February 12, 2017

Games, Games, Games

How do you keep students engaged, motivated and excited about learning?  This is something that all teachers spend countless hours trying to figure out.  We write lessons, create activities and develop strategies that will help us reach our students and help them to learn.  I find that games are an important part of instruction.  They are interactive, engaging tools for enhancing learning.  All ages of students like games. So, why use games in the classroom?

Games Help Students Learn Content:  Students play games to practice and develop a better understanding of skills, concepts and vocabulary.  The games they play must be meaningful and have an educational purpose so we must choose them wisely.

Games Keep Students Engaged:  In order for students to remember content, they must be focused and engaged.  Worksheets and textbooks do not hold student's attention like a game does.  So, the same content found in those resources will be better retained if read and practiced in a game format.

Games Incorporate a Multitude of Skills: In addition to the actual content you want students to learn from a game, they are using and practicing other skills as well.  Students must use reading skills to read directions, cards and prompts in games.  Math skills are necessary in counting, managing points and keeping track of scores.  Critical thinking and social skills are very important as they spend time  playing games with others.  Games also help teach and reinforce teamwork and sportsmanship as well.

Because I feel that games play such an important part in the classroom, my TPT store is full of products that include them for students to play.  Included is this set of generic Game Boards.

This packet has 12 different Game boards with matching spinners and editable game cards. These boards can be played as a whole class, small groups or in Stations.

To Play as a Whole Class:  
Project one on your Elmo or Overhead Projector.  You would lead the game by moving the game markers for the students. This is a great to practice or review skills.  Divide your class into teams and have a coin or game marker that represents each team. You can use a worksheet, practice page from a book or task card. To play, read a question or problem out loud.  All students answer on their own paper.  Call on one group or student to give the answer.  If they answer correctly, they get to roll the dice and you move their team's game marker.  Continue play until one team reaches the end.

To Play in a Small Group or Station: 
The game can also be used in small groups or stations by making a folder game.  To make a folder game, print the game board on card stock.  Use any task cards you already have and a pair of dice. There you go.  Instant game to keep students engaged.  

The packet also has editable game cards.  You can add your own questions, vocabulary, math problems, etc to the game cards, print them and put with the game.  Add the spinner and you have a themed game that  will be great fun for students.

To download your own generic Gameboards, click the picture below:

For a FREE SAMPLE of my game boards try out these Halloween Games:

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Until Next Time.....

November 26, 2016

Candy Gram Fundraiser

The season of giving is upon us. I'm so happy to be joining in with some of the most giving teachers around to share a great idea, give away a free gift, and offer a gift card giveaway.

After a week off to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends, we will be back to school on Monday for three weeks until our long awaited Winter Break. During those three weeks, our school is filled with engaging holiday activities, lessons and events.  It is a time when our clubs and organizations also participate in charitable giving: Food Drives, Blanket Drives, and Caroling with Socks for the Elderly. These groups also raise money to donate to our local food bank and other charitable organizations.  One way we raise money is to sell Candy Grams.

Candy Grams, or Holiday Grams, are specially delivered messages with a treat that are sold around holidays or special events. The treat can be candy, a pencil, a bookmark or other trinket you attach to the gram. The Turkey Grams below were sold the week before Thanksgiving break and delivered on that Friday afternoon before dismissal.

You can easily hold a Candy Gram sale at your school to raise money using the following steps:

1. Schedule the Candy Gram fund-raiser close to a major holiday or event.

2. Choose a simple, inexpensive candy or treat that you can purchase in bulk from Costco, Sam's, Dollar Tree or Oriental Trading: Blow Pops, Tootsie Pops, Candy Canes, Pencils, Bookmarks, Plush Toys, etc. We try to get a business or parent to donate these items so we don't have to take the cost out of our profit. 

3. Print your grams on white card stock in color, or print in black and white on colored card stock. The card stock helps support the weight of the candy when you attach it. 

4. Advertise by hanging flyers, announcing in the morning announcements, posting on the school website, and sending home information in parent newsletters.

5.  Sell the grams before or after school the week of the sale. You can sell them for 50 cents or $1 each.  Choose an amount you think would work well in your school community.  You can even offer class sets for teachers to buy for their students at 50% off the regular price.

6. Sell them at a table that will get a lot of parent and student traffic in the morning and afternoon. Have several pens on hand for customers to fill out their own cards, or you can fill them out for kinder and 1st grade students.  Also have a list of teachers with their room numbers in case you need to refer to it.

7. After selling the gram and attaching the candy, put it in a large gallon size zip lock, or big brown envelope labeled with the teacher's name or room number.

8. On the day of delivery, deliver the bag to the teacher's classroom at a convenient time so he/she can hand them out to the students.

If you would like to try selling candy grams at your school, I have a free gift for you.  Click on the picture below for a FREE download of a Holiday Gram with the cute Christmas mouse:

If you are interested in the complete product with additional holiday grams to choose from, check out the Candy Grams product in my TPT store.  There are 10 different grams in the complete product and it comes with additional forms and flyers. Click the picture below for more information:

Thanks for stopping by today.  Join the Give-Away below for a chance to win a TPT Gift Card and your choice of a product from my TPT store: Queen of the JungleGiveaway ends on Saturday, December 3, 2016.  One lucky winner will be chosen! 

Click below to visit other blogs participating in the  
Teachers that Give Blog Hop.

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Until Next Time....

August 15, 2016

Back 2 School Blog Hop

Back to school season is here!  I have teamed up with 50 wonderful teachers to bring you great tips and ideas for classroom managment and organizational strategies as we head back to school.  I hope you will want to participate in this Back2School Blog Hop and Giveaway.  You can enter to win one of two great prizes.  We are giving away the chance to win a $50 TPT gift card and classroom resources from over 30 authors, including myself. 

These past few weeks I have been blogging with Back to School Teacher Tips.  I have talked about the five things I think are most important to devote attention to as we head back to school each year. Here are the links to those posts if you want to see them:

The one additional piece of advice or tip I have to share on management and organization is to keep yourself organized with a Teacher Calendar/Organizer/Planner.  It is so important to keep up to date on lesson plans, due dates, deadlines, events, and your "To Do" list.  There are many varieties out there for you to choose from. You can purchase bound versions from teacher stores, bookstores or Amazon.  Erin Condren has some beautiful spiral bound teacher planners. Teachers Pay Teachers has a variety of versions you can download and put in a binder.  Find one that works for you and be sure to use it every day to keep yourself organized.

Would you like a free calendar to use this year? It will help you to keep organized.  I'm offering a free download to those who are participating in our Blog Hop.  For a free copy, just click the link below to download this Editable Calendar to print and use.  

This calendar is part of my Editable Teacher Binder. The complete binder product will help you get organized this year.  It includes organzational printables to help you keep all of your forms and information at your fingertips in a binder.  Or some teachers like to make several binders to meet their needs: Student Information, Lesson Plans, Student Data, ect.  This packet makes organizing all this paperwork a breeze.  Click below to find out more about the organizing Teacher Binders


You can enter this giveaway to win one of two great prizes.  We are giving away a $50 TPT gift card and classroom resources from over 30 authors. Good Luck!

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Hop on over to the next blog, Setting the Standard - Inside & Out with Karen and Kelie, for more Back 2 School Tips! Click on the Apple Link below:

Until Next Time......