January 2015


When the weather outside is frightful,
These games can be so delightful!
Rain or snow let the games begin.
Everybody learns and everybody wins!

Let’s get this New Year started with a new video and song download.
Jump Rope Rally - Click the triangle to view video.

Jump Rope Rally Video - (84 MB) Click to download
Jump Rope Rally (Vocal) Download Vocal
Jump Rope Rally (Instrumental) Download Instrumental
Jump Rope Rally Activities, Lyrics Click to download

All you have to do is call something a “game” and your students will want to play. These games support ACTIVE LEARNING because they are multi-sensory and engaging. They also provide PURPOSEFUL PRACTICE FOR AUTOMATICITY (a.k.a. repetition for skill mastery). If you give children a worksheet they probably won’t request to do it again. However, with a game they’ll want to play over and over again. You can use these games on snowy days or whenever you have a few minutes. Adapt them to any skill you are working on from letters to sounds to numbers to sight words to math facts to…I think you’ve got it!

Hint! If children don’t know the answer when playing games allow them to “phone a friend” (ask a friend) or “ask the audience” (ask the class).


Musical Chairs
You remember the old game where you placed chairs in a circle and walked around until the music stopped? If you didn’t find a chair you were OUT! This is a similar game that can be used to reinforce letters, words, math facts. etc. Write information you want to reinforce on paper plates. Scatter them on the floor. Play some catchy music for the children to dance to. When the music stops each child finds a paper plate and picks it up. The teacher randomly points to various children to identify the information on their plate.
If the child is unsure about what is on her plate invite her to “ask the audience.”

Heads Up – Seven Up
Seven children come to the front of the room and are given a flashcard. The rest of the class puts their heads down. The seven tiptoe around and place a flashcard by a friend before returning to the front of the room. The seven join in and say, “Heads up! Seven up!” Children who received a flashcard stand up and read the information on their card. They have three guesses to determine who gave them the flashcard. They can switch places if they can identify that person.

Red Rover, Red Rover
Divide the class into two teams and have them stand on opposite sides of the room facing each other. Give each player a flashcard to hold in front of them. The teacher goes to one team and asks, “Who do you want to call over?” The children select someone from the opposite side and say, “Red rover, red rover, send word/or information on flashcard right over.” The child holding that word walks, hops, tiptoes or jumps to the opposite side. The game continues as sides take turns calling words to come over.

Draw a hopscotch frame on a paved surface. Write letters, words, numerals, or anything you want to reinforce in the sections. Children take turns hopping as they identify the information in the squares.

Hint! You can make an indoor hopscotch with masking tape on the floor.
You can also use a shower curtain liner to make a hop scotch frame. (Use an erasable marker so you can change the information in the squares throughout the school year.)

Catch and Tell
You will need a beanbag or small sponge ball to play this game. The teacher says a letter and then tosses the ball to a child. That child must name something that begins with that sound before tossing the ball back to the teacher.

•This game can be adapted for rhyming words, colors, math, social studies, and other skills. It’s perfect for waiting in the hall or during transitions.

Hot Potato
Children stand in a circle. Players pass a ball/hot potato from one to another as quickly as possible because they don’t want to hold the “hot potato.” Whoever is holding the ball when the teacher blows the whistle has to read a word or identify other information on flashcards.
•An indoor version of this game can be played with a beanbag as the children sit on the floor.

This game is similar to “hangman,” but much more politically correct! Think of a word and write blanks on the board for each letter. Students call out letters. If the letter is in the word write it on the blank. If the letter is not in the word draw a large circle and begin drawing a snowman. (Put the letter in a “bone pile” at the bottom of the board.) Continue drawing other parts of the snowman if a letter called out is not in the word. Who can read the word before the snowman is finished?

High Low

Tic-Tac-Toe This Is What I Know
Make a tic-tac-toe frame on the board. Divide the class into two teams. One team is “X” and the other team is “O.” One player from each team comes to the front of a room. If they can identify information on a flashcard (or a question the teacher asks) they may place an “X” or an “O” for their team. The first team to get three in a row is the winner.

Hint! Use a plastic lid as a pattern and cut out two circles. Write “high” on one side and “low” on the other. After playing a game toss the circle. If “high” appears the team with the highest score wins. If “low” comes up the team with the lowest score is the winner.


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