Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Horse Races & Animal Teeth!

It must seem like I'm a walking, talking billboard for Boxcars and One-Eyed Jacks!  Once again, I'm posting about another of their WONDERFUL products.
These are their Stratedice.  There is a wealth of games you can play using these babies.  Today I had my class using them to practice place value to hundreds and multiplication. 
Horse Race
Here's how you play:  Pair your students and give them one tray.  The kids CAREFULLY empy both trays and divide the dice by color.  This game is played like War.  Each student takes two dice and rolls them.  If you are playing Place Value, they arrange the dice into tens and ones.  The student with the biggest (or smallest if you choose) wins that round.  The winning dice go onto the Race Track (the black tray) and the losing dice go to the Barn (the clear tray).
The important thing to remember here, is that the students must learn to verbalize WHY they won. 
For example, the white dice has the number 651.  The blue has 411.  The white dice wins because "6 hundreds are greater than 4 hundreds."
After a few rounds of playing Place Value Horse Race, I had them work on Multiplication.  Here the kids roll two dice and find the product of the two numbers.  The student with the highest number wins.  Remember, they need to verbalize why they win!
Since I'm talking about multiplication, I just HAD to share something that I discovered a couple years ago and have used it to help my students remember their multiplication facts. 
It is called Memorize in Minutes: The Times Tables.  It was written by Alan Walker.  It doesn't have a cutsy cover, so I just made one.  What the author has done is come up with short stories to go along with each fact and it creates a memory hook.  Each number is given an image and those images and words are used in the story.  Here's one of my favorites:
"One evening there was a party for a queen at a big hotel.  The hotel had revolving doors.  When the queen got to the hotel, she was amazed to see the revolving doors.  She had never seen doors like those before.  She pushed the doors and went around and around because it was so much fun.  Soon she became dizzy and felt sick.  She had become a sick queen."
The greatest thing about this is that it's completly FREE!  Get your own copy right here.
Animal Teeth!
I was so excited to try this activity that was created by Yolanda Arnold over at Oceans of First Grade Fun
 I had recently gotten a copy of "What If You Had Animal Teeth" from my Scholastic book order and then came across Ms. Arnold's post.  I thought this would be a great project to do in our final days of school. (Only 3 more days for us!!!!!!)
My kids had so much fun doing this activity and their projects came out AWESOME!
Here is a Vampire Bat and Rattlesnake.

Here is a Beaver and a Crocodile.
This is certainly going to become a regular project in my classroom!

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