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December 13, 2017

6 Games for Centers

By Nancy Jang
Grades 1–2

    With stores decked out in holiday finery, there are sales galore on all kinds of games and toys for kids. Here is a shopping list of things to buy either before the holidays, or even better, during the after-Christmas sales when everything is drastically marked down. I found a ton of board games marked down to $5 before and after the holidays at Target. These toys and games are perfect for adding to your math or literacy centers to keep students engaged.

    1.       Candyland — Candyland is a great game that is simple to play for younger students, and you can add a math or literacy spin to it by modifying the game cards. I wrote on the cards using a permanent marker. Since the Candyland games were so inexpensive, I bought two, creating a math version and a sight word version. With the sight word version, students can only move to the next spot if they can read their sight word correctly. In the math version, students have to either solve an addition or subtraction problem correctly and later in the year, a story problem in order to move to the next space! I add a small whiteboard and whiteboard marker for math, so that students have a workspace to use while solving the problem.

     

    2.       Twister — I found a brand-new Twister game at a garage sale and finally figured out the perfect use for it. Kids of all ages love to take off their shoes and contort their bodies to play this timeless party game. To modify it for use in the classroom, I use a small plastic pocket that I cut from a page protector and taped down with painter's tape. Cut an index card in half and write math problems or sight words to them to be able to change them out easily. The students must call out the word before putting their hand or foot on the circle.

     

    3.       Checkers — To modify this game, write math facts or sight words on small Post-it Notes or just add a deck of sight words/math facts. Before each intended move, the player must read the sight word or solve the problem. If they read it or solve it incorrectly, then they stay in that spot.

     

    4.       LEGOS — Build your sight words or solve the equations using LEGOS!

     

    5.       Jenga — Each one of the Jenga pieces has a sight word and math problem written on the side in sharpie. When the player removes a piece successfully, they read the sight word during language arts centers or solve the math problem if we are doing math centers. If they are successful, they can keep the wooden Jenga piece for a point. If they don’t read the word or solve the problem correctly, the piece they removed goes into the discard pile.

     

    6.      Bananagrams — Players draw one letter at a time and try to spell one of five sight words by laying the tile on the sheet. If they can’t use the letter, it goes into the discard pile. If they can use the letter, they lay it on the sheet. The first person to spell all of their words wins. Click on the link to download an editable version of my Sight Word Bananagrams game board.

    Enjoy having game time in your classroom every day and still have a blast learning sight words, spelling words, and math facts! The kids will BEG to play again and again!

    Happy teaching,

    Nancy

    With stores decked out in holiday finery, there are sales galore on all kinds of games and toys for kids. Here is a shopping list of things to buy either before the holidays, or even better, during the after-Christmas sales when everything is drastically marked down. I found a ton of board games marked down to $5 before and after the holidays at Target. These toys and games are perfect for adding to your math or literacy centers to keep students engaged.

    1.       Candyland — Candyland is a great game that is simple to play for younger students, and you can add a math or literacy spin to it by modifying the game cards. I wrote on the cards using a permanent marker. Since the Candyland games were so inexpensive, I bought two, creating a math version and a sight word version. With the sight word version, students can only move to the next spot if they can read their sight word correctly. In the math version, students have to either solve an addition or subtraction problem correctly and later in the year, a story problem in order to move to the next space! I add a small whiteboard and whiteboard marker for math, so that students have a workspace to use while solving the problem.

     

    2.       Twister — I found a brand-new Twister game at a garage sale and finally figured out the perfect use for it. Kids of all ages love to take off their shoes and contort their bodies to play this timeless party game. To modify it for use in the classroom, I use a small plastic pocket that I cut from a page protector and taped down with painter's tape. Cut an index card in half and write math problems or sight words to them to be able to change them out easily. The students must call out the word before putting their hand or foot on the circle.

     

    3.       Checkers — To modify this game, write math facts or sight words on small Post-it Notes or just add a deck of sight words/math facts. Before each intended move, the player must read the sight word or solve the problem. If they read it or solve it incorrectly, then they stay in that spot.

     

    4.       LEGOS — Build your sight words or solve the equations using LEGOS!

     

    5.       Jenga — Each one of the Jenga pieces has a sight word and math problem written on the side in sharpie. When the player removes a piece successfully, they read the sight word during language arts centers or solve the math problem if we are doing math centers. If they are successful, they can keep the wooden Jenga piece for a point. If they don’t read the word or solve the problem correctly, the piece they removed goes into the discard pile.

     

    6.      Bananagrams — Players draw one letter at a time and try to spell one of five sight words by laying the tile on the sheet. If they can’t use the letter, it goes into the discard pile. If they can use the letter, they lay it on the sheet. The first person to spell all of their words wins. Click on the link to download an editable version of my Sight Word Bananagrams game board.

    Enjoy having game time in your classroom every day and still have a blast learning sight words, spelling words, and math facts! The kids will BEG to play again and again!

    Happy teaching,

    Nancy

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