We're working on identifying numerals up to 100 this term. Using my pocket chart I hid little monsters behind five numbers. Kidlets took turns trying to find the monsters by asking 'Is there a monster behind the number...'. I've played this game before using monsters hidden behind sight words and the same thing happened this time - the whole class was absolutely bursting with excitement to have a guess. And the reaction when a monster was discovered was priceless! :)
While playing this game it was easy to see who was confident with their numeral identification and who needs more work on this. You can also ask for guesses that are less/more than specific numbers, even/odd, teen numbers etc. and this allows you to differentiate the game really easily for those who are ready for something trickier.
Nothing is easier to use for number identification tasks than board games! Whether the kidlets are identifying dot patterns or numerals on a die or on the game itself the idea is the same. This week I used Chutes and Ladders because the board shows the numbers 1-100. As each player took their turn I had them count out loud as they moved their piece along the number line. If you can't find a board game with the numbers you need to work with on it, it would be very easy to whip up a grid and make your own!
You might have read my post earlier in the year all about a DIY game called Pirate Treasure Ten Frames. This next game is kind of similar, except the kidlets work with teen numbers. I call it 'Chook Champs'! ('Chook' is an Aussie slang term for chicken.) All you need is a whole stack of egg cartons. Cut them down so that you end up with ten frames - these cartons are perfect for working with manipulatives in any number work you do. To play Chook Champs each kidlet needs two ten frames each. They take turns to roll a die, adding cubes (or whatever) to their cartons. As they play, discuss the number of cubes they have collected. 'You have ten and four more, what number do you have?' 'Who has the most cubes?' 'How many more do you need to make 10 or 20?' I've found that this is a really engaging way to reinforce that tricky teen number concept. You can also have them record their number on a whiteboard after each turn to practice writing those numbers. When both ten frames are full, kidlets get a Chook Champ card! (This is just a picture of a chicken.) The player with the most chickens at the end of the playing time is the Chook Champ! Warning: excitement levels often make this game noisy. :)
Last of all is an idea for working on addition concepts that you can adapt to any theme or for any hands on counters you have. My version is called 'Dino Dash'.
Use two pocket dice and some dot pattern cards. Kidlets roll both and add them together to move their dinosaur along the path. When one dinosaur makes it to the end, they have a rest under the tree and another dinosaur begins his journey. They player with the most dinosaurs resting under the tree at the end of the game is the winner! To use this game all through the year I simply change the numbers in the dice. To work on the 'count on' strategy I have one die with numerals and the other with one, two or three dots. Later in the year both dice will have numerals on them when we're ready for addition to be a little more abstract.
If you don't have plastic dinosaurs just make up a board that suits whatever you have! Maybe bugs along flowers, or teddies walking towards a picnic - the possibilities are endless really. :)
I really hope you found an idea that you might be able to use in your classroom! I'd love to hear from you if your kidlets enjoyed these simple but fun activities.