Friday, August 10, 2012

Guided Math...Keep It Simple, Silly

KISS..for a group of my friends and I this stands for: Keep It Simple, Silly.  Streamlining and simplifying my life helps keep me balanced and focused.  So when I start to get waist deep in the busyness and clutter of my life I look for ways to simplify. Achieving and maintaining balance in my life is hard but is worth the effort.  I'm bringing this philosophy into my classroom as well and I think it benefits me as the teacher and the kids as the students.

Case in point would be the number of materials I use for learning stations. Gosh, it is easy to get caught up in creating and making  games and materials for students to use. I could spend hours and hours copying, cutting, pasting and laminating materials for students to use.  So many materials yet so little time.  In an effort to salvage time for other areas of my life I've told myself to: Keep It Simple, Silly.

 As I'm preparing for guided math and the next school year, I'm organizing materials in the math zone in my room.I'm picking around 3-5 games  for each of the math strands that we cover. Since I'm limiting the number,  I'm being careful to pick ones that are engaging, effective and somewhat open ended.  Ones that I believe will become student favorites since they will be playing them again and again.

Here are the ones I will be teaching at the start of the year. These three are simple to play and require just dice, cards or dominoes and are  great for providing practice in mental math (addition and subtraction) and strategic thinking

You can download these games for free here if interested: 

How about you?  Do you have some simple favorites that you use in your classroom.  Please share!