Crosswords in the Classroom?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by XWordHobbyist, Dec 11, 2017.

  1. XWordHobbyist

    XWordHobbyist Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2017
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    8

    Dec 11, 2017

    Hi everyone!

    As a tutor and a blogger, I find that crosswords can be of assistance to students and readers if they are well-made and focused. I've seen varying reports on whether or not other teachers use crossword puzzles in the classrooms or for their lessons, and I'm curious to learn more about the subject. Do you use crossword puzzles? Why or why not? If you do use crossword puzzles, how do you use them?

    Thanks and I look forward to the discussion!

    Kristen
     
  2.  
  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    10,971
    Likes Received:
    2,707

    Dec 11, 2017

    I think crossword puzzles are a valid tool, teaching vocabulary and definitions. Word searches, on the other hand, try my patience and that of most of my students. I teach HS science, and ironically, I incorporated a crossword puzzle on Friday's lesson that helped reinforce some science vocabulary needed for this section.
     
    Obadiah likes this.
  4. Been There

    Been There Habitué

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    517

    Dec 12, 2017

    Check out the free online crossword puzzle generators. Use them to motivate students to enter their weekly spelling words and definitions. Project the puzzles from different students on-screen and have the class solve them using the different clues.
     
    Obadiah likes this.
  5. XWordHobbyist

    XWordHobbyist Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2017
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    8

    Dec 12, 2017

    Wonderful thoughts so far! I love the idea of projecting student-made crosswords and having the class solve them as a group.

    vickilyn, that's so funny that you just used a crossword in your class! What kind of science do you teach, and why do you find that word searches test patience?

    Been There, thanks for the tip! I've seen free and premium crossword puzzle makers, is there a reason you select the free ones instead? It seems if you're doing it on a weekly basis it might be worthwhile to have some extra features.
     
  6. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    1,180

    Dec 12, 2017

    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
    XWordHobbyist and Obadiah like this.
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    10,971
    Likes Received:
    2,707

    Dec 12, 2017

    Many students who have reading or learning disabilities really struggle with word searches. They struggle to keep all the letters in the proper sequence, and then you tell them that the words can come from any direction and go in any direction. I don't find any redeaming characteristics in them. Crosswords add to your knowledge. Finding scrambled letters on a page of scrambled letters doesn't add any new knowledge. Word searches are slot fillers, and I don't have the time for them.
     
  8. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,565
    Likes Received:
    744

    Dec 12, 2017

    I use them as "sponge" activities for fast finishers after tests and quizzes -- they can work on a puzzle for extra credit.
     
    XWordHobbyist and Obadiah like this.
  9. Doug_HSTeach_07

    Doug_HSTeach_07 Comrade

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
    Messages:
    363
    Likes Received:
    7

    Dec 12, 2017

    Yes- I use them all the time. puzzlemaker.com is an excellent resource for creating your own!
     
    Obadiah likes this.
  10. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    10,971
    Likes Received:
    2,707

    Dec 12, 2017

    I also use Crossword Puzzle Maker, and I make sure to save all that I make from scratch, as well as all of the premade word/clues that they offer, since they can be reused in future puzzles if they are content specific. I create them to go with any video we watch, to subtlety encourage students to actively seek out definitions from reading, and then to find the definitions when worded differently, increasing literacy by using the terms in different ways. Like I said, I consider them valid tools, and students who balk at a list of vocab words to define, will look up definitions to solve cross word puzzles. Consider me a teacher who loves to play with words and enhance the use of challenging words through what seems to be a simple game.
     
    Obadiah likes this.
  11. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2015
    Messages:
    1,358
    Likes Received:
    841

    Dec 13, 2017

    Crosswords enhance brain development in several ways. The brain seeks novelty, and the crossword puzzle itself plus the relationship between the clue and the answer is a form of novelty. The brain grows through challenges, and the challenge of a crossword puzzle also meets this demand. Often the relationship between the clue and the word can involve humor or some type of clever relationship, both of which enhance memory. The unique and clever method in which the words fit together on the puzzle enhances memory due to the uniqueness. At the elementary level, it also reinforces how the same letters are used in various words producing phonemes that might be the same or different.

    Concerning word searches, I have a difficult time matching word searches to specific lesson outcomes, with the minor exception of locating specific matching words. At an elementary level, I'm often fearful about students purposefully reading words backwards. On the other hand, I've effectively used number searches in the classroom. They are easily created on a spreadsheet. The students encircle equations (in any direction) and supply the operators/equals sign. As an added benefit, the students encircle equations that seem backwards to how they are normally written in class; (e.g., they see that 2+7=9 is the same as 9=7+2, reinforcing the actual meaning of equality. So many third graders think that = means "put down an answer".
     
  12. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    81

    Dec 13, 2017

    I hated them when I was a student due to my abysmal spelling abilities. I'd know the answer, but, I couldn't spell it half the time. :D As a teacher I think they're great, lol.
     
  13. XWordHobbyist

    XWordHobbyist Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2017
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    8

    Dec 13, 2017

    Thanks vickilyn for the clarification about word searches. That makes a lot of sense of why scrambled words for students still trying to understand standard word order could be frustrating.

    "Consider me a teacher who loves to play with words and enhance the use of challenging words through what seems to be a simple game."

    That sounds like a great teacher to me! ;)
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,958
    Likes Received:
    2,109

    Dec 13, 2017

    Ive used content area vocab croasword puzzles.
     
  15. vikashpicker

    vikashpicker New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2017
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1

    Dec 20, 2017

    Every playschool use crossword. I think crossword puzzles are a valid tool, teaching vocabulary and definitions.
     
    XWordHobbyist likes this.
  16. XWordHobbyist

    XWordHobbyist Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2017
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    8

    Dec 20, 2017

    Would you say that crosswords are ideal for kids in playschool, or that crosswords are good for any age? If they're good for any age, how do you think crosswords look similar or different?
     
    vikashpicker likes this.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. DreamerSeeker,
  2. Ima Teacher,
  3. waterfall,
  4. SaraFirst
Total: 218 (members: 7, guests: 189, robots: 22)
test