Monday, June 8, 2015

Make Quick-and-Easy Games... with Placemats!

Hi, Teaching Friends!

I love weekly summer linkies! They're a great way to discover new-to-you blogs as well as new ideas. Plus, as a blogger, they help me to blog more regularly (Thank you for THAT! Help wanted!)

In my opinion, one of the best weekly linkies around is Monday Made It at Fourth Grade Frolics. I've been following it ... and occasionally joining in... for a few years, and love it as a source of all kinds of fun and creative ideas, for the classroom, but also home, garden, and creative crafting in general!

So, I'm delighted to be joining up with Tara and lots of other bloggers this week to share this practically-instant game that you can adapt to lots of skills and levels.

Start with a plastic placemat. There are some really cute ones in themes your little learners will love, like Frozen and Cars, or something more generic like this one. You can even find these at the dollar store.

I'm a big fan of projects that I already have most of the supplies for. I'll bet you already have these, too!

Now it's time to stick the labels on and write!  Or, if you want something more permanent, just write directly on the mat. The bump game in the picture is a first grade favorite:  roll two dice, add ten to the sum, then cover the space. But there are soooo many ways you could change this to suit your students' level and needs:

* Roll one die. Add one ( or two, or ten, or...), cover.
* Roll one die. Cover the number that comes before it.
* Roll three dice, add, cover.
* Roll two dice, subtract the lesser from the greater, cover the difference.
* Roll three dice, add the two greater numbers, subtract the third number, cover.
* Roll two dice, add, add twenty ( or 30, or 50, or...) to the sum, cover.

For literacy,

* Use alphabet cards instead of dice. Match each uppercase to its lowercase partner.
* With alphabet cards again, cover the letter that comes before (or after) the one on your card.
* For fluency, prepare a list of six phrases or short sentences filled with your current sight words and    vocabulary. Roll one die, read the phrase smoothly, cover the number on the board.

Placemats are also great for making a quick path game. Just put the dot labels around the edges. A different color dot means move ahead/back a space.

You can build up a stock of these for lots of skills. Or you can just have a few and change out the labels/skills as needed, which is very handy for tutors and homeschoolers!

Thanks for stopping by! Head on over to 4th Grade Frolics for lots of Made It Monday links!

Happy Teaching!


  1. What a great idea! I see cute placemats all the time that would work really well! Thanks!

    Learning at the Teacher Table

    1. You're welcome, Donna! Kids love the novelty, too.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I like the idea of using placemats for different purposes. I found some with big polka dots at Walmart a few years ago that I cut and turned into 10-frames. I love that they are very durable!

    A Very Curious Class

    1. Isn't it fun to wander stores with your "teacher's eye" and find new uses for everyday objects? Your ten frames sound like a great idea!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...