Math Games, Animal Books, and Social Skills With Our First-Grade Buddies!
Help me give my students the cooperative and strategic learning and organizational tools needed for their successful exploration of classic games as they practice math, science, language, leadership, and collaborative skills.
This project expired on February 3, 2019.
Hooray! This project is fully funded
My fifth graders are eager and excited learners. They are a group of at-risk students who have not had many advantages in social, emotional, or academic arenas. Despite their personal circumstances, they come to school every day excited and ready to learn, explore, and collaborate with their peers.
The students in my inspiring community of learners desire to do their best academically as they also practice empathy and integrity (two of the guiding principles in our classroom) in their daily interactions.
Language and learning barriers are plentiful, but each day students help each other succeed. One of my favorite instances is when one student sees that another is having trouble understanding a concept in English and instantly, using their common language, whispers a translation or a better cultural explanation to the non-understanding student.
At least once a week my students invite a first-grade class to our room to play math games. This is play that is serious learning, in disguise! Game playing (non-screen) is something my students have little to no experience in. Over 80% of my students are not grade-level proficient, so one might wonder ... why spend time on play?
When students are immersed in rigorous, team-building, and strategic play activities they are engaged, and when they are engaged they learn best.
One day in class I made reference to the childhood classic card game, Go Fish. None of my students knew what I was talking about, so that night I bought a few decks of face cards at a thrift store and taught them to play the next day. Their delight was palpable, as was their confidence, in the new skills necessary for this simple game, formerly unknown to them.
Each game I have requested uses talents in academic areas that they are just beginning to find in themselves. My students have a lot going against them in their personal and learning lives. A side benefit to these weekly game sessions is that by becoming familiar with classic games such as Trouble, Checkers, Uno, Dominoes, their ability to interact and not always be social outsiders increases greatly.
Mostly, learning a variety of games increases their thinking, teamwork, and socialization.
As you look over the list of games, I hope it will be obvious what each selection's purpose is. You may wonder about some of the non-game supplies I have requested. The sheet protectors are for game instructions and the tubs are for keeping the games safe to protect your generous investment in learning. The chairs are for quadrant leaders, who will answer questions and encourage fair play.
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