Sunday, October 1, 2017

Best Multiplication Facts Game!!

I love coming up with new math games. Hearing my students beg to play a game or complain when it’s time to stop playing is one of my favorite sounds. I seem to create a ton of multiplication games in an attempt to make learning these facts fun for my students. This year, I have created my most successful game yet and I just must share.
It is called Badger Shuffle. This game lets the students practice a specific multiplication set such as ___ x4. You begin by having the students put their chairs in a large circle, then removing one chair. Next, you will write one product on and index card for each chair. Only use the products for the set you want to practice. For example, if you are practicing the x4 set, you would write 4, 8, 12, 16, 20… This is VERY IMPORTANT, you will need at least two of each product. Depending on the number of students playing, you may not be able to practice all the products during one game. You may want to leave off x1, x11, x12 if you have too. Once you make the cards, tape them to the back of each chair. Click here to checkout my ready-made chair cards available in my TpT store.

The student without a chair sits or stands in the middle of the circle. This student calls out a multiplication expression from the set you are practicing. For example, 4x6. Then, the students who have the product of that expression taped to their chair, must get up and swap seats. Students may not remain in their seat and they may not return to their original seat. There should be at least 2 students with this product. The student in the middle will attempt to take one of the seats while the players swap. At the end of the shuffle, someone will be left without a seat. This student will call out a multiplication expression and play continues. Click here to get Free a PDF of the directions.

Not only do my students love this game, they really do learn the set we are practicing. When an expression is called out, they immediately say the product. This repetition is perfect for some of my learners.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Place Value Daily Practice

Place value is one of those skills that help build true number sense. Giving students time to compare numbers and justify their answers increases their place value understanding. I have a set of 7 questions I like to use with my students. I call these questions the Sweet Seven. Students paste a copy of the question in their journals. Then, I provide them with three numbers to evaluate and answer in their journals. The numbers I select increase in difficulty as my students' skill level advances. Click here to get your FREE copy of the Sweet Seven!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Review with Hot Potato

My students enjoy playing Hot Potato to review. Not only is Hot Potato a fun game, it works for any subject! All you need a soft ball to serve as your "potato" and kid friendly music. Begin by setting some ground rules for the students. I tell my students the boys must throw to a girl that is seated and the girls must throw to a boy that is seated.

I usually make it a competition between the boys and girls because fourth graders love it. You can play without competing or you can compete by groups.

Play a kid friendly song and let the students begin tossing the "potato." When the music stops, I ask whoever touched it last a review question. I also ask a question to everyone that sits in that same position at the other groups. This allows me to ask several questions at once. It also give me a chance to check in or to assess kids that normally avoid answering questions. You could ask everyone at the group a question instead.

Play a couple of rounds prior to giving a test.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Rounding World Records

Rounding is definitely one of those skills my kiddos need to practice all year. It gets included in my math centers, spiral reviews, and basically anywhere I can pop estimating in. I have created a fun Christmas rounding review using Christmas themed world records. Click here to grab yourFREE copy of this set!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Cooperative Learning Rubric

My kiddos love working in cooperative groups. Let’s face it, they love to talk. I am tickled pink when they are talking about math, not so much when they get distracted and start talking about their weekends.

Each time we start a new task, I let my students select their own group. My rule is they are only allowed one person to be the same from the last group. I tell them to stand up push in their chairs and then I give them 1 minute to find a new seat. If they are not seated after one minute, I find a seat for them. For some classes, I have a few students that do not work well together. In these cases, I sit each one of these students down at different groups prior to starting the 1 minute clock. The other students will then fill in around them.

I few years ago, I created a cooperative learning rubric that works well with my students. I recently updated the rubric with adorable troll clipart, and I would like to share it with you.

Before I use the rubric with a class, I teach them HOW to work in a group. I let them model appropriate group behaviors. I show them quality work. I may have to do this throughout the year, depending on the class.

I print the rubric on half pages and give one to each group. I know not everyone agrees to competition in the classroom. I am a very competitive person and somehow can’t help turning everything into a game or competition. I tell my classes the group with the highest score will be rewarded. This is where knowing you class is valuable. What reward will be the most beneficial. Some classes like to clip up on our behavior chart, others like candy, while others like earning math game time.  As students get more proficient at working in groups, start using the reward more sporadically. Do not get rid of it all together, but keep them guessing.