Book Study: Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites (Chapter 4) - Queen of the First Grade Jungle

Book Study: Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites (Chapter 4)

I hope I haven't been holding too many of you up by posting this part of the book study after school!  I thought February was a world wind...then the first week of March hit me like a Mac Truck!

I am SO excited to be reading the book Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites with y'all.  The biggest reason I love it?  I feel that everything that I know is being affirmed.  A couple of years ago I taught in a district where assessment and data become EVERYTHING.  We lost sight of what in my opinion is one of the most important parts of teaching: quality, first time instruction!

This chapter is all about GAMES! One game that I love using with my students is I have, Who has.  I threw together this quick two digit addition with regrouping game for my class last night. 

Why I prefer this over pencil/paper? My students didn't make careless errors. They were invested! They wanted to win!

I gave each student a card. They had one minute to solve the problem, and then I started the clock.  Our first round, we completed went through the 24 problems in 6:00.  We traded cards and tried three more times.  I promised them a prize if we could get below 3 minutes.  Our last round of playing- they finished in 2:36.  I call that a WIN!  We reviewed, we listened, and we worked together as a team!  

Our prize?  5 minutes on GoNoodle! And of course they thought Mrs. King hung the moon!

Last year, I DESPISED teaching measurement.  I was still in my first year teaching 2nd and relied way too heavily on the book. My teaching was uninspired to say the least.  This year I texted Amy and asked for HELP!  She told me about Measurement Olympics!  

My kids were SO engaged, and their learning was so purposeful!

Another game that I use a TON is Numbered Heads Together.  This game is actually a Kagan Structure.  I was blessed to go to a week long training in Orlando, Florida.  I never could have imagined how much this training would impact my teaching.  I learned how to engage all my students and hold them accountable at the same time!  Numbered Heads Together is a jeopardy like game that is fantastic for review!

SOOOOO.... when I boil it down...this is how I feel I am doing.  I really want to come up with some fun, engaging ideas for my students to practice their math facts.  I still have five or so kids on their fingers and it drives me nuts!

If you would like to join in the linky, please use the slide below on your blog and link up at the bottom of this post! I can't wait to head to your blog and read your ideas!

If you stuck with me all the way to the end, here is a surprise for you! The addition game I played today is a freebie that you can snag by clicking on the picture!

Please add your post below!

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  1. The Numbered Heads looks awesome :) My book should be arriving anytime now - I can't wait to catch up! Thanks :) Jen

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  2. Love the idea of measurement Olympics... seems like a great way to get up and moving and to apply measurement to real word objects/events! Can't wait to give it a try. :)

  3. I have, who has is a fan favorite around here too! And you really are never too old to play a game, are you?


    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

  4. Don't you love how a prize like five minutes of jumping around is like GOLD to our kiddos? :) Thank you for the link to the measuring Olympics ideas - that sounds like terrific fun!
    Thanks for hosting the study!
    Primary Inspiration

  5. The measurement olympics sounds like a good time!

    A Very Curious Class

  6. I have to did you handle working in the district where assessment and data is more important than engagement? I am in a similar situation and am struggling. Moving schools is not an option as my daughter has been in the district with me (not our home district) since k5 and she's a 9th grader now.

  7. I agree that games are a great way to engage students. Can you explain what numbered heads is? Never heard of that.... Thanks

  8. I loved the idea of making that game using double digit numbers...I think I might try to make it with addition facts to ten (for kindergarten). I am in the same boat teaching a new math curriculum and I find making some games to go with the lessons makes a big difference!

  9. Thanks so much for hosting the link-up this week!! I'm loving this book study and all the great ideas I am getting from it! I've used an ABC "I have who has" game with my kindergarten kids and they loved it!! Have a great rest of the week!


  10. Katie,
    Thanks for hosting a great Chapter!!! I'm a little late getting my own post up, but I'm happy I finally got it done and was able to join the fun. You absolutely right about the 'engagement' piece of game play . . . engagement is the 'hook' that keeps them comping back for more.
    A Differentiated Kindergarten

  11. Thanks for sharing such a great post! While I love a good art hook, using more games is a growth area for me. Thanks for giving me something to think about and look forward to improving upon. This book study is fantastic! =)

    A+ Firsties

  12. You are so right! In today's teaching world, it is so easy to get swept away with assessment on top of assessment. Quality instruction and game play is always my preference. It also makes it easier to assess their knowsge and level if thinking when I am able to observe them playing educational games.

  13. Thank you for the freebie! My first graders will love playing this soon!

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  15. Great ideas!
    ( Pssst... your idiom should read "whirl wind", not "world wind" )

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