When I started teaching 7 years ago, I purchased a game called “Play on Words”, a dome filled with colourful dice and a cute little beeping timer. I bought it with the intention of it being a center, but experienced great success when I started using it as a whole class game ten minutes or so before the bell.
My students LOVE to play and challenge themselves…and me! The game itself is no longer in production, but you can view the rules on the Winning Moves Games website. However, I don’t believe that you need the actual game to play the way we do as a class, so these rules are created to work with any letter tiles, letter dice or letter cards you may have lying around your classroom.
Most important about this game...
Make it your own and have fun! Every class is different so listen to you students to see what they like best about the game and use that to engage them. Ask for suggestions. Use your own ideas to expand on the game….and let me know what you do to make “Playing with Words” better. I’d love to hear it!
This is a word game, but it uses math skills too! Students build words, access prior knowledge, challenge themselves and work together. This game uses a system where students collect points for the words that match the teacher's. Tallying up points is half the fun!
Grades 3-9 (From the Alberta Program of Studies)
Listening and Speaking: communicate thoughts, feelings, experiences, information and opinions, and learn to understand
themselves and others; develop fluency and confidence in their oral language abilities
Reading and Writing: enable students to extend their knowledge and use of language, increase their understanding of themselves and others, and experience enjoyment and personal satisfaction.
General Outcome 3: Students will listen, speak, read, write,
view and represent to manage ideas and information.
General Outcome 5: Students will listen, speak, read, write,
view and represent to respect, support and collaborate with others.
COMMUNICATION: Students need opportunities to read about,
represent, view, write about, listen to and discuss mathematical ideas. These opportunities allow students to create links between their own language and ideas, and the formal language and
symbols of mathematics.
CONNECTIONS: When mathematical ideas are connected to each other or to real-world phenomena, students begin to view mathematics as useful, relevant and integrated.
MENTAL MATHEMATICS AND ESTIMATION: Mental mathematics enables students to determine answers without paper and pencil. It improves computational fluency by developing efficiency, accuracy and flexibility.
NUMBER SENSE: Number sense develops when students connect
numbers to their own real-life experiences and when students use benchmarks and referents. This results in students who are computationally fluent and flexible with numbers.
*Thank you to My Cute Graphics for the adorable border and background!