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Showing posts with label strategy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label strategy. Show all posts

## Are you going crazy trying to get it all done?

If you're like me, you want to enjoy that last day with the students. I've got 7 steps I take on that last day. Today is about Step 3.

You can read about Step Two here: Leave Out a Few Favorite Games

Here is the third Strategy:

If you're anything like me, you have a TON of math games, but it's ok to pack those up, since there are several games that can be played with a simple deck of cards!

## Here are some easy card games they can play to review important math skills:

1. Addition War (Like regular war, but with 2 cards added together.)

2. Multiplication War (Like Addition War, but with the cards multiplied together.)

3. Salute This is one of my favorite games (and the kids, too!) I learned about it HERE. You can download a freebie with directions to the addition version as well as the multiplication version on this website.

4. Twenty-One Some people know this game as Blackjack, but this is the "non-gambling" version. This game requires addition skills as well as some strategy and thinking about probability. The children absolutely love this one! You can download directions for playing the game here: Twenty-One.

5. Solitaire I know, this doesn't have a specific math skill, but it sure does strengthen their Number Sense!

I'd love it if you shared your ideas for more educational ideas for playing cards!

## If you're getting ready for the end of the school year, I'm sure things are a little crazy. It's hard to enjoy the last day of school when there is so much to do, but I've got a few ideas for you.

Yesterday I shared my first strategy for a Happy Last Day of School: Read Your Favorite Book.

Today, and for the next 5 days, I'll be sharing a new strategy for a Happy Last Day of School. Here's today's strategy:

By this point, you've probably packed up most classroom games, but it's a good idea to keep out a couple of favorites for a happy last day of school.

I prefer games that include a little reading and a little thinking!

Apples to Apples is my group's favorite game. I love it because it creates lots of giggles, but also has some thinking skills and strategy. It even has a little reading! (Explore the link: this is an Amazon affiliate link.)

Battleship is also a favorite! There's not a whole lot of reading, but there's plenty of thinking involved! (The link is also an Amazom affiliate link.)

They don't have to be store-bought games!
They can be learning games you've had in your classroom, that the kiddos love to play over and over again!

Here's a resource that celebrates reading and the books the children have read during the year: Reading Celebration Game

I have a few other posts that focus on games:

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

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.

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!)

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!

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.

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!

## One of the hardest things for little mathematicians is figuring out how to solve word problems in math.

I have a little strategy that helps in many cases: get them to visualize the situation.

The other day, my students were doing a word problem that included measuring a ribbon, and comparing it to another ribbon.

They looked a little confused, so I suggested they pictured the story problem in their minds. Then I started asking questions...

Then I kept going.

Then I worked on getting them to visualize the story.

And a little more directed questioning...

This pretty much wrapped it up! (pardon the "ribbon" pun!) They were able to use the picture in their minds to solve the number problem.

## This strategy helps in many cases!

In fact, after a while, they start to ask themselves these questions and can solve the problems by themselves!

Of course, independence is our goal, but we have to lead them there, don't we?

## Here's a game my students have been playing for years called The Greatest Sum! I've put it together with lots of variations!

The basic game is played with two 2-digit numbers. The children choose one number square at a time, and decide where to place it on their boards. It takes them only a short time to figure out they should put the greater numbers in the tens column, and the lower numbers in the ones column. You can use the numbers included in this package, or you can use tiles, cubes, or other interesting manipulatives and write the numerals 0-9 on them, as I have done in these pictures.

## Here's how to play:

1. Place the tiles (or number squares) face down between 2 "Greatest Sum" boards.

2. The first player takes a tile and places it in one of the squares on his board. That player should think about which square might bring them the greatest sum, since he isn't allowed to move it once he lets go!

3. Play continues between the two players until all squares on both boards are filled.

4. Which player has the greatest sum? Players may use paper & pencil, whiteboards, number grids, a calculator, or mental math to determine each round's winner. (Teacher's choice!)

## As you can see in this preview, there are plenty of variations to this game!

Explore the image or explore this link: The Greatest Sum