Tuesday, 27 March 2012

March Madness!!

Professional Development.....

Sometimes I hear those two words and want to hide, scream, jump for joy because I can learn something new.  In my short time being a professional teacher I have discovered ONE important fact that I want all newbie teachers to learn quicker than I did.

Are you listening??

If you want the really good PD sessions at the conferences..... you need to get there early and if need be push other teachers out of their chairs, scream and yell if you don't get in, skip earlier sessions.  I saw an amazing lady talk about her carpet lesson idea and I definitely wanted to learn more so I put her on my list of must go to conferences.  Sadly a lot of other teachers thought the same thing as me and even though I got there 15 minutes early, it was standing room only.

Needless to say, I learned my lesson.  Next time I will come prepared (to kick and shout)!!

Any who, one great thing that I took away from this conference was Box Cars and One Eyed Jacks.  These ladies have published several books that use games in order to teach math.  This was perfect for me because my Professional Development Project for the year was "How can mathematical games affect student engagement and math learning?".  So I was hooked! I also loved that these books only require dice, cards, and some teacher created materials (so thrifty me was happy that I didn't have to spend too much money on additional resources).

Here is one  game that I have used and loved, if you want to learn more or have questions you can check out their website or email me.

Make 20: 
This is for Grades 1-3 and requires the students to do addition and subtraction up to 20 and understand odd and even numbers.  You can have 2-4 players and all you need is some cards (ace to 5 for Grade 1, or ace to 9 for Grade 2 and 3), paper and a pencil.  Using the game board (there is one already made in the back of the book, you can download one from the website, or you can use mine), students start at 10 and try and make their way to 0 or 20.  Each player turns over one card from the deck, if it is an odd card the player must subtract and move back the number of spaces indicated on the card.  If it is an even number they must add and move forward the number of spaces indicated on the card.  The first player to get exactly to twenty or zero is the winner.
 This is a super easy game to teach, and a fun way to play with number lines, addition and subtraction, and odd and even numbers. The only problem I had with this game was that some students found themselves "outside" of the game board if they got a lot of even or odd numbers in a row.  My rule was that if they were stuck a number for example 1, they would have to wait until they got an ace or an even number to move them forward.  If they got a 3, they wouldn't move into the negatives, instead they would miss a turn. 


As a way to celebrate the end of March and the start of April I am having a March Madness TPT & TN sale!!!! Everything in my stores will be 20% off until March 30th. 


  1. That looks like a fun game. Thanks for sharing.

    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  2. I love dice and card games and so do my kiddos!

    They also love Kamii games. =)

    I am so loving your new design! =)

    Heather's Heart

    1. What are Kamii games??

      I love the simple an easy games, and it is shocking how engaging they can be. When I first read over this game I thought "like this will keep my student attention for more than 10 minutes" but it did! And they wanted to play it again and again.


  3. The Box Car books are great! I've had them for about 15 years now. Nothing like a game that only requires dice or playing cards :)
    Grade ONEderful

  4. AMMYYY!! Run to my blog... hurry! You got to see this! Why are you still reading this??? I mean it hurry and bring your camera! LOL!

    Think, Wonder, & Teach

    1. I brought my camera and took lots of pictures :)


  5. Amy,
    Just wanted to check to see how everything was working out with the new blog design.

  6. Thanks Erika, it is working out wonderfully!!! I am still so thankful for your beautiful work.