The washing machine grammar device

It's almost time to go back to school - some people may already be there!
Twitter continues to throw up wonderful ideas and yesterday I found this brilliant young primary teacher's tweet,sharing his creation of a "prize box/super wish-wash miracle machine" Thanks Craig Birch for your great idea and look forward to following you on twitter  @TheMrBirch

So how do I think we can use this idea during the course of the year. 
Firstly I love it when there is a tool or device that can be used over and over again to explore a specific concept or to use a familiar tool or device to explore new ideas. Children love the familiarity too - it gives them something to hold on to!

Here is the "prize box/super wish-wash miracle machine" that Craig Birch shared......

It's a cardboard box that looks like a washing machine  and it's going to be a "super wish-wash word miracle machine" that can be used in lots of different ways to help UKS2 children  create sentences and texts in primary languages
It's a different device to practice age old sentence construction in a target language. The activities aren't ground breaking but the device adds a new dimension! 

Why do I want to try this? Well so often in my opinion children are fine at taking in and recalling words but when the "moving on and mixing up content elements" take place i.e.the construction of target language sentences or texts with an element of the unknown thrown in for good measure  then a lot of children (indeed adults!) panic.Perhaps that's why I like the idea of the washing machine - it's a different approach.It's entertaining and purposeful and it may perhaps help to stop some of those mental blocks..............

Here are my ideas:

  1. Putting  the washing in...simply going on a washing hunt,where just like you only put in the "whites" or "woollens" when washing,we only want to put in the adjectives or the nouns we can find in a text.All the children need to do is read a text,locate the key component(s) as defined by the teacher e.g verbs,write them on pieces of paper fold them up and add them to the washing.
  2. Taking the washing out - well then we can take out the washing and check if any "nouns etc" got in our "verbs" wash.
  3. Sorting the washing- maybe the activity is based on a basket of cards with words written on them and the children have to sort the washing . Only put nouns and adjectives in the awash or only put in verbs and personal pronouns. when the washing is complete, can the children create pairs (just like pairs of socks) but this time it will be matching adjectives to nouns or personal pronouns to parts of verbs   
  4. Sentence making - ask children to find and bring to you key parts of a sentence that you have pinned or blu-tacked around the room e.g. ask the children to find for you the nouns/ the adjectives/ the verbs/ the personal pronouns.Invite children to add the individual components to the "wish wash machine" and hang up your washing line- an item most primary classrooms already possesses! Count to ten and then one by one bring out the cards and ask the children to help you to create a sentence or sentences on your washing order so that it makes sense.
  5. Programme the washing machine- why not have a menu of programmes (simply written on the front of the machine)- sentences/ verbs/ imperatives/adjectives and nouns/ tenses (present, near future)? You can bring the washing machine out and add words, select the programme cycle and then challenge groups of children to take out the "washing" and put the washing together so that it matches the selected programme.  
  6. Miracle theme washing powder! Craig's name for his machine has an element of surprise to it I feel and so I think we can add miracle washing powder to our wash?!Whatever we have put in the machine when we hang out the washing to dry, the miracle washing powder gives us the confidence to be able to reconstruct a dialogue with punctuation pegs or put together a poem that rhymes- just using the word cards that we put into our washing machine!
So thanks to Craig and his brilliant tweet... I now have a new approach to reinforcing grammatical points, to sentence and text construction in the target language and a simple cardboard box that has become my re-usable and fun focus device the  "super wish-wash word miracle machine"!