Creative Strategies 4th Grade

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by DNordlander, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. DNordlander

    DNordlander Rookie

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    Jun 26, 2006

    My 4th grade Math team uses a lot of creative ways to keep the students interested. We rarely use pencil and paper worksheets. I am looking for any other suggestions of ways to make doing a worksheet fun. Here are some of the things we currently use:

    -Easter Eggs: Cut up problems and put them in Easter eggs. We hide the eggs around the room. Students find an egg, work the problem, and then re-hide the egg for another student.

    -Battleship: Students work with a partner. They are given problems to work. They start by working the first problem. When they have both reached an individual answer, they check to see if they're correct. If so, they get three trys to sink their partner's ships. We don't use the game from the store, as that would be costly. Instead, we have reproduced a game board onto paper.

    -Rubber Ducks: The teacher cuts out blue butcher paper in the shape of a pond. In the pond, there are a number of rubber ducks. (We use rubber ducks from the dollar store.) The student chooses a duck, looks at the bottom (where a number is written), and that's the problem they work on from their worksheet. **This is just a way to get them up and moving...a fun spin on a worksheet.**

    -Casitas/Offices: We have casitas that we use when students are testing. We also use these in the classroom for a fun activity. We put three problems inside of each casita (one on each flap). Each casita at the table has different problems. We play music and do sort of a musical chairs movement. They walk around their table. When the music stops, they stop at the seat they are closest to. They then choose one of the problems from that casita to work on. We give them 4 minutes and then re-start the music.

    These are just a few of the ideas that we use on a daily basis in our classrooms. I am just looking for other ways to make doing a worksheet fun. Any alternatives to the boring pen-and-paper routine would be appreciated. And if you would like any further ideas of things we use, let me know.

    Dana
     
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  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jun 26, 2006

    I love these ideas, Dana.
    Dice games are fun and easy. Bingo, too. I put a list of 20 numbers on the board. They make 4x4 bingo boards on their whiteboards and choose 16 out of the 20 numbers. My clues go something like, 1/2 of 12 plus 8, or the product of 6 and 4, or whatever I want to work on.

    Play PIG for mental math addition. Roll a die to find out the pig #. This is the one you don't want to come up. Kids stand. They keep adding on points until they choose to sit down or until the pig number is rolled. Teacher rolls one die. Kids add that number to previous total. When someone wants to sit down with their total (won't get any more points that round), they say, "Sitting with ___"; ___ is the sum. They must be correct to keep those points. You record on your list who sat down and their # of points. When the pig # comes up, everyone still standing goes back to zero. Start the next round. Everyone is in and starts at zero again. After three rounds you announce the winner. Fun and you can discuss probability, too

    Have you tried the game, Set? It doesn't have to do with computation but is an unusual game which is great practice for deductive reasoning, visual acuity, mental math, patterns, etc. Try the game online first at www.setgame.com . You can get it through teacher catalogs. About $11.99.

    I have the game I Have, Who Has? in a box, but you could make your own. Cards are dealt with a number at the top and clues below. Mine has four clues for levels easy to hard. Say, you are playing the easiest version. Someone might start with, I have 10, then read the first clue/question, who has 8 more than 20? That person answers and reads their clue/question, and so on. It circles back to the first player. If each student has more than one card, they have to pay attention longer.

    I think the favorite game this past year was played in small groups. Each group got a piece of paper with 5 numbers across the top. These are the only numbers that can be used in the answers. Each had 5 questions. They might be something like, the sum of these two numbers is 6 less than 50. ____ ____. As each group gets an answer, they send someone up to the board to put it up. The first group to finish gets their answers checked by me. The other group keeps working. If the first group has errors, they must correct them. First with all 5 correct wins. :love:
     
  4. DNordlander

    DNordlander Rookie

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    Jun 26, 2006

    Those are some good ideas too, thanks! I will be using these when I can.

    The only problem that we have in our school is that 80% of our instruction (worksheets, games, etc.) has to be problem solving. The students have to be given word problems, pick out the strategy to use, and then solve the problem. We can't just work on the multiplication, or whatever. So we rarely have time for fun games that work on computations. Do you have any creative "spins" that we can put on our day-to-day worksheets?
     
  5. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Jun 26, 2006

    I do a lot of tiling activities. I got some of these from Marcy Cook session and some from a workshop I attended. Each student gets a bag with tiles from 0 - 9. Each type of activity (eg. Fraction Match, What Time Is It?) has 20 - 30 "worksheets" where the student has to fill in all of the blanks with a tile. Each tile can only be used once.
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 26, 2006

    Seems to me, DNordlander, that 'daisy's last game should be pretty easy to adapt: instead of using number problems, use word problems, and part of the deal is that each team has to justify each answer.
     

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