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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sink or Swim

I feel like this is the story of my life at the moment but alas it is actually a game I played with my son's class the other day. His teacher let me sneak in for a few hours to observe his teaching style for an assignment. Shhh! It was not an authorized observation hence the sneak part!

I have never been in a classroom with a male teacher before so was very excited! The first thing I noticed was that his room was plain rather than cute. I am used to the "girly" classrooms and this was "manland" as my son told me.

When I spoke to my son's teacher he rearranged his entire days worth of lesson plans for me. He said women over complicate things so I wanted you to see what you can teach with little to no resources and planning. He spent 5 minutes planning his day!!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE that he did this for me and I learned so much. Anyways... onto the my day of "not over complicating things" aka... Sink or Swim!



So do you see that pile of index cards on the floor... you will need one of those to play. Split the class into half. There is no talking during this game. The teacher divides the students into 2 teams and every player on the team has their name written on the board. Each team also has the 2 answers available written on their side of the board.

No talking is allowed or you are sunk (sit down). A student picks a card from the pile. They choose an answer. If they are correct... they pick to either swim (save) a teammate who was sunk before or sink (sit down) an opponent. Each player standing at the end gets 100 points. If the entire table is standing they get 500 points. If all 4 tables on a team is standing at the end they get a 10,000 point bonus! Points are used to win awards and are awarded by table.

Game lasts for as long as you have time. Kids get to wiggle and move but no pushing. Teacher can sink you for inappropriate behavior or talking and you can't be swum back in except by the teacher. The kids loved it and begged to play!
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UPDATE: I received several emails asking for more specifics on this game. So here ya go! =)

 After teaching a grammar lesson on pronouns where students learned to recognize pronoun usage as the subject or object of the sentence, this game was played. The 2 answers are: subject or object. The pile of index cards has a pronoun written on it. The student has to state by pointing whether the pronoun applies to a subject, an object, or both.

There can be more than 2 answers but you need to keep the answers to a minimum. Imagine using this to identify different types of triangles, classifying animals, determining types of sentences, etc... Basically, anything that you would classify into categories can be used for this game!

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Per this teacher all you need for an entire school year is a few thousand index cards and a bunch of sharpie markers and you can be set to go! One of my favorite parts is that he taught everything in chunks. First it was taking notes, then a memory game... then sink or swim.

Lots of fun and easy to plan! What are your favorite classroom game?

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2 Comments:

At October 8, 2012 at 9:51 PM , Blogger Dani Burtsfield said...

I am a little confused with this game; what was the question/s they needed to answer? Can you give a more specific play-by-play of how the game runs?
Thanks!

 
At October 8, 2012 at 10:27 PM , Blogger Shannon said...

I'm with Dani-a little confused about only having 2 answer choices available for a pile of index cards. Of course, it is after midnight as I read this.... :)

Shannon
http://www.irunreadteach.wordpress.com

 

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