Last week, I found myself with some seriously unfocused students during a downpour. We are in the middle of our testing window for reading AND we had to finish our math benchmark. When we closed the last testing book– they went crazy! We had about an hour left in the day, but I knew anything I had them do would be a battle. And this wasn’t a battle to pick. Since it was cold and rainy, we headed to the gym. PE classes had been canceled so we had it all to ourselves. Here are the games we played!
1. Book Tag!
Anyone remember TV Tag? When you were tagged, you sat down. You had to say the name of a TV show before you could enter the game again. Book Tag has the same principal. When students are tagged, they have to sit. I went around and asked them the title of a book they had recently read!
2. Red Rover, Red Rover, Send Sounds on Over
Ahhhhh, Red Rover. Such a popular game when I was young. Somehow, we all survived with our heads intact!
The updated version plays by the same procedures. Students stand in 2 straight lines, holding hands and facing the opposite line. One line calls out “Red Rover, Red Rover, Send _______ on over!” The person who’s name was called, leaves their line and runs to the other side. If they are stopped by the line, they join the new line. If they break through the line, they take their team mates that were previously captured and go back to their original line.
By assigning students a letter or phonics pattern, such as -at or Ff you open an opportunity for learning and review. My school uses LetterLand, so I would assign students a Letterlander and give them each a sign to wear. As students became more advanced and you moved into phonics patterns, students could advance to calling out words to come over. For example, if the line called out “Red Rover, Red Rover, Send MAT on over!” The students with M, A and T would run over. Or the students with M and AT could run over. There are so many variations to this!
You can even do it with numbers!
3 Four Square (Math)
To play Four Square (Math) you will need a traditional Four Square court, but inside each square you need to write a number. I like to use 10 and 100 to practice mental math strategies of 10 more and 100 more. The teacher, or leader, calls out a starting number and play begins. As students bounce the ball, they complete the mental math of the square they are in. For example, if the starting number is 10 and the ball bounces to the person in the ’10’ square, they would mentally add 10 to the starting number of 10 and say ’20’. Play continues until someone is out and players shift boxes. The teacher, or leader, says a new number and play begins.
Do you have any fun ways to combine play and learning?