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Showing posts with label games. Show all posts
Showing posts with label games. Show all posts

Take Time to Enjoy Them!

Teaching can be crazy busy! 

In fact, it's easy to get discouraged by all the extra meetings and expectations for teachers these days.

Teaching can be crazy busy! In fact, it's easy to get discouraged by all the extra meetings and expectations for teachers these days. Here's my best advice: Take time to enjoy them! Here's how!
 

Here's my best advice:

If you're anything like me, the kids are the reason you went into teaching to begin with. It wasn't to go to meetings. It wasn't to analyze test data. It wasn't to impress the administration. It was the kids.

It's always been about the kids.

Once in a while, I have a "game day." 
 
I kind of sneak it in, pretending it's a reward for being good, but it's really giving them a way to appreciate the skills they have learned and my way of enjoying the kiddos. 

As I'm sure you're aware, most board games practice many academic skills and social skills the children need to work on: counting, reading, taking turns, listening to directions, showing kindness, and plenty more! I have a few favorites I'd like to share with you. 

Teaching can be crazy busy! In fact, it's easy to get discouraged by all the extra meetings and expectations for teachers these days. Here's my best advice: Take time to enjoy them! Here's how!
 
On a typical game day, I'll have a number of stations for the children, including a "work with teacher" station. That's when I pull out "Apples to Apples." (Explore image to see game at Amazon. It's an affiliate link. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you a thing. Promise!) 
 
Apples to Apples brings in important skills such as reading, categorizing, and respecting another's opinion. (If you know the game, the "judge's" opinion is law!)
 
Another reason I love this? It always includes loads of giggles! (I'll never forget the time one of my little guys put down the "my teacher" card for the category, "ugly." I knew something was up when he couldn't stop laughing as he put down the card... he promised me it wasn't really true!) We all had a good laugh over that one!

Here are a few more recommendations: (These images also affiliate links to Amazon, I promise it doesn't cost you a thing!)

Teaching can be crazy busy! In fact, it's easy to get discouraged by all the extra meetings and expectations for teachers these days. Here's my best advice: Take time to enjoy them! Here's how!

Teaching can be crazy busy! In fact, it's easy to get discouraged by all the extra meetings and expectations for teachers these days. Here's my best advice: Take time to enjoy them! Here's how!
Teaching can be crazy busy! In fact, it's easy to get discouraged by all the extra meetings and expectations for teachers these days. Here's my best advice: Take time to enjoy them! Here's how!
Teaching can be crazy busy! In fact, it's easy to get discouraged by all the extra meetings and expectations for teachers these days. Here's my best advice: Take time to enjoy them! Here's how!

Teaching can be crazy busy! In fact, it's easy to get discouraged by all the extra meetings and expectations for teachers these days. Here's my best advice: Take time to enjoy them! Here's how!
A couple of games are great for practicing specific math skills. Yahtzee is a classic, plus it's addicting, so they'll play it again and again!
Teaching can be crazy busy! In fact, it's easy to get discouraged by all the extra meetings and expectations for teachers these days. Here's my best advice: Take time to enjoy them! Here's how!

There are a gazillion games that can be played with a regular deck of playing cards! I often give the children a deck of their own as a gift, or I'll buy a bunch for the whole class to share.

Teaching can be crazy busy! In fact, it's easy to get discouraged by all the extra meetings and expectations for teachers these days. Here's my best advice: Take time to enjoy them! Here's how!
I'm sure you know plenty of card games to teach the kiddos, and you don't, make some up! Even just putting the cards in order is great for those little minds developing Number sense!

Here's a game I absolutely LOVE. I didn't make it up, I found it on Shelley Gray's blog. It's called Salute. (That's NOT an affiliate link, it's just a link to Shelley's blog.)

The children work in groups of three. Two of the children place a card on their forehead, facing out so that everyone can see it but them. (The move is almost like a "salute," hence the name.)

The third person, whom I call the captain, tells the other two the sum of their 2 cards. Then they figure out what their own card is. (It's like missing addends, isn't it?)

Salute can also be played to practice multiplication skills. The "captain" tells the product of the two cards, otherwise, it works the same way!

What things do you do to enjoy them?



Six Ways to Integrate Team Building into Your Curriculum

Of course, I have always wanted my students to be successful in their school experiences. But I've always wanted more than that. I've wanted my students to be successful in life!

Six Ways to Integrate Team Building into Your Curriculum: this post lists 6 different Team Building Activities and ideas on fitting curriculum ideas into these games.

I recently did a search for skills needed for success in life. Most of the skills mentioned in each article overlapped. These are the ones that came up most often:

Six Ways to Integrate Team Building into Your Curriculum: this post lists 6 different Team Building Activities and ideas on fitting curriculum ideas into these games

There is so much we must teach in our classrooms these days. How could we possibly squeeze in these important skills as well?


It just so happens in my studies of brain research, I've been focused on numerous Team Building activities, and I've got some ideas on how we can squeeze these activities into our curriculum. (After all, brain research tells us that FUN is an element that helps a brain remember things!)

Countdown is a game the kiddos love, and there are many ways to tie some curriculum into the game! You can find a "Dollar Deal" download of this game here: How to Play CountdownIn "Countdown," all you need is a sequence. In second grade, I often play the game with skip counting, since that's something they need to hear and practice over and over. Other ideas for a sequence could be: seasons, states of matter, types of communities, types of rock formations, names of presidents, or countries in Europe. 

Speed Chatting is a Team Building activity that gives the children a chance to talk... a LOT! All you have to do to include an area of the curriculum is to give them a topic to discuss! It might be: books you've read, facts about weather, interesting words you know, a country in South America, or whatever you happen to be studying at the time! Plus, talking about what they're learning enhances the learning! You can see more about this activity here: Speed Chatting.

Paper Bag Dramatics is another fun Team Building activity. It involves creating skits with the props in a bag. This can easily be connected to the curriculum by putting things in each bag that are connected to an area of the curriculum. If you're studying the 5 senses, you can put things (or pictures, or word cards) that can be smelled or tasted. If you're studying plants, you can put some plant types (or pictures, or word cards) that show the parts of plants. Get it? You can find more about paper bag dramatics here: Paper Bag Dramatics.

Pass the Clap is a favorite for the kiddos! Now I'm having a hard time trying to think of a way to include curriculum ideas for this one, since it really doesn't include verbal communication. However, if you look at the list of important skills above, we've got #2 and #8 covered! If you can think of a way to include curriculum with this one, please leave it in the comments below. But in the meantime, squeeze this one in somewhere, since these are important skills. (It only takes a couple of minutes, and it's a great warm-up activity during Morning Meeting!) To read more about this game, see here: Pass the Clap.

High-Low is an activity I always play with students at the end of the day. However, it doesn't have to be at the end of the day. It could be at the end of a certain subject in school. The children could discuss the high and low of their math lesson, the book they're reading, a science experiment, a country they've been studying, and so on. As we know, talking about a lesson reinforces learning. Plus, they LOVE to talk about themselves! To learn more about this activity see here: High-Low.

Party Talk is super fun and a great culmination activity! I was introduced to this when I was taking my master's program in Creative Arts in Learning. In my Music Integration class, we were to do research on a composer. I chose to research Steven Sondheim, who composes a lot of music for the theatre. (Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd, FolliesCompany, etc.) Instead of having us get up and just talk about our composer, the instructor gave us "Hello My Name is" badges and we had a "cocktail party." We went around, with our (non-alcoholic) drinks, and introduced ourselves and talked about our lives. It was so much fun! Many years later, I was teaching 5th grade Social Studies. The children were researching famous people in the revolutionary war era. Of course I couldn't have a "cocktail party" with 5th graders, but we could have a "Boston Tea Party!" In this case, the kids were drinking tea, not dumping tea into the harbor. Again, we made "Hello My Name is" badges, served tea and "crumpets" and we had ourselves a tea party! Many of the kids even dressed up colonial style! I'm sure you can think of many other ways of having a "Party Talk."

Still looking for ideas to squeeze these important into your day? 

Be sure to check out this resource: 60 Team Building Games and Activities.


Six Ways to Integrate Team Building into Your Curriculum: this post lists 6 different Team Building Activities and ideas on fitting curriculum ideas into these games This post includes a freebie for one of my favorite games:  Countdown!

February Books, Resources, and Deals!

Can you believe February is upon us? 

I've got a bunch of ideas to help you get ready!
February Books Resources, and Deals! February is a very busy month. This post has several books and resources to help keep the kids engaged!


Groundhog Day is February second. Will that groundhog see his shadow? Well, here's a groundhog that can predict the weather! (Amazon affiliate.)

Here's a collection of Groundhog learning activities the kiddos will love:
Explore this image for a link to this money-saving resource.

The image will bring you to the bundle, but you can also grab individual resources if you prefer.

Have you had Day 100? Ours will be this Wednesday. Here's a great Day 100 book! (Amazon affiliate.)

This is a game that challenges my second graders, and they love it! 

Explore this image for a link to this fun resource.


This is a great activity if you're going to be out: easy directions, and the kiddos LOVE it! And it's great for developing their number sense.  Here's another Day 100 activity for "older" kiddos to practice sets of 100 Count to 1,000 Booklet.

Explore this image for a link to this popular resource.


And a Day 100 Dollar Deal for active kids...just see the image! Beanie Toss to 100


Explore this image for a link to this fun Day 100 dollar deal!


Guess what else is coming soon... Mardi Gras! These worksheets, games, and activities will keep them busy AND learning! Mardi Gras No Prep Activities: Literacy and Math

Explore this image for a link to this fun Mardi Gras resource.

Valentine's Day is the same week! Here's my VERY favorite book to read on Valentine's Day! This one will warm your heart and the kid's hearts as well! (Amazon affiliate.)

And a Valentine's Day Dollar Deal!


Explore this image for a link to this fun dollar deal!


Here are a few fun books for Presidents Day! (Amazon affiliates.)
          
Here's a game to help your kids remember which American holiday is which! Which Patriotic Holiday?

Explore this image for a link to this valuable resource.


Here are plenty of activities for the kids with an American President theme! President's Day Games and Activities

Explore this image for a link to this fun resource.


Want to make life a whole lot easier and grab a big bargain?  Here's a bundle with several different activities

Explore this image for a link to this money- and time-saving resource!

Hope these items help you get through February!


February Books Resources, and Deals! February is a very busy month. This post has several books and resources to help keep the kids engaged!

Halloween Favorites!

Halloween is one of my very favorite holidays! Why? Well, first of all, it's a chance to be something you're not. What kid (of all ages) doesn't like to play pretend? 

Halloween Favorites! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related dollar deals!.


I also love Halloween because of all the great children's literature out there!  Here are some favorites!

Who doesn't love Room on the Broom?
 
 


Dogzilla is a favorite in my classroom, along with its sister story, Kat Kong!
Halloween Favorites and Freebies! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related freebies.
Halloween Favorites and Freebies! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related freebies.
Halloween Favorites and Freebies! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related freebies.

I'll be exploring the world of bats this week with my class, and Gail Gibbons is my favorite author for information books for second graders. She manages to put information in a way that little ones can understand it. 

Halloween Favorites and Freebies! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related freebies.
I have 2 copies do In a Dark, Dark Room, and both copies are barely holding together!  That's a good sign it's a popular book!
 
Halloween Favorites and Freebies! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related freebies.

I also have a few Halloween related joke books, and they are wildly popular! (And a good time to introduce homophones, since most jokes depend upon a double meaning!)
 
Halloween Favorites and Freebies! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related freebies.

I usually read a kid's version of the classic: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow on Halloween day. If I have a class that can handle it, I'll turn off the lights, but I don't want to scare the dickens out of those sensitive ones!
 
Halloween Favorites and Freebies! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related freebies. 

Last, but certainly not least is my very favorite Halloween story, the Hallo-wiener! Who doesn't love a book where the underdog becomes the hero? (Pun intended!)

Halloween Favorites and Freebies! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related freebies.

Besides books, I try to squeeze in some Halloween fun wherever I can! 

Halloween Favorites! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related dollar deals!.

See the image above for this sampler of Halloween No Prep Worksheets and Printables! Or, for the whole set, see the image below:
 
Halloween Favorites! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related dollar deals!.

We're working on sentences in my classroom. This set saw a lot of attention last week! Just see the image!
Halloween Favorites! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related dollar deals!.
  
Or, if you'd prefer the full set, see this image!

Halloween Favorites! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related dollar deals!.

 Or perhaps you're looking for some math?

Halloween Favorites! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related dollar deals!.


Here's a fun trivia activity on the Boom Learning Platform:

Halloween Favorites! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related dollar deals!.

 Check out this fun Boom Learning deck with a mapping theme: Halloween Mapping!

Halloween Favorites! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related dollar deals!.


Still looking for Halloween resources? This bundle has plenty of October resources at a huge discount! 

Halloween Favorites! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related dollar deals!.

How do you celebrate Halloween?

What are your favorite books?

What are your favorite Halloween activities?

Halloween Favorites! This post has several book recommendations, resources, and even a couple of Halloween related dollar deals!.

 

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