Hello Out There! I’m glad to be back up and running this week! I love technology, but when it goes down– whew!
A friend said to me yesterday, “I have 37 days left with kids!” To which we both smiled!! So, as the end of the school year draws closer, I want to highlight ways we can use this time to enrich our students and build on the learning they’ve experienced this year. With that in mind, this month Transformation Tuesday is all about ways to
survive enrich the last weeks of school.
If you’ve been a reader of this blog for any length of time, you know that I’m a big proponent of using games in the classroom. Besides being fun and engaging, games provide an opportunity to reinforce grade level content and skills in a non-routine way. Last week, when I attended the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’s (NCTM) annual conference in San Antonio, I attended a session about using quality tasks. The presenter talked about the usefulness of games and how games can become quality tasks if we do something with them beyond just playing the game. When we use games to emphasize skill and strategy, they become stronger learning tools.
Here are some ways you can use games to enrich these last few weeks of school:
- Begin your lesson with a game to engage your students right from the start. Engagement games include those that have opportunities to prepare students for the upcoming lesson. For example, if we are working on subtracting larger numbers, I might start with a few rounds of Race to 100. If we are working on adding decimals, I might give the students a die and have them record four squares on a piece of paper to represent two decimal numbers. (This looks like two sets of a zero, a decimal point, and two squares with an addition sign between them). Then students roll the die five times and fill-in the boxes to try to achieve a sum as close to one whole as possible. (For this game, students get to decide where to place each digit they roll and have the opportunity to discard one roll.)
- Use games as a brain break for your students. Games like Connect Four, Connect Five, and Salute provide opportunities to take a mental break from the lesson and practice math facts at the same time.
- Include games in your station rotations. This is a perfect opportunity to pull-out games with which the students are familiar and include them as a station task.
Games can be used in a variety of ways to help enrich your curriculum. Try recycling some of your old games and give them a new purpose by using one of the ideas above.