Sunday, September 30, 2012

Classic Classroom Games + a FREEBIE!

Hi, Teaching Friends!

Don't you just love classic classroom games? I'm thinking about games like Bingo and Four-in-a-Row.  There are so many advantages to using these games for reinforcing skills...

Students LOVE them! (so they want to play them again and again... more review! Yay!)

They are versatile. A good classic game is usually adaptable to a multitude of skills across the curriculum. You can make one basic game board, dress it up a bit by putting a different sticker on it or using different playing pieces, and use it all year!

They are not age-specific. They're simple enough for our little guys to grasp and apply the rules, but not babyish for the older kids.

The rules don't need to be retaught each time a new version is introduced.  This alone is worth its weight in time-saving gold!! Here's a little trick: For any classic game, appoint a class expert, e.g Four-in-a-Row Expert. Post a chart of your experts, and save yourself many interruptions as the other students go to the expert rather than you for rule reminders.

When I think of classic classroom games, I also think of the newer classics, like Zap! (which you may know as Boo!, Zing!, or one of its thousand other reincarnations!), Sparkle, and Bump. Wow, sounds like a noisy bunch of noisy games! Which they usually are, right? :)

Here's Spiderweb, a free game for you which I hope will become a go-to in your classroom.

Spiderweb is of course cool at this time of year, but with Spidey and his movies being so popular, you can use this game all year!

The game  was designed to use with word wall words, but here are a few more ideas to increase the versatility.

For ELA:  Have students write proper nouns in each diamond. How about spelling words, vocabulary words, abbreviations, contractions, antonyms, or synonyms?  You could provide a list for each pair of partners (or put it up on your SMART board for all groups), e.g. hot, early, short, hard -
students would write cold, late, long, or soft in their diamond.

For math: Provide a list as above, but this time you might use addition or subtraction facts, numbers (they'd write 10 more 10 less), coin groups (count coins, they'd write the amount), analog clocks (they'd write the time in digital format), or pictures of geometric shapes (they'd write the name).

Science or Social Studies: For the older kids, how about state capitals? Or state map outlines (they'd write the state name or abbreviation)?  For younger kids, do a quick shared writing as a review of your current topic, making a word web of vocabulary on your current teaching topic. Then have students use the words to play Spiderweb.

Here's the game board.

Click on the cover below to get your free copy at my TeachersPayTeachers store.

If you're looking for more games that you can program to the skill of your choice, please take a look at my resource "Programmable Board Games". Each set (there are sets for K-1, 2-3, and 4-5) includes
20 gameboards, cards, spinners, game cube, and more than a dozen ideas for grade-appropriate programming. There are 3 basic ways to play the games, so each set can actually provide you with 60 different games!

Thanks so much for stopping by today! What are some of the classic games your class enjoys playing?


Happy Teaching!

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