Over the years, my math block has grown considerably. While I think this is a totally valid and necessary maneuver, it has made for a gigantic math stretch. This change, combined with our new-ish Common Core math program, is not all that conducive to long-term learning (IMO). Let’s be honest here . . . my particular curriculum’s lecture-style format and pixellated black and white graphics doesn’t give kids the opportunity to really “experience” math. And, it makes the math block feel like it’s twice as long. (((SIGH))) With this said, I quickly adjusted my style after the curriculum adoption in an effort to combat this issue. I have always added various math elements and games to my daily line-up. However, I have had to get a bit crafty as of late when it comes to creating meaningful math instruction that is engaging, standards-based, and fun for kids.
Now, I am not saying to toss out your curriculum. Admin would TOSS US out on our ears. However, I am saying that while we add our own spin the the “Kool-Aide” that we must drink, tossing in some fun supplemental activities can be just the ticket to breaking up our math blocks. I know what you are thinking, “Come on, Dolling. We already do this in our small group math rotations.” I love me small groups and we do this too. But, wait . . . that’s not my topic today. Have you thought about a DAILY whole class game as well? I’m talking a quick in and out activity that creates a healthy buzz in the room, while tackling a related standard. There is just something about a whole group ditty that generates a whole new level of excitement and learning.
On that note, I can’t have you listen to me preach about this topic and not give you a couple of things to try! Below I have outlined three kid-tested games that absolutely delighted my first grade crews. All of the activities are low-prep, require less than 15 minutes of your day, and generate oodles of giggles.