Saturday, April 21, 2012

They're all wound up . . . and it's differentiated too.

I can't think of a kinder I've had yet that hasn't loved to get their hands on a wind up toy.  If they love it, then somehow, someway . . . I'm gonna make it into an activity to get them ENGAGED.

But a wind up toy? Really? YES! You could use this for practicing any skill really, but for this one I used tally marks. 

I tier this activity by having two different large sheets of paper covered with different sets of tally marks.   One page is geared for my learners who were just starting to get the hang of counting by 5s and tally marks so the tally sets were smaller.  I also have another sheet which had much larger groups of tally marks.

Students each pick a side with their wind-up toy.  They were only allowed to twist the nob two turns.  (Believe me, we practice this).  While holding onto the gears so they don't unwind, they count 1-2-3 and let go.  They are only allowed to touch their toy when everyone's has stopped or if a toy is headed off their side, they may quickly turn it around and send it back. When everyone's toy has stopped, they check the set of tally marks their toy has landed on or nearest to and count them up.  The person with the biggest (or smallest -sometimes we use a spinner to determine which one will be the criteria) gets a token or manipulative as a 'point.'  When time math station time is up, the person with the most tokens is the  "Master Wind-up Toy Tally Mark Counter."

That's it! Engaging, differentiated and totally fun! Now go out there and wind 'em up!


  1. OH!!! I love this idea. I want to visit my local dollar store right now to get some. We are working on fractions, and I already have visions of how to use this idea. Thanks!

  2. This is so awesome! I have to find some wind up toys now!!!
    A Turn to Learn

  3. What a super fun activity...I wish I was in your class! :)
    The Picture Book Teacher's Edition

  4. Super cute! I'm sure the kiddos would love this!

  5. What a fantastic idea! Something else to look out for at my next visit to Pound World.


  6. Great idea! I am your newest follower! Stop by and visit me...

  7. I LOVE your ideas Marsha! Wow!

  8. I love this activity!! What a great idea! I think I might use it for sight words:)

    We are ALL Special!

  9. This is SO CUTE!! I will definitely try it in my class!

  10. Love this idea! Thank you for sharing it! :)
    Crayons and Curls

  11. Like many of the others, I want to be in your class too! I just found your blog through your comment to me on Teaching Blog Traffic School. I love hearing from Michigan teachers. I want to have a blogger meet up sometime soon to meet everybody. Love this wind up toy idea!


  12. Marsha, what a terrific idea!! "Met" you on Charity's Chats at TBTS... so glad that Pinterest led me to your blog and this awesome idea!

    Primary Inspiration



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