Saturday, June 30, 2012

Welcome Dr. Penny and A Freebie For Blog Swap and Hop

I am delighted to introduce you to one of the smartest bloggers I know! Dr. Penny from Teach The Math is my guest for the Blog Swap and Hop.  You're gonna love her. I just know it.  Remember, I'm off visiting a blogger friend myself.  So when you've finished here, please hop on over to A Special Kind of Class  (I'll leave her button at the bottom so you can find it)
to see what I've been up to and grab a couple of new freebies.  I'll see you over there.  Now without further adeau . . .
www.teachthemath.com


Hello all!  I'm Penny from Teach the Math.  I am thrilled to be guest blogging here with you today.  Isn't this Blog Swap and Hop just the ticket?  It is such fun! Thanks Marsha for letting me share your blog! There are many things that I love about teaching school, but two of my favorites are Kindergartners and math.  Teaching math in Kindergarten can be challenging, but it is also exciting!  



Many teachers use simple games to help reinforce their math instruction. Games are fun, engaging, and provide much needed practice for children who may need to deepen their conceptual understanding of a particular skill or strategy. They not only motivate children to work hard at solving problems, but they are great ways to bring enjoyment back to your math time. So when is enough, enough? Is there any real value in playing a certain game again and again?  


Can you think back to when you first learned how to play games?  If I reflect on my own experiences; I recall it went something like this. I'll use tic-tac-toe for example. The very first time I played it, I really had no clue what the game was about, what the objective might be, or how to be strategical in the placement of my X's or O's.  I simply added my X's or O's in a sporadic and random way.  I quickly learned that a random strategy was no strategy at all.  More often than not, I came out on the losing end of the game. Very soon though, I realized that there were strategic moves that were important to know if I wanted to win. The more I played, the better I understood the game.  The more I understood, the better I became. I began to build a bank of strategies that greatly increased my chances of winning. The same is true for Kinder kids who play the same games again and again during math time.  The more opportunities they have to play the game, the better they become at thinking, reasoning, and building new strategies for winning.  


These same strategy building skills are critical to future mathematical success.  Don't underestimate the power of having simple, but fun math games as part of your math curriculum.  And don't be so quick to put the games away.  Encourage your students to keep playing them, again and again. I created a free set of fun and easy games for you to use in your classroom. I've included them in the link below. Just print the gameboards, provide dot cubes, and your students are ready to play.  Challenge your students to play these games again and again, and see what strategies they will develop in the process.
 www.teachthemath.com       www.teachthemath.com
I hope you enjoy using them with your class and be sure to visit my blog for other fun and easy to use math ideas!  
www.teachthemath.com
Thanks so much for reading along!
www.teachthemath.com
Dr. Penny Messick is an Instructional Specialist with the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI).  She spent 25 years teaching K-2 and is a strong supporter of inquiry based learning.  She spends most of her days providing resources and professional development for elementary teachers across south Alabama.  Penny blogs at www.teachthemath.com.  She can also be found on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.





Ok!!! Don't forget to check out the rest of the bloggers hopping today!  There's sure to be plenty of great ideas and some special treats to collect along the way.  I'll see you over at A Special Kind of Class.




Check them out:

16 comments :

  1. What a great post!!!! I just taught a workshop to kindergarten teachers and this was one of the points I REALLY tried to emphasize. I hope you don't mind but I want to link this post to my blog (after I get done hopping around today) Thanks so much for the freebie, I'm heading on over to your math blog now : )
    ✰ Stacy

    Simpson Superstars

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    1. Thanks Stacy! You are more than welcome to link this to your blog (I'm sure Marsha would agree)! I am heading over to check out your blog too. :)

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  2. Fabulous information!!I loved using games to teach math! I always made up my own while teaching Kinder, but I have seen so many great resources available now. I believe games are being integrated in many subjects. I love teaching reading and writing & my kids always looked forward to playing the games. They are so much more actively engaged with the lesson when they are thinking for themselves and problem solving with their peers.

    Thanks for sharing...off to the next blog...


    Michelle
    The 3AM Teacher
    Visit My TPT Store
    Visit My FB Page

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    1. I couldn't agree more Michelle! I love it when a student leaves for the day and says "We didn't even do math today!" That's what happens when Math is fun, engaging, and disguised as games!

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  3. I love that you posted about math games. I used more of them last year than ever before and we had fun and I got great results. Thanks for the freebie- it will be perfect for my first graders at the beginning of the year! This blog hop is so much fun!
    _Chrissy
    First Grade Found Me

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    1. Thanks Chrissy, I'm glad you mentioned the results you get from playing games in math. Often we think they are simply fun and help pass the time, but we can really ramp up the rigor in the games to increase the benefit to our students.

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  4. What great information Dr. Penny! Thank you for the great games! :)

    Mary
    Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives

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  5. I love math games with the kids! Thank you for sharing this!

    Michelle
    Apples and ABC's

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  6. Great post Dr. Penny! I started doing the Math Daily 5 this past year and coming up with math games became a passion and a challenge. Thanks so much for the "Four in a Row" game that I can add to my math games for this coming year! I know the kids are going to love playing it!

    Deb at Fabulously First

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    1. Thanks Deb! I hope your students will enjoy the game! I would love to hear more about other games you use in your classroom!

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  7. Fun post! You can tell right away which students have learned to use strategic thinking in games and which ones have not yet. Anytime we can make learning fun it's a good thing!
    Lori
    Conversations in Literacy

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  8. I love ideas for math games. I like how the game is differentiated and you use the simple language of "count down 1" which helps my strugglers trying to understand math talk. Thank you for sharing :)

    Treasures for Teaching

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  9. Penny, thanks for your excellent explanation about using math games again and again in the classroom!

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  10. Thanks for the game! I have been reviewing plus 1 addition with my son over the past week so I was very excited to see your download. We played this morning and he LOVED it. He wanted to play again and again!

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  11. Thanks so much for all your comments! And Jennifer, I am thrilled that your son enjoyed the game, and I'm glad that you took the time to let me know! Thanks! :)

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