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Learning, Engagement, & Games – Fun Activities to Mix Up the School Day!

Games and learning can go hand in hand!

We want students to practice skills and reinforce what they’ve learned. A great avenue for that is incorporating games and activities to practice the skills in a different format!

If you’re like me, you might read the above and think about how much extra work that’s going to take…which is true, depending on the game.

But, there are so many simple games you can do to support reading, math, SEL, and more!

Below are a few of my favorite educational games to use in the classroom.

Kaboom

Kaboom is so simple and easy! In Kaboom, students draw a card. If they pull one of the Dolch words, then they need to read that word aloud. If read correctly, they keep the card. If read incorrectly, they return the card to the discard pile. The next student then takes their turn and the same steps are repeated.

But, if you pull a Kaboom card, you have to put ALL your cards back in the pile. The game keeps going for as long as you want! (or until someone gets all the cards)

This can be easily changed to have the cards in a container, to split up the deck and put them facedown, in centers, during free time, a rainy day recess activity… Any type of time filler or review activity you might need!

I have used Kaboom to practice sight words and for students to practice various math facts (especially multiplication!).

You can easily make these with popsicle sticks by writing the problems/words you want on the sticks and having students pull them out. You can also make cards and have students shuffle and draw cards instead!

You can click here to check out all of the different Kaboom games I have available.

Are you more like…? 

I absolutely love this game! Imagine a “Would you rather….” game, but instead students choose what they feel they are the most similar to.

These can be goofy, serious, or related to your class content! Some examples:

  • Are you more like a wolf or a cheetah?
  • Are you more like addition or subtraction?
  • Are you more like the mountains or the ocean?

 You can write the options on a piece of paper and present it on a projector, write the options on a whiteboard, or use videos/slideshows to present the options. I play by having students walk to the side of the room that the option they choose is on. This allows for some movement in the classroom and a great brain break opportunity!

You can look at my Are You More Like…..? Game here!

Green Glass Door 

This game is a bit complicated for younger students, but is still doable!

In this game, the teacher (or whoever is “it”) thinks of a specific rule or category, such as “Things that start with the letter A” or “Different Types of Fruit.” Students have to guess items and see if they fit the category. Their goal is to figure out what the rule or category is!

Let’s do an example below where the category is “Things that start with the letter B.”

  • Student 1: “Can a kitten go through the door?”
    • Response: “No, a kitten cannot go through the door.”
  • Student 2: “Can a banana go through the door?”
    • Response: “Yes, a banana can go through the door!”

The categories and rules can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make them! It’s a fun and engaging game to use as a brain break or time filler.

Bingo Card Writing Prompts

A simple way to get students to write is by writing prompt bingo cards! 

You can create your own prize for completing different ways of earning a bingo, and allow student choice when writing to different themes.

Depending on grade and ability level, you can create more complicated prompts or simpler prompts for students to accomplish.

You can look at my Monthly Writing Prompts Bundle here!

Write the Room Activities

Finding students to engage in reading and writing activities could be a struggle. Especially if they had to stay still in one spot.

My solution? Creating Write the Room activities!

Write the Room activities are task cards that have different facts and information about a specific holiday, or spelling words that relate to the holiday. 

You can look at my other Write the Room blog post here, where I talk more about what other topics I use them for.  

I have made them for many different federal holidays and other recognized holidays. Using them in my classroom, my students learn more about why those certain holidays are celebrated and learn cool facts along the way!

You can click here to view all of my Write the Room activities!

Thank you for reading, and happy teaching!

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