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Are you ready for the big game?

If you're like me, you're taking advantage of the enthusiasm for the big game coming up!


It's Super Bowl time! Take advantage of the children's enthusiasm and let them enjoy some football themed learning experiences!

When children are excited about something, I always try to bring it into the classroom when I can. Books are a great place to start. (Click each image for a link to Amazon.)

                                            

There's a ton of kid-related Super Bowl videos on YouTube. Just google "Super Bowl for Kids!"

Here's one I found. The commercials are often the best part of the Super Bowl. I'm thinking I might have the children vote on their favorite. then make a graph of the voting. 
 

12 Funniest Super Bowl Commercials of all time



I'm sure you can find more YouTube videos that you can relate to classwork!

Here's a Super Bowl freebie with mapping and writing! Just explore the image.
It's Super Bowl time! Take advantage of the children's enthusiasm and let them enjoy some football themed learning experiences!


Here's a football themed gameboard, with 4 different games that could be played on it.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Football-Phonics-and-Counting-326949?utm_source=Elementary%20Matters%20Blog&utm_campaign=Four%20Football%20Games


Here's a freebie version of the above game, which practices Counting to 1,000. Just explore the image for the freebie!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Counting-to-1000-Football-Freebie-199093?utm_source=Elementary%20Matters%20blog&utm_campaign=Football%20Game%20Board%20Counting%20to%201000%20Freebie


This game can be played a few different ways, and always has the children giggling! All the verbs are football related, too! Football Past and Present Verbs.


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Football-Past-and-Present-Verbs-192586?utm_source=Elementary%20Matters%20Blog&utm_campaign=Football%20Past%20and%20Present%20Verbs


I also have a couple of "twin" football BINGO games. This math game practices adding and subtracting tens.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Adding-and-Subtracting-Ten-Football-Themed-BINGO-Game-301248?utm_source=Elementary%20Matters%20blog&utm_campaign=Touchdown%20adding%20and%20subtracting%2010



Here's the literacy "twin," Touchdown R-Controlled Vowels

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/R-Controlled-Vowels-Football-Themed-BINGO-Game-295619?utm_source=Elementary%20Matters%20blog&utm_campaign=Touchdown%20R%20Controlled%20Vowels


Looking for a little more math practice? Check this one out: 


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Football-Math-Story-Problems-4322160?utm_source=blog%20post%20Super%20Bowl&utm_campaign=Football%20math%20stories


Now here's the fun: all these football themed resources are now bundled at a great discount!
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RByRGP_ZOIY

With the excitement of the Super Bowl, having football related games will keep them engaged, and they might not realize that they are practicing important skills!


It's Super Bowl time! Take advantage of the children's enthusiasm and let them enjoy some football themed learning experiences!

How do we keep them engaged?

"They" can be a whole lot of learners. They are the "fast finishers", or maybe the "gifted". They can be children who are "high achievers", or just a child who already knows the concept you're working on because his older brother taught it to him.
How do we keep them engaged? Some children finish their daily work much faster than others. How can we keep them engaged without assigning "busy work?"

There are a million reasons a child might need an extra challenge to stay engaged. 

I know most schools have many ways to address the struggling students with Tier 2 and Tier 3, RTI, Title I, Special Education, and so on. But there's not all that much for those who learn easily or quickly. Yet, they are just as important! (Personally, I think they are ALL important, not just the ones who need to "up their test scores!")

Here are some things to NOT do: 
-give more practice on the same skill
-give "busy work" (work that won't advance the student's skills.)
-another grade level's work (This is a sticky subject, especially with some parents, but I truly believe that a child can be "enriched" without acceleration.)

Try to avoid most of the time:
-helping other students (again, it really doesn't advance the child's skills, but done occasionally can help reinforce the concepts.)

Better choices:
It's easier to challenge and engage early finishers in literacy. They can:
-read more challenging books
-read different genres
-write summaries or book reports
-write a story from another character's point of view
-write poetry
-write a play
-research a favorite subject and create a report

I could go on, but there are plenty of ideas all over the internet. (Check "early finishers" on Pinterest!)

Math can be a bit more of a challenge, because some kids struggle to grasp the daily lesson, while others breeze through the practice. We need to challenge the "fast finisher" brains by having them think of using strategies and procedures that will let them practice their skills with a little extra thinking.

Math choices:
-Yahtzee or other games that involve math strategies and planning
-Make their own math stories
-Complete or make their own math puzzles
-Practice facts with a friend
-Task cards, "I'm done" jars, or "What's next bulletin boards" (again, search Pinterest, there are tons of ideas out there!)
-computer games and tasks (such as BOOM computer task cards)

Here's a little video I made about one of my resources that fits this idea:



What other ideas do you have to keep them engaged?

How do we keep them engaged? Some children finish their daily work much faster than others. How can we keep them engaged without assigning "busy work?"


Five Finger Gratitude

Do you want to be happy? 
Do you want your students to be happy?
Did you know that being grateful helps a person be happy? Did you know it works for children, too. This post shares a couple of ways to show gratitude, and includes a freebie!
I've read from several sources, the key to happiness is showing gratitude. (See THIS ARTICLE for example.)
We as teachers know that happy children are in a better state for learning, aren't they?

Here's a trick that the kiddos love: Five Finger Gratitude!

It's a great activity to do during morning meeting, in between subjects, right after recess, or at the end of the day. 

The children (and teachers) just need to count their blessings on their hand! It shouldn't be tough to come up with 5 things, and the more they think of their five, they can come up with more and different thoughts of gratitude daily!

It's a good idea to let the children share their thoughts as often as possible. They can share whole group, small groups, or with partners, but sharing is important.

Another option: give the children Gratitude Journals! Any notebook will do, and the children can put these FREE labels on the covers! 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Gratitude-Journal-Labels-5100464?utm_source=5%20finger%20gratitude%20post&utm_campaign=gratitude%20journal%20labels

Of course, teachers can keep a gratitude journal, too! The children LOVE to hear the teacher's thoughts!

Be grateful!
Be happy!

Did you know that being grateful helps a person be happy? Did you know it works for children, too. This post shares a couple of ways to show gratitude, and includes a freebie!


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?



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