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Wednesday, January 9, 2019


A teacher told me that her administrator wouldn't let her play games because he said, "They are a waste of time."  (Obviously, that principal needs a little review of why we should play games with children!)


Standards and Intentional Teaching– Teachers can create flashcard games, board games, or a variety of games based on any skill (letters, numbers, sight words, vocabulary, math facts, science or social studies, etc.) Think about skills in your curriculum and there’s the content for your game.

Purposeful Practice for Automaticity– In order to master skills children need to repeat and practice them. Clearly, kids would rather do that with a game than with a worksheet.

Executive Function– Through games children can develop task initiation and completion because there is a beginning and an end. They also learn self- regulation and delayed gratification.

Active Learning and SEL (Social Emotional)– With games children can talk, interact with friends, and use multi-sensory materials.

Instructional Time – Take advantage of transitions and those few extra minutes during the school day by playing games.

Over the next few days I've got some quick learning games if you have a few extra minutes or if you can't get out to play.

Hide, Seek, and Read
Make multiple copies of sight words on index cards.  Hide these around the room while the children "hide their eyes."  The children hunt for the words, but they may only find one at a time.  When they find a word they have to take it to the teacher, read it, and then hide the word again.

Word Worm

Draw the face of a worm on a paper plate.  Write sight words on other plates.  Pass out a word card to each child. One at a time children come up and place their word next to the worm’s head. Each child reads all of the previous words before placing her word down. How long can the worm grow!

Hint! Children can “ask the audience” to read with them if they are unsure of the words.
Musical Words
Write words on paper plates and scatter around the room on the floor. Play some catchy music for the children to dance to. When the music stops, each child stands on a word. As the teacher points to random students, they must identify their word.

*You can play a game similar to musical chairs where you remove one word at a time so children have to scramble to find a word.

Word Hunt
Give students a list of words that can be found in the classroom. Children walk around the room and cross the words off as they find them.
*Let them take a “selfie” of the words as they find them.

Word Detectives

Let children be “detectives” as they listen to clues about different word wall words. Hints might include: “This word rhymes with ______.” “This word starts with letter and ends with letter.” “This word is the opposite of _______,”