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## 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 doesn't take them long 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, white boards, number grids, a calculator, or mental math to figure out the winner of each round. (Teacher's choice!)

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

Explore the image or explore this link: The Greatest Sum

Explore the image below or explore this link: The Greatest Sum Sampler for a freebie sample to try out!

## Yes, the last few weeks have been very busy! I'm VERY tired, and so are the kids, but we've got a couple more school days to survive!

It's time to pull all the stops out! Time for high interest activities that involve conversation and movement.  Here are some ideas:

I'll be pulling out this activity from my Science and Social Studies Printables for November.

We'll also be reading informational text and learning about turkeys! (This is also in the Science and Social Studies Printables for November.)

I like to let the children work in pairs or small groups while working in these informational text booklets. It encourages conversation to discuss the information they are learning, and encourages them to use their new vocabulary.

Finally, we'll be getting our reading, writing, word work, and math skills in with these Fun No Prep Activities for Thanksgiving.

## How are you keeping the children focused during this busy time?

### What would you do if you were president?

Children shouldn't have to deal with actual politics, especially since these days politics can be far too hurtful and controversial! I think it's best to go in a different direction with kids.

This year, on election day, we voted for our favorite Indoor Recess Game. Sorry won, with Battleship a close second. We graphed our votes, and drew some conclusions from the data.

## A couple of days later, we had a fabulous discussion.

I asked them what they would do if they were President of the United States.  Their answers were amazing!

## Here are some of my favorites:

• I would get rid of smoking.
• I would expect people to try to get along.
• I would get rid of drugs.
• I would make sure people stopped hurting each other.
• I would have people smile more.
• I would let people wear their hair however they want.
• I would have the rich people use their extra money to help the poor people.
• I would get rid of junk food.
• I would make everyone read.
• I would make sure people are healthy.
• I would make people exercise.
• I would get rid of bullies.

Honestly, I was inspired and proud! I half expected "typical" kid answers: no homework, no bedtimes, more video games... but they didn't go in that direction at all!

## They've got my vote!

Here's a little freebie with this prompt and another prompt as well:

## Here's a group game that will bring out the giggles in everyone!

It can be played at Morning Meeting, indoor recess, or any time of day. It's called True or False?

One person is "it". That person makes two statements. One is a true statement, the other is a false statement. It might sound something like this:  "I have an older brother. I have a baby sister." The others have to guess which is the fallacy.  It sounds so simple, but when the kids try to make up false statements, the giggles begin!

Usually, it's pretty easy to guess the false statement, but that's not really what it's about. It's really about the giggles! After all, a good laugh is healthy!

This game can easily be played in the classroom OR in a virtual learning experience.

For more team building games see:

### Election Day Options for Little Learners

I'm tired of watching the attack ads all over the TV, my phone ringing constantly, getting flyer after flyer in the mail, and the signs all over town. Luckily, this campaign season is almost over, thank goodness!

I also think it's important to teach the importance of the election to the little ones. But in a gentler, kinder fashion.

We vote for our favorite indoor recess game! See the above image or see HERE for this freebie for Election Day. It includes ballots, graphs, and suggestions for the day.

We've been working on common and proper nouns, so I've cooked up this matching game with an election theme. I find ANY special day makes learning more fun, doesn't it? This set has several options, including a board game. You can learn more about this set HERE, or by see the image.

There's a smaller, freebie version of this activity, which can be found here: Election Freebie

Kids always need brain breaks, and squeezing in a little patriotism doesn't hurt! See the image or see HERE to download this freebie!

## Here are a few strategies, based on research, that will help kiddos remember spelling words.

1.  Spell it aloud! The act of saying the letters along with hearing the letters helps the pathways form in the brain.

2. Get them moving! Studies show a connection between movement and memory. Students can bounce a basketball while spelling, jump while spelling, or even do interpretive dance while spelling the words.

3. Integrate Music! Ever notice how you can remember song lyrics from years ago that you never even tried to memorize? Music is closely connected to memory! Make up a little tune to the spelling of the words, or have the children make it up!

4. Integrate the Arts! Have the children write the spelling words, then make up a design around them. Or, you could have them paint their words! Don't forget the performing arts: they could dance their words or act out their words!

5. Color code! Brains really connect to colors! Have the children write the words using one color for vowels, and one color for consonants.

6. Hands on! Use blocks, toothpicks, pipe cleaners or other manipulatives to create the words.

7. Get social! Get the kiddos to have conversations about their words. They can talk about the letters that follow the rules, and the letters that DON'T follow the rules. (Add color coding to this one, and that doubles the chance they'll remember the spelling!)

## Want more ideas?

This is a set of task cards with 48 color and 48 black and white task cards that can be used with any spelling list!

These cards contain activities based on brain research that include integrating the arts, multi-modality, and multiple intelligences. This set of sight word practice task cards is perfect for a word work center, homework, or extra practice in any setting.

## I played a game with my students this week, since we were studying even and odd numbers.

I remember doing this activity as a child.
I don't remember what we called it.

I don't remember much about it at all, so I shared with my students what I remembered, and made up the rest.

## Here's how we did it.

1 .Children chose partners.
2. The partners decided who would represent even, and who would represent odd.
3. Players stood facing each other with one hand behind their back.
4. One partner said, "One, two, three, shoot!"
5. On "shoot," each player shoots out 0, 1, or 2 fingers.
6. Both players determine if the total fingers is even or odd, and that player gets a point for that round.
7. Play continues until time runs out, with players keeping track of how many points for "even" or "odd."
A more advanced version: use up to 5 fingers for each draw.
Another way: use dice, add them, odd or even gets a point. They can keep tallies on a whiteboard to keep score.  Playing cards would work, too!

## All my games end with a handshake and the words, "good game!"

I had all my students playing with partners at the same time. Of course, I had to join in the fun since I have an odd number of students. We now play this game often as part of our Morning Meeting or as a Math warm up!