Here goes with post two in this mini-series. If you haven’t read part one yet I suggest you begin with the introduction here. In the first post I talked about some of my favourite games that have either been purchased and played as intended, or used other games re-purposed to fit a skill or concept to be reviewed. In this post I’ll be looking at games that are either printed or made using either regular classroom materials, or things that are simply to procure. as with the previous post there are games for literacy and numeracy in here and many can be adapted for a wide range of ages.
Strike It Out
My class love this game and its one we revisit regularly. It’s great for their addition and subtraction skills and improves general number bond awareness too.
How it works:
In teams students have a number line showing 1-30. The first student makes a simple number sentence within this range e.g. 1+9 = 10 as they do so they cross out the addends (in this case ‘1’ and ‘9’) and circle the sum (10). The second player must then start with the circled number as their first addend, e.g. 10+6 = 16. Play continues until one player cannot make a new number sentence.
I first saw this over at Sunny Days in Second Grade (click on the link in the game title to visit) a couple of years ago and have been using it ever since. The original post uses small cards with synonyms placed inside a jar that is filled with either coloured rice, pom poms or something similar. The student receives a sheet with corresponding synonyms on it and they have to shake the jar, find a word and record it next to its ‘partner’ on their answer sheet. I’ve since adapted it to use with sets of vocab and definitions, rhyming words, math puzzles and more!
Bottle Cap Toss
This is such a simple game, but a big hit. We collected lots of bottle caps (we had around 100) and wrote a number sentence on the outside with a permanent marker and wrote the answers on the inside. Students pick up a cap at random and try to answer the question; if they get it right they then attempt to toss the cap into a cup to score a point. This can be played as individuals or as teams and you can make the questions as tough as you wish – simple!
Place Value Game
The place value game has helped so many of my students master place value to at least 6 digits. Print off the grid found here and give one to each student, and one to the teacher. Then you draw single digit cards (uno cards work well, but you could just make your own on paper) and have to place them on the grid one at a time. The aim is to build the biggest possible number …but without knowing what all the cards will be!
Scoring works as follows:
Less than the teacher = 0 points
Same as the teacher = 1 point
More than the teacher = 3 points
Highest number possible with the cards = Extra 3 points
Teacher beats everyone in the group = Teacher scores 10
Vocab Rock n Roll
This game does require dice but otherwise is pretty low on resources. Download the Vocab Rock n Roll set up and student sheets. Students fill in their target vocab words onto the grid (up to 10 words) and then roll their dice and complete the appropriate action e.g. 1 = Spell the word 2 = Make a sentence and so on. Students work in pairs or small groups to complete their grids through the week.
Laminated or die-cut letters + velcro = door boggle! Simply make a 3 x 3 grid on a wall or the back of a door and have students randomly stick letters into each space of the grid. I provide a timer for the students to use and they race against each other to find all the words they can!
How tall is the Mountain?
How tall is the Mountain is a recent find for me, I picked it up over at Deceptively Educational. Students begin by placing the digits 1-9 at the bottom of the mountain, they then climb up by adding pairs of numbers together. The winner is the player with the biggest number at the top of the mountain.
That’s all for this post, I hope it has given you some great ideas and please check back soon for Part 3!