Over the years, I've found that kids usually fall into two categories when practicing basic skills. There are the kids that always seem to be excited to practice their math facts and sight words. These kids seem to find some sort of joy in mastering those basic skills. They seem to be able to create a challenge for themselves and never seem to tire of flash cards. This group is the minority.
The majority of children do not find joy in practicing basic skills. There is either a groan at the sight of the sight word cards, or a silent resignation at the task of getting through the dreaded practice. Or, you may have a child that just refuses to participate.
To change their reluctance to excitement, all you need is a little fun. Turn the rote practice in to a game. I've seen the most reluctant students ask to practice their math facts when they are presented in a fun format. They don't realize, or care, that they are practicing the same skills they've recently refused to practice.
Here are a few basic game formats that I use regularly:
Roll, Say, Keep
Roll, Say, Keep! is a fun game that you can use to practice any basic skills. You need a few things for this game: a game board for each child, cards to practice a skill, and one die.
Kids will roll the die, count the dots on the die, and find the space with the matching numeral. They will then identify, read, or solve the problem from the card in that space. If they do this correctly, they are able to "keep" that card and they keep on playing.
Bump is another fun and easy game to use. All you need is a game board, 2 dice, and 10 cubes of two different colors. Players roll the dice, add the numbers and find the sum on their boards. It is a great way to practice math facts.
You can use a number of variations with this game. Use 3 dice to practice three digit addition, have students use 2 dice and multiply the numbers, use 2 dice and practice subtraction. You can try out a FREE Back-To-School Bump game here.
Kids have a wonderful time "feeding" anything in the classroom. The act of placing a card into the frogs mouth, changes the task from mundane to out of this world! I've created a multitude of animals, people, and monsters that can eat any sight word, letter, number, shape, or math fact that you throw at them. It doesn't need to be elaborate, all it requires is some type of mouth.
read directions to make them here and get a freebie, too!
here. It's fun, adds novelty, and keeps their attention.