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May 18, 2015

Bubble Wrap Reading Games

By Brian Smith
Grades PreK–K, 1–2

    Do you need to put a little pop into a guided reading lesson to get your students’ attention? Bubble wrap may just be the answer that you are looking for! I have always been fascinated with bubble wrap, and have spent more time than I care to admit, sitting around, popping bubbles of air. There are several academically engaging games you can play with your students using this treasured resource.

     

     

    Reuse the Wrap

    Found Bubble Wrap!You can go to your local post office or shipping stores to buy bubble wrap, but I tend to run out of money before I get all of the must-haves for my classroom. This means I never get to buy the I-really-wants on my list like bubble wrap. However, I occasionally get lucky! This year, one of my classroom must-haves came wrapped in the perfect bubble wrap — the kind with the big bubbles. I was thrilled when the slant boards I ordered to help my students with their handwriting finally came in, but I got beyond excited to see them wrapped in bubble wrap I could reuse.

     

    Check Twice, Cut Once
    Cut Carefully

    When you see bubble wrap in all its glory, approach it carefully. Strategically use your scissors to cut it so that you can salvage as much as possible. That old saying about measuring wood twice and cutting once also applies to bubble wrap. You will have to work your way through the tape, but if you have a game plan before your first cut, you will save a lot more of the bubbles.

     

     

     

    Make Your Bubble Cards

    Make Bubble Wrap CardsTo use the bubble wrap in your classroom, you will need to cut small squares. I try to get 20 to 30 bubbles on each square of wrap that I cut out. The easiest thing to do is to cut the first square, and then use it as a pattern as you cut the rest of the squares from your wrap.

     

     

     

    Bubble Writing
    Writing on a bubble

    I have often wondered if I love Sharpies because I am a teacher or if I am a teacher because I love Sharpies. I say that because I always use Sharpies to write on my bubbles. They don’t smear like other markers. Once a marker has smeared across a bubble, that bubble can’t be used and that is a complete waste of a good bubble wrap bubble. You will need to gently pinch each bubble to write on it. Without pinching the bubble to gather all the air to the middle, the letters don’t turn out correctly. Once you have made your cards you can play any of the games described below.

     

    The Bubble Wrap Games

    I always use my bubble wrap for literacy games during guided reading, but you could modify any of these games for math as well. 

    Bubbles Up Close1. First One Finished

    Number of Students:

    Two or more (however many you feel you can manage)

    Objective:

    Be the first to spell the word on your paper and then pop the bubbles with the corresponding letters.

    Scoring:

    The first person to spell the word correctly and pop the correct bubbles gets the same number of points as the number of players. Eight players means that the first person finished gets eight points, the second person finished gets seven points, and so on down the line until the last person finished gets one point.

    How to Play:

    Write letters on the bubble wrap squares to match the letters of the words that the students are going to be spelling. Each student gets a sheet of paper and a bubble wrap square. The teacher calls out a word, each student spells it, and gets it checked by the teacher. Once the teacher has checked the spelling, the student starts popping bubbles until they have popped all the letters in the word.

    Variations:

    • If your students are spelling smaller words, you can write the entire word on one bubble. Just make sure you use a fine point Sharpie so the words are clear.

    • Make the cards a combination of letters and words. That way you can include more words in the game.

    2. Pop Goes the Letter

    Number of Students:

    One or more

    Objective:

    Matching letters

    Scoring:

    Each letter matched correctly gets a point.

    How to Play:

    Say a letter sound. The student pops the bubble with the corresponding letter or letters that makes that sound.

    Variations:

    • Show a picture. The student has to pop the bubble with the letter that corresponds to the first letter of the picture.

    • Show a letter flashcard and the student has to find the matching letter on their bubble wrap square.

    • If the student knows multiple spellings for different letters (an example is that they know the long a sound can be spelled a, a-e, ai, ay) then include all the spellings of the sound, and give one point for each one they find and pop independently.

    b/d Pop3. B/D Pop

    Number of Students:

    One

    Objective:

    Correct letter recognition of b and d.

    Scoring:

    The object is to get every letter in a single row correct in the shortest amount of time. Students play against their own previous time.

    How to Play:

    Write only the letters "b" and "d" on the bubble wrap. Have the student say the letter and sound (for example, b, /b/), and then pop the b on the bubble wrap before moving on to the next letter. Mix up the order of the letters so that there isn't a pattern. Your row of bubble wrap could look something like b b d b d d d b. Each row of the bubble wrap offers another try. Time how long it takes for the student to go through the top row, and then stop before they begin the next row. Each row of letters should be different.

    Variation:

    • Use any letters that students may mix up, even if it is the sounds that are confusing them. In the case of vowels for instance, students often get short e and short i sounds confused, so you can play e/i Pop.

    Do you have another bubble wrap game?  If you do, please share it in the comments below.

    Find me, dad2ella, on Twitter and Pinterest.

    I can’t wait to see you next week.

    Do you need to put a little pop into a guided reading lesson to get your students’ attention? Bubble wrap may just be the answer that you are looking for! I have always been fascinated with bubble wrap, and have spent more time than I care to admit, sitting around, popping bubbles of air. There are several academically engaging games you can play with your students using this treasured resource.

     

     

    Reuse the Wrap

    Found Bubble Wrap!You can go to your local post office or shipping stores to buy bubble wrap, but I tend to run out of money before I get all of the must-haves for my classroom. This means I never get to buy the I-really-wants on my list like bubble wrap. However, I occasionally get lucky! This year, one of my classroom must-haves came wrapped in the perfect bubble wrap — the kind with the big bubbles. I was thrilled when the slant boards I ordered to help my students with their handwriting finally came in, but I got beyond excited to see them wrapped in bubble wrap I could reuse.

     

    Check Twice, Cut Once
    Cut Carefully

    When you see bubble wrap in all its glory, approach it carefully. Strategically use your scissors to cut it so that you can salvage as much as possible. That old saying about measuring wood twice and cutting once also applies to bubble wrap. You will have to work your way through the tape, but if you have a game plan before your first cut, you will save a lot more of the bubbles.

     

     

     

    Make Your Bubble Cards

    Make Bubble Wrap CardsTo use the bubble wrap in your classroom, you will need to cut small squares. I try to get 20 to 30 bubbles on each square of wrap that I cut out. The easiest thing to do is to cut the first square, and then use it as a pattern as you cut the rest of the squares from your wrap.

     

     

     

    Bubble Writing
    Writing on a bubble

    I have often wondered if I love Sharpies because I am a teacher or if I am a teacher because I love Sharpies. I say that because I always use Sharpies to write on my bubbles. They don’t smear like other markers. Once a marker has smeared across a bubble, that bubble can’t be used and that is a complete waste of a good bubble wrap bubble. You will need to gently pinch each bubble to write on it. Without pinching the bubble to gather all the air to the middle, the letters don’t turn out correctly. Once you have made your cards you can play any of the games described below.

     

    The Bubble Wrap Games

    I always use my bubble wrap for literacy games during guided reading, but you could modify any of these games for math as well. 

    Bubbles Up Close1. First One Finished

    Number of Students:

    Two or more (however many you feel you can manage)

    Objective:

    Be the first to spell the word on your paper and then pop the bubbles with the corresponding letters.

    Scoring:

    The first person to spell the word correctly and pop the correct bubbles gets the same number of points as the number of players. Eight players means that the first person finished gets eight points, the second person finished gets seven points, and so on down the line until the last person finished gets one point.

    How to Play:

    Write letters on the bubble wrap squares to match the letters of the words that the students are going to be spelling. Each student gets a sheet of paper and a bubble wrap square. The teacher calls out a word, each student spells it, and gets it checked by the teacher. Once the teacher has checked the spelling, the student starts popping bubbles until they have popped all the letters in the word.

    Variations:

    • If your students are spelling smaller words, you can write the entire word on one bubble. Just make sure you use a fine point Sharpie so the words are clear.

    • Make the cards a combination of letters and words. That way you can include more words in the game.

    2. Pop Goes the Letter

    Number of Students:

    One or more

    Objective:

    Matching letters

    Scoring:

    Each letter matched correctly gets a point.

    How to Play:

    Say a letter sound. The student pops the bubble with the corresponding letter or letters that makes that sound.

    Variations:

    • Show a picture. The student has to pop the bubble with the letter that corresponds to the first letter of the picture.

    • Show a letter flashcard and the student has to find the matching letter on their bubble wrap square.

    • If the student knows multiple spellings for different letters (an example is that they know the long a sound can be spelled a, a-e, ai, ay) then include all the spellings of the sound, and give one point for each one they find and pop independently.

    b/d Pop3. B/D Pop

    Number of Students:

    One

    Objective:

    Correct letter recognition of b and d.

    Scoring:

    The object is to get every letter in a single row correct in the shortest amount of time. Students play against their own previous time.

    How to Play:

    Write only the letters "b" and "d" on the bubble wrap. Have the student say the letter and sound (for example, b, /b/), and then pop the b on the bubble wrap before moving on to the next letter. Mix up the order of the letters so that there isn't a pattern. Your row of bubble wrap could look something like b b d b d d d b. Each row of the bubble wrap offers another try. Time how long it takes for the student to go through the top row, and then stop before they begin the next row. Each row of letters should be different.

    Variation:

    • Use any letters that students may mix up, even if it is the sounds that are confusing them. In the case of vowels for instance, students often get short e and short i sounds confused, so you can play e/i Pop.

    Do you have another bubble wrap game?  If you do, please share it in the comments below.

    Find me, dad2ella, on Twitter and Pinterest.

    I can’t wait to see you next week.

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