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Showing posts with label vocabulary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vocabulary. Show all posts

The Bulgaria Game: A Team Building Game for Imaginative Children

 Brain research tells us that getting students engaged physically will help learning happen!

This game is a great "filler" that will get the kiddos thinking about communication without words.

The Bulgaria Game: This game is a great filler that will get the kiddos thinking of communication without words. Plus, you can connect it to the curriculum, too!

The game's title only works well if you don't have anyone in your group that speaks Bulgarian. If you do have someone who speaks Bulgarian, you'll have to change the name of the game to some language that no one knows, since the game depends on broken lines of communication.

Here's the scenario: you happen to be traveling through Bulgaria. You need something, so you pull over into a convenience store.

Unfortunately, the people working in the store only speak Bulgarian, which you don't speak. 

Therefore, you have to "act out" what you'll need!

There are a couple of ways to proceed once they know the story:

1. Let individuals think of things to act out.
2. Let groups think of things to act out.
3. Have slips written up with things to act out.

Of course, #3 can be done with individuals or teams.

If you go with #3, you can find ways to use content vocabulary and make it count as academic! 

Yes, it's not very likely that they'll have to pull into a convenience store in Bulgaria for landforms or geometric shapes, but they are usually having so much fun acting out vocabulary words, they don't mind!

 A word of caution: some children are VERY competitive, and try to make it difficult for others to guess their word. Or, they're disappointed if their audience figures it out right away. 

I have to remind them that the goal of the game is to communicate enough information so that their audience understands what they're acting out. If the audience gets it right away, they have communicated successfully!

I know, it's kind of a silly scenario just to get children to act things out, but it's a fun story, and the children enjoy it!

After all, if it motivates the students to engage, it's successful!

The Bulgaria Game: This game is a great filler that will get the kiddos thinking of communication without words. Plus, you can connect it to the curriculum, too!

A Fun Way to Review Basic Information

If you're not familiar with the game of Scoot, it's time you learned! It can be played with any type of task card that would have a quick answer.  (There are other awesome types of task cards for skills that require more time and thinking, but that's not what Scoot is about!)  

A Fun Way to Review Basic Information: This is a great end-of-the-year, beginning of the year, or anytime game, with suggestions on how to use it.

Brain research suggests that including movement will help the brain function more efficiently. Scoot has the children moving from place to place, which not only gets the brain going, but it makes the whole thing more fun for the kids! Individual cards are placed throughout the classroom, and the children move from spot to spot, performing the task, recording the answer on their answer sheet, then moving onto the next card in the next part of the room when the teacher calls "Scoot"! After much scooting, the children return to their starting spot.

For more about how Scoot works, see THIS BLOG POST.

I've used these with small groups and large groups. Sometimes you can take a few cards, have a handful of kids scoot through those, and save the rest of the cards in the series for another day.

The kids love Scoot! It's a great way to add fun to a review that can be rather mundane, like parts of speech or vowel sounds.  Yet, these things need to be practiced so these skills are strengthened.

A couple of years ago, I spent some time making several sets of Task Cards that are perfect for Scoot playing. I've spent the last couple of days updating these sets.

First of all, there's my forever freebie, in honor of a young man we lost a couple of years ago. See THIS BLOG POST for more information about why this is a forever freebie.

Social Studies Review: Scoot or Task Cards is a collection of questions on mapping and general Social Studies knowledge.  It can be played as a Scoot game, or just individual task cards. I made it to review end of the year second grade skills, but have heard that it's great review for older children as well!  See the image below to download this freebie.


Another product in this series, Vocabulary Review: Scoot or Task Cards gives the children vocabulary practice and review with prefixes, suffixes, antonyms and synonyms. (See image for link.)

Mathematics Review: Scoot orTask Cards reviews time, money, place value, measurement, story problems and fact families. (See image for link.)


Language Review: Scoot or Task Cards practices parts of speech:  nouns, proper nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. (See image for link.)


Phonics Review: Scoot or Task Cards practice vowel sounds: short vowels, long vowels, r-controlled vowels, and vowel teams. (See image for link.)


Science Review: Scoot or Task Cards reviews all sorts of beginning science concepts: five senses, basic biology, chemistry, astronomy, plants, and weather.


Plus, I have a set that bundles all 6 sets!  Combined Review- Word Work, Math, Science and Social Studies: Scoot or Task Cards gives you weeks worth of review activities for all subjects! This is a fun way to spend those last few weeks when the children just can't sit still and have lost their attention spans, or a great way to start the year, making sure they have the background knowledge they need.


But there's even more good news: All these items are available digitally with Boom Learning!


 These are perfect for end of the year review, summer practice, or back to school reviewing basic concepts. They're appropriate for grades 2, 3, or 4!

A Fun Way to Review Basic Information: This is a great end-of-the-year, beginning of the year, or anytime game, with suggestions on how to use it.

Ten Easy Learning Games

I love to use games for my students to practice their skills. Games bring into play several important concepts from Brain Based Learning. (Pardon the pun!) Plus, they're fun!

Ten Easy Learning Games -  Here are some easy ways to make learning fun, and all you need are some games you probably have on hand!
FYI - Images are affiliate links to Amazon, in case you're interested!

Here are ten games that are easy to use:

1. Around the World  

This is typically a game to drill basic math facts, but it really can be used in many different ways. The children sit in a circle. One person starts the game by standing behind another child. Those two children compete to be the first to answer a fact. Whoever wins, goes to stand behind the next child. The contests continue around the circle until someone moves all the way "around the world". Math facts on cards work well, but I've also used clocks, cards with money, or fraction cards. I've never tried, but I'm sure it can be played with sight words, too.

 2. Twenty questions 

This game is older than I am, but really gets the kids thinking and asking questions. It's a great time filler.  The only rule: all questions must be "yes or no" questions. After a few times through, the kids catch onto generalities such as "Is it an animal?" With my little ones, I try to limit it to general categories, and I have them write down what they've chosen for the others to guess. (Sometimes I'll even give them slips of paper to choose that are related to things we've been learning.)

3. Jeopardy  

There are so many possibilities with Jeopardy! It does take a little planning, but the kids love it! Here's a link to make your own game!

4. Yahtzee 

This is a great way to practice those addition skills as well as add the thinking skills! It takes some strategy to play Yahtzee! Beware, it's addicting!

5. Apples to Apples  

My students could play this all day, and why not? It practices their reading skills as well as thinking skills such as categorizing. The best part:  you'll hear lots of giggling!

6. Scrabble 

 Combining spelling, vocabulary, adding, and strategy, it's a win-win-win-win, even if they lose!

7. Dominoes 

Dominoes are great for practicing math facts! They add the two sides together to find the sum! The best part is when they get the fact correct, they can build with the dominoes. My kids LOVE this!

8. Twenty One 

If we were in Vegas, they'd call it Black Jack. Yep, it's the same game, without the gambling. Students get two cards, add them together, and decide if they want another card. It's addition and strategy, and it's fun!

9. Dice 

There are tons of games to be played with dice. I have lots of them! The children can add the sum of two dice, or they can add three (or more) if they're ready! They also can roll two dice and make a two digit number out of it, then roll a second two digit number to add (or subtract). I do these two digit number games often, where the children write the numbers on their whiteboards and add them up. Sometimes we use the base ten blocks to "act it out" as well.

10. Any Board Game  

With a little tweaking, one can turn any board game into a learning game. Before each turn, the children have to perform some sort of task. It can be a math fact, a vocabulary word, a math challenge, task cards, or just about anything.

Games are a big part of my classroom, as you might have guessed. This is just the beginning. I'd love to hear your ideas for classroom games, too!

Ten Easy Learning Games -  Here are some easy ways to make learning fun, and all you need are some games you probably have on hand!

Getting to the Fun, Not the Tedious

Almost empty!
Well, I'm making progress! I spent several hours in my classroom again yesterday, and I'm beginning to see my actual classroom unearthing itself from the "explosion" it's been!

I've emptied out most of the stuff from the cubbies and coat rack area that was stuffed there last June, and found a home for most of that stuff. 
Matching baskets!

I've rearranged my class Library so that all the books are organized in coordinating baskets!  This was no easy task, but I'm feeling mighty proud of this!  There are still a few labels in the laminating process, but it will be ready for Open House. 
I even have my calendar bulletin board up, and the large group area set aside.  Once a long time ago, I remember young teachers (I was one at the time) making fun of older teachers because they put the same furniture in the same place every year.  I vowed then that I wouldn't be one of "those teachers." 
This year's change:  Large group area to the right
I understand now how, after being in a classroom for a few years, there are certain arrangements that work.  My computers have to be on a certain wall.  My desks need to be near the whiteboard, since we do so much board work in Reading Street and Everyday Mathematics.  I like my reading table near a bulletin board, since I usually post vocabulary and learning targets on that bulletin board.  But I try to "shake it up" every year by putting different things in different places.  This year, I've moved my whole group area to the area right behind the computer table.  I'm excited about this change!

Today's tasks:  find the classroom!
Today's plan:  put up the rest of my bulletin board, put down the "mat" (sort of like a rug, but rubber), and start sorting the supplies for the students.  I have a ton of laminated stuff to cut out, and folders to put together for homework, classwork, math tools, and writing.  Whew!
But at least my classroom is starting to look like my classroom.  The stuff I have left is the fun stuff, the most tedious stuff is complete, whoooo hoooo!
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