I’m going to start with the silliest, “stupidest” game ever. But I use it nearly every day; no teacher should be without it! When I first started teaching Kindergarten, I taught the afternoon class, and I had moved into a room with a very experienced, expert teacher that new teachers tend to find somewhat intimidating! Luckily, she took me under her wing, and taught me all of the things I should have learned in my student teaching experience, but didn’t. Anyway, when the AM teacher, Mrs. Kinne, taught me this game, I thought she was crazy. What child would ever find this entertaining? Who in the world would think of such a thing?
The Quiet Game
What you need:
1. Your teacher chair.
2. A DISTRACTION that pulls you away from teaching your class for a minute or two- like a child wetting his pants, or a parent that MUST talk to you right away, in private!
How to play:
- Choose one child to be the "starter." This child gets to sit in your teacher chair and chooses the quietest person in the room.
- The person that gets chosen by the starter gets to be the next leader. He gets to sit in the teacher chair and picks the next quietest person to sit in the teacher chair.
- Boys must pick girls, and girls must pick boys. No "pick backs" allowed!
- No “stalling” allowed; (you can’t just sit there and pick no one, or the teacher will choose for you. If I notice kids stalling, I call out, “Okay, I’m going to count to three, and then I will pick for you!” That always does it. They pick someone immediately!
When you are done managing your DISTRACTION: have the person in the chair choose someone to start the game next time. Don't let the person in the chair be the starter next time, or kids may sit and "stall," refusing to choose someone- usually because they hope to be the starter next time!
- Keep track of who gets to be the next “starter” on a small white board and pin it to a wall or bulletin board nearby your teacher chair. If you can find a small one that has a place to attach a little dry erase marker with an eraser on the end of it, then it will be really quick and easy to write it down each time.
- If my “starter” is absent or busy with something, then I usually have my helper of the day start the game.
Here’s another great game. We play this one a LOT- especially at the beginning of the school year with our Zoo-Phonics cards:
Whole Group "Bang!"
What you need:
Flash cards for any concept, some with the word, "Bang!" on them.
How to play:Drill the kids on the flash cards. When the word , "Bang!" comes up, they sit down. The next time it comes up, they stand up, etc.
Variations on Whole Group Bang:
Change the motion to something else, such as spin around, growl like a tiger, or snap like a crocodile. Change the word bang to "Kablooie!" and have the kids explode and fall down.
I just finished enlarging a whole set of action cards that I'll post right here as a FREE download! They include the “Bang!” card, the “Kablooie!” card, and the other ones as well. Plus, there are about 40 more other large action cards to use as well. I was thinking that this year, I might just pick a few of the cards at random and put them in with some sight word cards that we need to work on and drill the group. That way, the actions would come up as a surprise each time (or nearly each time, depending on how often I change them!). I think that would be a good way to keep the kids actively involved! I have included in the download a blank card at the end of the stack so that you can print whatever sight words you want on it and duplicate it lots of times.
Anyway, for now the download is free, but it may not be forever, so if you are interested in having it, make sure you grab it now, then pop on over to the free downloads page on my website and see some other fun ideas to experiment with as well. And keep checking back for more Group Game ideas coming here soon!