Attention Getter (Mary Katherine Ellis)
Clap your hands. (clap, clap, clap)
Stomp your feet. (stomp, stomp, stomp)
Quietly take a seat.
*After students become familiar with this, some will start sitting down before time. Encourage them to listen to directions by adding:
Tap your knee!
Touch your toes!
Air Hug (Mary Katherine Ellis)
Open your arms like giving a huge hug in the air.
*This is good for when students see a friend in the hall.
*This is also good when someone comes in or leaves the classroom and the kids want to jump up and give them a hug.
Each thing you learn earns a wrinkle on your brain. The smarter you are, the more wrinkles your brain has. (Brain wrinkles are the only good wrinkles!)
“Friends help friends earn brain wrinkles!” Keep a picture of a brain with the words “BRAIN WRINKLES AT WORK” posted in your room.
*Claire says, “I tell my kinders that they must earn 16.9 million brain wrinkles to get into first grade!”
Boom (Angelia Donagke)
You will need large craft sticks and a cup to make this game. Write words on the end of the craft sticks. On two sticks write “BOOM” in red. Put the words down in the cup. Kids take turns pulling sticks and reading them. If they pull out BOOM, they have to put all their sticks back in the cup.
Bubble Wrap Pop (Letha Graham)
Write numerals in order on the bubble wrap with a permanent marker. Children roll dice and write the equation on paper. The child then finds the answer on the bubble wrap and pops it.
The teacher keeps a ring of index cards for Accelerated Reader. On the index card the students put their name, point goal, and reading level. Once they have met one of their requirements, they get their card hole punched. When students go to the library, the librarian punches the cards for them.
Vocabulary Builders (Colby R. Fisher)
Students tear a sheet of paper into fourths. They write words associated with a season, theme, etc. on the pieces of paper. Each student places a card in the center of the table saying the word as they do so. Then as a group, they categorize the words, use them to make sentences (simple, compound, complex, etc.).
Punctuation Actions (Suzanne Artman)
Children stand, read sentences, and make the following motions.
Today is Monday. Point and make a period in the air with pointer finger and say, “Period…statement…declarative.”
What is your name? Write a question mark in the air and say, “Question mark…I don’t know (shrug shoulders)…interrogative.”
I am so excited! Write an exclamation mark in the air while saying, “Exclamation mark (hands to cheeks with a “Home Alone” look), exclamatory.”
Bring me your paper. Write a period in the air and salute with hand on head as you say, “Command…imperative.”
Math Words (Jennifer Williams)
Fold a sheet of paper into fourths. Cut halfway down on one side to make a flip book. Write “+” on one side and “-“ on the other side as shown. Children lift the flips and write all the synonyms that might be used in word problems.
Give Another Name for a Number (Deloris S. Lott)
This game is a good review activity. You’ll need one beanbag, a sheet of bulletin board paper (laminated for longer use), and a blindfold. Write numerals or other skills you are working on in squares on the bulletin board paper. Divide students into groups of 4. One student is blindfolded and throws the beanbag on the board. The other members of the group answer questions to help the blindfolded student identify the number. For example:
How many ones?
Is the number odd or even?
What number is in the tens place?
*You could adapt the number based on the children’s skill level.
Full of Cheers (L. Perkins)
Use Cheerios to fill up different size/shape cups. Count the Cheerios in each cup to see which holds more, less, or equal amounts. Allow students to do their favorite cheers once they’ve finished.
This would be a good activity for older students the first week of school. It would also provide the teacher with some useful information about their math level. Students write their first name in the middle of the page. They assign a number for each letter. Can they write the number in word form? Expanded notation? Can they add the number? Multiply? Subtract? Divide?