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Friday, September 5, 2014


Let’s face it! If children have to learn skills and are assessed on specific things, we’ve got to play the game. The amount of time different children need to master skills varies widely, so take advantage of all those extra minutes and transitions with these games.   

Catch and Tell
“Catch and Tell” is an example of a “portable” tool that could be used while waiting in the hall.  You will need a bean bag or small sponge ball to play this game. The teacher says a letter and then tosses the ball to a child. That child must name something that begins with that sound before tossing the ball back to the teacher.
This game can be adapted for rhyming words, colors, math, social studies, and other skills.

Kids vs. Teacher - Draw a scorecard on the board with “Kids” on one side and “Teacher” on the other side. Show a word. If a child Teacher raises her hand and correctly reads the word, she gets a point for her team. If any child shouts out the answer, then the teacher gets a point. (If children keep talking out of turn, just continue to put point marks for the teacher!) 

I Have. Who Has? - Make a list of words that you would like to use for this game. Write “I have______. Who has______?” on a sheet of paper and run off multiple copies on cardstock. Write the first word and second word on the first card. Write the second word and third word on the next card, etc. Put a sticker on the first card so that child will know to begin the game. Shuffle up the cards and pass them out to the children. The child with the sticker begins by standing and saying, “I have __. Who as___?” The child with the second card then stands and reads the information on her card. 
Snowballs - Each child gets a sheet of paper and writes a word wall word, spelling word, math fact, review question ,etc. on it Children wad up their sheet of paper to make it a “snowball.” Divide the class into two teams and have them stand about 10 feet from each other. When the teacher says, “Let it snow!” children begin throwing their snowballs at the opposite side. Children open their snowball and identify the information on it before
throwing it back at the other side. The game continues until the teacher says, “Freeze!” Count up the number of snowballs on each side. Who has more? Who has less? In this game, the team with the smaller amount is actually the winner! Everyone gets a snowball and the game continues.
*At the beginning of the school year write children's names on the snowballs so they can get to know their friends.  
*K.J.'s 4th grade teacher played a game where the students wrote four special things about themselves on a sheet of paper.  They wadded them into snowballs and threw them to the front of the room.  Each student chose a snowball and then they had to hunt and find who it belonged to.
Secret Word - Arrange flash cards in a pocket chart or on the floor. Tell the children to close their eyes as you hide a sticker behind one word. “Who knows the secret word where the sticker is hidden?” One at a time children say a word and then come look behind it. The first child to find the sticker gets to be “teacher” and hides the sticker again.

Stomp - Place the words on the floor in the middle of the room. Divide the class into two teams. Choose one child from each team to come up and play. Call out a word. The first child to stomp on it wins a point for their team.

Pick Up
- This game is similar to stomp. The teacher calls out a word and the first child to pick it up wins a point for their team.