03 October 2014

Tricks & Treats Blog Hop

Over all my years of teaching (3 years in a public school classroom, 2 years teaching English overseas, and now in my 3rd year of homeschooling my own kids) I have found that there is one common thing that helps all students stay engaged and ultimately succeed:

Making. Learning. Fun.

With all the "standards" and "tests" that we as teachers are pressured with, I think it's so important to not transfer those pressures onto the students. Little ones don't need that stress in their lives! I believe we can have fun AND teach our students what they need to know. All it takes is a little creativity, preparation,  and a whole lot of Pinterest :-)

Here are a few ideas of ways I've found to take important skills that need to be taught and turn them into a fun game or activity that your kids might not even realize is educational.

1. Turn review into a game. Most kids love competition, so a fun way to review any subject, is with a game! My favorite is a kind of Jeopardy style set up, with categories and points.

I write out something like this on the white board and have a corresponding list of questions that I've made for myself. Divide the class into 2 teams and they take turns picking a question. If they get it right, they get that many points. Then I erase the one they picked off the board and the next team picks! I love this game because it is so versatile! Your categories and questions can be math problems, vocabulary, true/false, multiple choice, spelling words, or anything else you want!
2. Other games we like to play are sports games. For example, to practice spelling words, we play "Spelling Shoot Out." I say a word aloud, and if the student can spell it correctly, they get one point for their team. Then they shoot a ball into a basket and if they make it, they get an extra point. This is also such a versatile game that can be used with any subject!
3. Make learning hands-on as much as you can! Find ways to incorporate manipulatives like dice, dominos, popsicle sticks, cards, blocks, or even candy on special occasions.

Learning with Candy Corn FREEBIE - Sort & Tally
Candy Corn - Sort & Tally Freebie

Decimals in Between game--comparing/ordering 3 decimals
Playing games like "War" is great for helping kids with greater than, less than, and equal!

Monday Made It! - Popsicle stick multiples activity.
Skip counting with popsicle sticks

LEGO Word Family Sorting ~ Don't just sort words on paper! Sort them with DUPLO LEGO bricks. They are hands-on and very colorful! | This Reading Mama
Lego word family sorting idea by The Reading Mama.
You could also use this for spelling out words or alphabetizing.
4. And lastly, something I've found kids absolutely LOVE are mystery pictures! I've created some mystery pictures that cover a wide range of skills, and the students are so engaged in discovering the picture, that they don't even know they are learning! Here are some freebies for you of some of the different mystery pictures I have. I hope you can find some that suit your students' needs.

Dot Marker Mystery Pictures - This is a sample of an Alphabet Dot Marker Picture, Number Dot Marker Picture, and Sight Words Dot Marker Picture. (PreK-1st)
FREE Dot Marker Mystery Picture Activities
Pumpkin Hundreds Chart Mystery Picture
FREE Halloween Multiplication Mystery Picture
Symmetry Fun FREEBIE {Mystery Picture Graphing Activity}
Back to School Math Graphing Activity - Mystery Picture
Thanks so much for stopping by! Please visit some of these awesome blogs for more Tricks & Treats!!