Tricked into Learning

If there's one thing I've learned from being a Resource Room teacher, it's that Games are my best friend when it comes to teaching students. It keeps student motivation high, and behavior low. And it may take time and creativity, but just about anything can be made into a game. There are the obvious card games (a must!)--you can turn just about anything into Go Fish, Old Maid, or Memory. Or create your own game board and cards through free sites like this one.

Recently, I've added a new kiddo to my caseload. He's at the end of his first grade year, and he can only recognize numbers up to 5, can only count to 12, knows maybe 4 sight words, and still doesn't know about 6 or 7 letter sounds. He obviously needs a lot of support, and I only have an hour a day to give him. Every time he comes to me he asks what we're going to "play" first. His academic needs are so basic, it's been no problem coming up with an arsenal of games to choose from. Among his favorites are a redesigned version of "Cariboo":

I created cards to go on top of the actual game cards. In the picture, he needs to identify the letters of the alphabet (I say the sound, then he has to find it and open the window with the special key. If he collects all the balls underneath, the treasure chest opens!). We also play with identifying numbers. I've played this game with a fourth grader last year: I gave her a word and she had to find the synonym. See? The possibilities are endless!

My new kid also LOVES to fish. For real. Real fish. So this game was designed especially for him (and thanks, J, for the fishing pole you left behind!):

There's a magnet taped to the end of the line, and the die cut fish have sight words on them. Each fish also has a paperclip, thus making it possible to catch them with the fishing pole! In this picture, the words are facing up, but we also play with them facing down. He gets to choose which fish to catch, and if he reads the word on the back, he keeps it, if not, he throws it back!

What worksheet have you been able to turn into a game?


Sarah said...

I'm stealing these! The 3rd graders I work with with love my new checkers game. They have to read the word they want to move to.

Anonymous said...

If I didn't know better, from the picture I would have thought you were teaching the word hell :) Glad you like the pole, K's old para left it. Hope your spring break is good, mine is supposed to be what meteorologists call winter blast.

Anonymous said...

I, too, ONLY use games to teach English to the 10 year old French kids on Wednesdays! dad

Angela said...

This is such a useful post! I've included it with this month's Cornerstone Accolades.

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