Thursday, December 1, 2016

Beat the Clock!

Beat the Clock is a variation of the Hangman Game. I prefer this variation as it is less gruesome  : )   and it conveniently reinforces the concept of 12 numbers on the clock. This resource available in three formats (regular, PCS, SymbolStix) from the Teachers Pay Teachers site, displays well on an interactive whiteboard and who doesn’t love those pen tools for marking the page! 

You can also use this resource on an iPad as the Microsoft PowerPoint app does have a pen tool that you can access by tapping the very top of the page while in presentation mode. You do have to ‘toggle back and forth’ between ‘pen’ and ‘no pen’ settings so vigilant coordination is required.

The game is initiated by first delineating the number of letters in a mystery word. The letter count is denoted as a series of horizontal lines at the bottom of the mystery word box. Students take turns (round robin) guessing a letter that they think might be in the mystery word.

An alphabet chart is provided on the Powerpoint slide to assist students with letter recall. Some teachers also give each student their own alphabet chart to manage as the game is played. The vowels on the chart are displayed in red; the consonants are blue to heighten this important distinction.

If the guessed letter is correct, it is written on its corresponding line in the mystery word.

If the guessed letter is incorrect, (Tick tock, no it’s not!) the next pie-shaped section of the clock is tapped to reveal the ongoing number count. Students have 12 chances to guess the mystery word before Boom! the clock runs out and the clock wins that game.

After each guess, correct or incorrect, the  pen tool is used to mark a slash across the letter to keep an ongoing record of what letters have already been guessed.

Although there are a variety of ways to conduct this literacy activity, a paradigm of ‘the class’ against ‘the clock’ is a great way to encourage team spirit and lots of peer-peer interaction (“You already guessed that one.  Yay team! Guess a vowel. ) A chart is provided to keep score over time. In many classrooms this activity was conducted just about every day.  Teachers usually print out ‘hard copy’ of the score chart page and display it next to the interactive whiteboard. The chart then becomes a math activity!

Students who are functionally non-speaking should have access to a system that allows them to participate in the Beat the Clock game. 

In this picture a little boy is using his head switch to scan key phrase-based messages and an encoded eye-pointing system to guess letters. To select a letter, he eye-points to the target letter, presented on the frame as a pair. To further delineate which of the paired letters he desires, he looks up/down or left/right, depending on whether the pair is horizontal or vertically presented on the frame.

For further information check out the resource, Constructing an Eye-Gaze Frame on the Teachers Pay Teachers site.

Be creative! 

…’til the next post …  (new posts every Monday)

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©2016 Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.
Augmentative Communication Consultant
Speech-Language Pathologist
Special Educator