Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Workshop Wednesday: Math card games & Let's Get Acquainted: Classroom

I'm linking up to another Workshop Wednesday from Ideas by Jivey and a Let's Get Acquainted by Flying into First Grade!

This week's topic for Workshop Wednesday is using card games in Math. My typical math workshop involves four stations, The teacher station, the independent station, the intern station and the math game station. We play lots and lots of math games. I like to have a wide variety of them for the kids to play so that they don't get bored, and of course the game needs to go along with the current skill or review a recent skill, so naturally I need to have lots of them.

I'm a fan of having the kids play "I have, who has" games in a group of 4 or 5. They basically deal out the cards and play the usual game, but each kid is responsible for 5 or 6 cards of their own. The first one to run out of cards is the "winner," but play continues til all the cards are used up. I've created a bunch of these games to help my kids throughout the year. Here are some of my favorites!

Get it here!
These are two different time games. The first is a simple telling time game. The kids practice reading analog clocks. I teach the struggling math students, so believe it or not some of my 5th graders still need a bit of practice with this at the beginning of the year.

The second game is an elapsed time game. The kids practice determining what time it will be or was in a given number of hours and minutes. This is a great way for them to practice telling time along with their mental addition and subtraction skills.

Get them bundled here!
I also made up a set of cards to help my kids practice the conversion of customary units for length, weight and capacity.

I have them make mustache "cheat sheet" pencil toppers with the conversions on them in case they need them. The cards have the gimmick "I have _, I mustache who has _" and this never gets old with the kids.

They have a blast practicing these conversions, and before you know it they're not even referring to their cheat sheets anymore!

Get it here!
 This Mean/Median/Mode/Range game is a big hit with the kids too. They take the a number of the cards (less cards for an easier game, more for more difficulty) and play a "round" for each of the four skills. They score points along the way and add up their scores at the end of the four rounds.

This is another one that never seems to get old with the kids, and I think it really helps them remember the difference between the four terms.

I play other card games with the kids too, but this post is starting to sound like a big advertisement! To make up for it I'll give my two  Time games to the first two commenters on this post that think they can use them with their kids! Make sure I can e-mail you if you're one of them!

We're talking about our 3 favorite places in our classroom! 

The first is definitely my classroom library! I'm a book collecting addict. And Daily 5 requires having a ton of books to help kids make good fit book choices, so I even have an excuse to have thousands of them. This picture is missing the huge bookshelf to the right, and you can't see my cute (yet masculine enough) butterfly rug and beanbags on the floor, but it was the only picture I had. You can also catch a glimpse of my other Keurig coffee maker and my stacks of coffee. 
I probably drink 12 cups a day of coffee...

The second place is kind of not a's the spot on my desk where my document camera sits. I use my document every single day...whether it's to give the kids a close up of the pictures in a picture book, to demonstrate with math manipulatives, or to show the condensation on a cold glass like in the picture...I'm SO glad to have it. My kids wrote up a proposal on for it last year and it was fully funded pretty easily. If you haven't used donorschoose yet, you should. And if you don't have a document camera, that would be a great first project!

(Please ignore my mouth hanging open and the fact that I'm a giant by the way!)

The final place are my bulletin boards in the back of my classroom. I have a few back there, but only have a picture of one. The one pictured is my "One thing I learned this week" board. The kids update it using those tiny post it notes. It's fun to read the things they learned.

I also have a "Tweet something sweet" board that I learned about from a colleague in my building. The kids each have a name on the board and there are about a hundred little die-cut birds in a pocket at the bottom of the board. They can write a compliment (under 140 characters!) about one of their classmates and then post it under that kid's name. The kids use it all the time. I love seeing them update it and then later seeing the kid they wrote about light up when they realize they have a new tweet. I love getting cool ideas like that from other teachers, so if you have one share it in the comments!

Anyway, those are my favorite places in the room!

On a personal note...this whole eating healthy thing is finally starting to become easy! Using the Lose it! App really makes you think about what you're eating. I'm mortified to discover that meals I used to eat were sometimes 4 times the calories of my current meals. The snacks I used to eat are like my current meals. It's crazy!

Check in on the other posts in these linkies! They're some good ones for sure!


  1. Thanks so much for linking up! I've never thought of playing I Have Who Has not in a whole group setting. Great idea!!

  2. Can you post a picture of the Tweet Something Tweet board? That sounds so cool! Thanks for sharing, Heather


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