Thursday, 3 October 2013

Roll a number...

One of our numeracy areas of focus recently has been multiplicative thinking. It's fascinating to watch the range of abilities in the class: it's as natural as breathing for some and as foreign as Swedish for others.  To be honest most of the teaching and learning cycle for this area is lead by my co-teacher (I'm focusing on shape at the moment) but I'm reinforcing the fluency aspect with quick and dirty games whenever I have a free moment can make time. (And as we all know from this post and its comments, I'm a big fan of injecting fun into our day with the odd game or two.)

The favourite game at the moment is one I first played with little tackers and addition. We sit in a circle and two children each roll an oversized dice into the middle. The first child to call out the product remains standing. The other child sits down and the next child in the circle
takes their place in the next dice roll. Our class is pretty competitive so we keep a tally for each child's correct answers. Our champion so far sits (rather confidently) with 8 correct answers. (She's one of those students for whom this kind of thinking is as automatic as breathing.)

The small group who respond to this game in the same way they would if I said "vänligen äter din plockat sill" play a modified game, with one dice, practising doubling. They seem to enjoy the independence I've given them to do this, and I've certainly noticed an improvement in their fluency with their 2 times tables.

We've been working with 6 sided dice which limits the game somewhat however, today, I discovered (my co-teacher pointed them out to me) the ten sided dice in our classroom. Bring it on.

We had a small hiccup during the game a few days ago when the reigning champ made a mistake and the rest of the class celebrated her error.  I was very surprised to see this sort of behaviour from this class, so a little chat about valuing everyone as individuals and celebrating our differences ensued. *sigh* Competition is a great thing, until it's not.

What games do you play in your classroom to reinforce basic skills?

This relates to the following Australian Professional Standards for Teachers...
Standard 1.1 Physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students
Standard 1.5 Differentiate teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities
Standard 2.5 Literacy and numeracy strategies
Standard 3.3  Literacy and numeracy strategies
Standard 3.4 Select and use resources
Standard 4.1 Support student participation
Standard 4.2 Manage classroom activities
Standard 4.3 Manage challenging behaviour

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