Trick or Treat Blog Hop!

It is almost that time of year again and why should the kids have all the fun?!  I am so excited to be a part of this awesome blog hop filled with tricks of the trade and treats (who doesn't love freebies and giveaways!). 

I am all about the tricks in my classroom.  I am constantly "tricking" my students into learning.  When I see all of the changes that have happened over the course of my teaching career one of the saddest things I have realized is too often kids aren't given enough time to be kids.  Recess has been shortened, time for self-selected reading or projects has been cut down and many schools have lost or seriously reduced the "specials" that provided such a great outlet to our children.  For these reasons I feel it is important to provide students with time to loosen up in the classroom and have fun.  In doing this you will find that you often are "tricking" them into learning.  Take the lesson I did with a small group of struggling math students last week.  These 3rd/4th graders have been having been having a difficult time with subtraction with regrouping.  After reviewing the rules of subtraction with the group I simply gave each student white board and a 2 digit subtraction problem.  If they solved the problem correctly they were able to shoot a basket in the dollar store basketball hoop that I have in my room.  I then repeated the process with them using another problem.  Meanwhile I kept detailed notes of the mistakes they made or places where they needed extra support.  Students were having fun, the activity required no prep and I gained valuable formative assessment data.  

Almost anything can be turned into a game:
- Old Board Games (Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, etc) - simply add task cards or questions for students to answer and play along
-Ice Cube Trays - glue on words, numbers or anything else you would like and using craft pom poms students toss into the tray to play a game.  My students like to add or multiply 2 numbers that their pom poms land in, but I have also played this where students are practicing segmenting words or reading sight words
- Deck of Cards - play addition or multiplication war
-Solo or Dixie Cups - write words or math problems on each cup and have students solve or read before creating a large cup stacking structure
- Fly Swatter - write words or numbers on a large piece of chart paper or poster board.  Students will love to wait to hear a clue (like a division problem) and try to be the first person to hit the correct answer with the fly swatter

*In my room many of these games are taught and stored on a shelf where students can utilize them when they finish an assignment early or as a "game center" for math or language arts.

Am I the first person to come up with these ideas?  Absolutely not...I just cannot stress enough how much taking ordinary learning that could happen on worksheets and quizzes and turning it into a game has helped my students.  Students are more interested and engaged and thus loving learning once again!  I would love to hear about some of your quick and easy games!  Please comment below with one of your favorites!

As I stated before, I love turning "regular" learning into a game. Even if that game seems very basic, students feel less like they are learning and more like they are having fun!  To that end my freebie is a simple play on "Go Fish" or "Memory Match" where students match basic multiplication facts to their product.  You can make this product fit your students by picking out the individual facts that are giving them trouble or that you would like to focus on!  Enjoy...this freebie is only available through this blog hop!

While you are picking up your freebie feel free to browse around my store.  You will find that many of my products have an element of fun and games to them.  I am offering to giveaway any item from my store to one lucky winner!  Simply enter the giveaway below! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here are a few of my newest products that you may want to check out!


Now hop on to the next great blog for more tricks and treats!  Happy Halloween!

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