Inspired by Susan C., Middle School Teacher in Florida
Getting kids excited about learning vocabulary, math, or spelling is tricky, so finding ways to engage them with fresh and new activities is key. This activity can help teachers:
- Get kids interacting with one another
- Have students work in pairs, then teams, then as a whole class to solve problems
- Help non-native English speakers feel comfortable pronouncing words in a group setting
- Reinforce positive social skills
- Strengthen students’ vocabulary skills and knowledge in a fresh way
To get started, print out a sheet of JetBands® with one vocabulary word on half the bands and the corresponding definitions on the other half. Randomly distribute to students.
Next, have each student who has a wristband with a vocabulary word on it pronounce it for the class so students are aware of all the options. Then, let the students loose in the classroom and have them try to find the person who has their matching band. Students will have to talk to one another and problem solve in small groups to determine if a vocab-band matches a definition-band.
Once students think they found their match, have them team up with another pair to check their work. After all students have double-checked their matchmaking with another group, bring the class together and have each two-person team recite the word and definition. Try taking a poll of the whole class to see if they agree with each word-definition pairing or simply visit each pair to see how they did.
This is a versatile classroom activity that can also be used to teach and reinforce multiplication tables, spelling words, science definitions, or state capitals.