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Posted by Janice Harrison (web_traveler@hotmail.com).

Teachers' World

Westgate Elem., Cadiz, OH

Materials Required: flashcards, spelling lists, or review facts

Activity Time: varies: 5-30 minutes

Concepts Taught: Review math facts, spelling words and content area facts

I am a great believer in games. The kids get so

involved and excited, they forget they are learning.

I've collected 10 of my favorites to share with you.

Some of the games I got from other people and some are

my own ideas. I always give a piece of candy, sticker, etc. to the winner. Of course, that is your choice. I hope you will save this file and try some of them

with your class. If you know of other good games that teach,

please post them on the messageboard.

1. Baseball Use this game to practice math facts or to review

facts in Science or Social Studies. Divide the class into two teams.

Decide with the class where the batter will stand, and where the

bases will be. Call team 1 up to the front of the room. The batter

gets a question or math fact to answer. If he gets it right, he

moves to 1st base. If he misses it, that is an out. I usually play

5 outs so we don't have to change teams as often. Students chalk

up their runs on the board as they come in. The other team sits

in their seats and holds up fingers to show the number of outs.

This game was the class favorite, and we always played it at

recess on rainy days.

2. Heads Up/7up with a new twist

Another rainy day favorite is Heads Up, but the kids always peek

to see who tapped them, so I've changed the rules a bit.

Select 7 players to come up front. Call out, "Heads down, all around."

Each child taps someone and then goes back up front. Call out,

"Heads up, 7 up", and the ones who were tapped stand up. Give each

student a math flash card fact or review question to answer. If she

gets it right, the one who tapped her must sit down and the new

player goes up front. If she is wrong, she sits back down and the

one who tapped her gets to stay up front.

3. Tic Tac Toe Bingo

This is a favorite of mine. It works well with any kind of

Math facts or letter or sight word recognition for smaller kids.

For each round, the kids draw a tic tac toe grid on paper. They

write in 9 answers, putting them anywhere they want. That way,

everyone's grid is different. The teacher calls out problems,

words, or letters. The first one to get three in a row, just like

tic tac toe, is the winner. Example: You are studying times tables

of 6. Write the answers to the tables on the board: 6, 12, 18, 24,

30, 36, 42, 48, 54. Students write these numbers on their grids.

Then say the problems or line flash cards without the answers up

on the chalk rail. If you hold up 6x6, they would circle the 36.

Kindergarten kids can write 9 letters, and first graders could

write in 9 sight words. Have the students make a new grid for

each new game. For sight words, I like to give clues instead of saying the word.

Ex. For stop, I might say, "It rhymes with hop and it means to quit. (Hint: Walk around and make sure they have written

in the answers before you begin the game. There's always someone

who tries to cheat.)

4. Around the world

This is another math facts practice game. Start at the front of

the room with the first 2 kids. They stand. Hold up a flash card.

The first one to say the answer gets to move on and challenge the

next student. The one who loses, sits down wherever he is. Only give

them one chance. If one child says the wrong answer, the other one

gets a chance. If they both miss, they both sit, and go on to the

next two kids. The winner is the first one to get back to his seat.

This can take awhile, but the kids love it. (Hint: Just skip anyone

who won't be quiet while waiting, and they will get the hint.)

5. Drop the clothespin/ or eraser basketball Divide into smaller teams for this game, either by rows, reading

groups, etc. Call up one team. Each time a student gets to right

answer (I like to use spelling words), she gets to drop a clothespin

into a jar, or throw an eraser into a wastebasket placed several feet

away. Let one of your students give out the words (Or math facts)

and another keep score, and you can just sit back and settle any

disputes.

6. Sparkle

This is a spelling practice game. It also forces them to be good

listeners. Again, divide into smaller teams of 6-8. Call up the first

group. Pronounce the word that is to be spelled. The first child

says the first letter. The second child says the second letter.

The third child says the third letter, etc. If they miss, they sit

down on the floor and the game continues. Do NOT repeat the word

and do not repeat the letters that have already been called out.

After the last letter of the word has been given, the next person

must say "Sparkle." The person after the sparkle person has to sit

down. Pronounce the next word.The last person left standing is the winner.

Then go on to the next group.

7. Math Wars This is a great game for reviewing difficult Math calculation and story problems. Call about 5 or 6 students up to the chalkboard. Give a difficult

math problem. Ex. For third graders, I might give: 423-179.

The first one to solve it correctly and sit down on the floor gets a

piece of candy or a sticker. Then she goes to her seat, and you call

up another child to take her place. Continue till everyone has a chance

to come to the board and win. This game also works great for story problems.

As a shorter variation, call up one row at a time. After someone wins, have the

whole row go back to their seats and call up the next row.

8. Math relay

Ahead of time, prepare two large grids on the board, for counting

from 1-100 or 400-500, a multiplication chart, etc. Divide into two groups and line

them up, facing the board. Each child gets to write in 1 number and then

goes to the end of the line. If a child sees a mistake, he may correct it

instead of writing a number. The first team to complete the chart correctly

is the winner. (Hint: I enforce a no talking rule during this game. Anyone who

talks must go to their seat.)

9. Another math relay

This is a variation of the other relay. You can have the kids count

by 2's, 3's, 5's, or 10's beginning with a certain number and working

until they reach a certain number. Write the beginning and ending

numbers on the chalkboard. For example, Count by 2's from 324 to 398.

10. Greater than/ Less than

Students always have trouble with this concept, so I came up with

this idea. I like to play it with a few students at a time, waiting

in line for lunch, the bus, etc. You say, "I am thinking of a number

between 1 and 25." Give each child a guess and after each guess, you

tell them if the answer is higher or lower than their guess. Let them

keep guessing until someone gets it right. Reward them with a piece of

candy. Keep using more difficult numbers as their skill level increases.

Ex. "I'm thinking of a number between 7