Brain Freeze! is a ready-made, easy to assemble, and fun to use resource that can be ready to use in less than twenty minutes. These features provide you with a learning center activity that can be prepared with a minimal amount of time and effort. As a teacher myself, I understand the value of this.
The first pages of this packet introduce the game concept, rules, and the individual skills associated with it. The latter part contains the actual game materials. The can labels and game rules should be printed on regular copy paper while the game cards are designed to be printed onto card stock. The two types of paper ensure ease of use and durability for extended use.
There are three types of cards included in this game. Two-thirds of the cards are skill cards that students have to respond to and address the specified Common Core Standard. Along with the skills cards are the occasional Brain Freeze! card which causes the player to forfeit his or her cards to the discard pile. Brain Freeze! also has a “Thaw” card which, if drawn, is retained until the next Brain Freeze! card is drawn. The “Thaw” card and the Brain Freeze! card go into the discard pile, but the player keeps his or her cards. Play continues until either the set amount of time is over or all of the cards have been drawn.
The concept for BANG! and the other activities available from Common Core in a Can! have been around for many years. These highly motivational activities utilize an empty container, which would typically be discarded, filled with game cards that review a previously taught skill or concept. The object of the game is simply to draw out skill cards and avoid the “BANG!” cards which result in the player losing all of his or her game cards. If a student is unable to correctly respond to the skill card, the card is returned to the can. Over the past eighteen years, I have developed variations of this game that can be used in nearly every subject area. Because it is not technology-based, activities of this nature appeal to students and encourage actual student-to-student interaction. The hands-on, interactive components of these activities are also supported by current brain research and promote more efficient assimilation of concepts and effective retrieval of information from long- and short-term memory.
This game is part of a collection of grade level activities published as Common Core In a Can: Get More BANG! Out of the Standards! 1st Grade Math Activities Vol. 1. This volume contains six grade level skill activities that are specifically designed to address the Common Core State Standards. The 1st grade math skills addressed in that publication include: addition and subtraction within 20, missing addends, counting patterns, identifying geometric shapes, simple fractions ( ½ & ¼), place values to tens place, and telling time to the half hour. Mental math is required for every activity. It is available at https://www.createspace.com/5592303.