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August 11, 2014

Some activities

Here are some activities I have used in class either for refreshing the class, introducing some fun or doing a centering or calming activity.

Big fish, small fish
Just a quick activity to freshen the minds is to hold hands close and call it big fish, and far apart and call it small fish. Using this small twist you go fast and slow emphasize big and small at different times and keep going till the kids can keep up or realize that they made a few mistakes and stop.

1 to 20
Generally acts as a centering activity to let the group count from 1 to 20. The catch, if two people call out at the same time you start from the beginning. There can be no pre-decided format or calling order. You can lift your hand or give indicating that you are going to speak. If the kids start using a pattern you can just call out the number along with the kids and you begin again as a group.

Weighing balance
You can have unlimited fun with weighing balances. Starting with estimation and guesses, you can move to addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and then to algebra. You can also throw in puzzles of trying to find which ball is heavier/lighter in a given set.

Stetescope speaker
Measuing heartbeat can be a fun activity especially when coupled with some exercise like running. In addition getting a child (or adult) to hear heartbeat and act as a human loudspeaker calling out the lub-dubs quietens the entire class trying to count heartbeats.

Place value kits and tables
A neat activity we got going with place value kits (ones, tens and 100s) was to use a few of the blocks - 3x10 and 8 ones or so to come up with as many multiplication possibilities as possible (without repeats and without all in one row) with few or all of the blocks.
The activity really helped getting the idea of the area of a rectangle represents multiplication home for the children.

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