I am a big fan of repurposing things for the classroom, especially things I can find for free or very cheaply. I keep an eye out for games at places like Salvation Army, rummage sales, and Dollar Tree and bring them into the classroom. Of course there are many games that already pretty simple at tying into education (Battleship works on the coordinate grid, Chutes and Ladders can also easily be used to work on addition and subtraction, and Boggle helps practice phonics skills) but there are many others that can be easily adapted for classroom use by just changing things up a bit.
Last summer I posted about buying Checkers sets from Dollar Tree. While they are cheap and not so sturdy, they’re great for fact practice.
With a metallic Sharpie you can write on the black squares, so if you wanted to have two different types of games on the same board you could. One color might be addition practice while the other might be subtraction practice. Or, you could do math on one set of squares and sight words on another. Because they’re so affordable, you can buy many different boards and then just change them out throughout the year.
Another great game to use in the classroom is Twister. It really brings in the kinesthetic component, which is much needed by this point in the year. This is also great with RtI and other intervention groups!
Just like with Checkers boards, you can use the Twister mat to practice a variety of skills! You can put words or facts on each dot and then when students move to that one they have to say it. You could also write directly on the dots, though then the mat would be used for that skill only. I’ve also seen it used multiplication and division with the products on the dots and students giving a fact that results in that product.
Connect 4 is another great game for practicing math facts and sight words. Just place small stickers on the chips and students must read the chip aloud as they play.
By making cards with the desired skill on them and then putting corresponding colored squares on the card, you can also make Candyland educational! Just remember to throw in the special cards as well!
I’d love to hear ways you incorporate traditional games in your room. Is there a different game that you use?
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