of my Scrabble week. It’s been fun walking around in the halls carrying my six sets of Scrabble boards and hearing students from other classes whisper 오! 좋겠다!

Scrabble is really really hard for EFL students, even advanced ones, so to break it up a bit we actually played two different games – Ultimate Scrabble and regular board Scrabble. Ultimate Scrabble is a class-wide version of scrabble, where you split the students into groups of five (so, in my class of thirty I had six teams) and every round it is a team’s turn and the teacher draws a letter and puts it in the letter bank on the board. Every turn a team has a chance to make a word. If they make the word they get the corresponding number of points scrabble style (E is 1 point, Q is 10). However, they are not just limited to using the word bank, they can also “steal” points by rearranging other team’s words, which then not only gives them points, but subtracts points from other teams. For example, if the letter bank has the letters ARSTMTILE Team 4 can say “STAR” and receive however many points. Then it’s team 5′s turn, and they draw the letter P, so the letters remaining in the bank are MTILEP. Team 5 can either “steal” Team 4′s points by rearranging STAR and adding a P to make it PARTS, or they can create a new word, like TIME. Theoretically, they can even do both if they think of it. The girls thought this was fun, but difficult. The boys went ballistic.

When I say ballistic I mean like, screaming, standing on chairs in order to see the board, and students actually coming up to the board and using color-coded chalk to show how they were rearranging four words and taking letters from the word bank to create three new words. And yes, that actually happened, multiple times in fact - one student in one turn got his team twenty-five points and caused three other teams to each lose five points. Other students were coming up with words like TOXIN and ANNOY. It was ridiculous. I’m so excited to keep doing scrabble this week, even if I am going to end up throwing out my back.