Thursday's Cooperative Learning #5

If you have been following along, reading my posts focused on cooperative learning, you would know that I have shared some basic cooperative learning strategies: HandUp-StandUp-PairUp, Quiz-Quiz-Trade, RallyRobin, and Circle of Friends. Today, I want to share a different approach by using games for brain breaks and skill review.

I am so glad that this past year my school district allowed us to go on Youtube! There are many fun resources that can be used in the classroom. Just Dance Kids has some fun videos on Youtube that my kids love to dance to. My kinders also love dancing and learning their sight words through HeidiSongs. These songs also help make transitions go a little easier.

Source: Kagan Online

Kagan has a book called Silly Sports & Goofy Games. These are 206 great games to use for a brain break or reviewing skills. It is just plain fun, and builds classroom community. Here is a video that shows some children playing a game: Row, Row Your Boat video

One game in the book that I would like to try is the Clapping Game. This reminds me of a Hot & Cold game I've played as a child and with my own students. First you split your students into small groups of 3-4 students each. One child from each group leaves the room, as the groups decide which items they want their teammate to find. (Only one item for each team.) These items should be out in the open and easy to access. Once the items are chosen, let the other children come back. No one is talking, but instead clapping to show how close their teammate is to the item. For example, loud and fast clapping as one gets close to the item or soft and slow clapping when far away from the item. Once the teammate finds the item, the team celebrates with a group hug. I think this would be a fun game to play with my kinders at the beginning of the year. After introducing the game, I would have my teams pick an item with a specific beginning sound.

Another game in the book is Snowball. First, have half of the class write their names on rectangular pieces of white paper. The other half of the class writes their names on rectangular pieces of blue paper. Then each child crumbles up his paper into a "snowball". Each half of the class face each other and begin throwing the snowballs trying to keep the snowballs on the other side of the class. At the end, each student takes a snowball of an opposite color and the whites interview the blues first. Then let the blues go and interview the whites. I have not played Snowball in this way. Instead, I have my students practice their sight words by reading the sight word, crumpling the paper, and throwing the snowball. Before throwing, they have to read the snowball. The next time, I have my class play this game I am going to have them pair up at the end by finding their partner with the same sight word. This could also be done in math, using number sense, addition, or subtraction.

One game in this book that I have yet to play with my students is called Shoe Scramble. I think this game would be fun on the day I introduce Daily 5's IPICK and the right fit for books. Students sit in a circle, take off one shoe and put it in the middle. Then they all hold hands and do not let go. Each student must pick up a shoe and locate the owner without letting go of their hands. This would be a fun community building activity. I believe the leaders would show themselves in this activity.

I hope you have a wonderful July 4th!! If you have a great brain break activity/resource, please link up... you have until next Wednesday, July 10th.


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