Achy breaky heart

In one of the exercises, the Year 3 students had to unscramble the letters to make a word. A girl comes to me asking what ‘unscramble’ means.

‘Look at these words. What do you think ‘unscramble’ means?’

“Oh! I need to play scrabble?!?!”

Excited. Excited at the possibility of being able to play scrabble. The primary students aren’t allowed to play scrabble without supervision from a secondary student or a teacher. The thought of getting to play scrabble under my watch made her eyes light up.

‘Unscramble. M. M. M. Scrabble is A. A. A.’

I explain the meaning of unscramble and off she goes to complete the work.

I was driving home one day and started thinking of ways I could encourage my students to build up the word in their vocabulary. Most of them aren’t fans of reading. My thoughts drove me don memory lane, right to when I was a 13 year old.

On weekends, my siblings and I would play Scrabble with my parents. We will have to have a dictionary with us to look up words to make together with its meaning. We were learning a myriad of words just by playing the board. I asked myself if my students would respond the same way I did toward playing Scrabble.

What if this isn’t the way they want to learn?

What if it is…

So months ago, I bought the Scrabble board for my secondary students to use as a tool to build their vocabulary. The rules were simple:

  • You must have a dictionary with you when you are playing
  • Ensure there are 100 tiles at the start and end
  • First timers get my assistance
  • After that, I get half the points from the word I help put on the board
  • Keep the scrabble board accordingly

The kids are now addicted to the board. Everyday, they come seeking the permission to play. I would randomly walk around to check the board and ask them to explain the meaning of the words they have created. Even with that, they do not feel the stress of having to answer. They continue playing and learning.

I expected them to play scrabble. But not as committed as they are now. I am beyond happy that they have picked up another great habit and game. Some are even going to get their parents to get a board at home. One board is RM100. Take it from me: it is a worthy investment.



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