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Monday, February 25, 2013

Penguin Mania!

First Grade Common Core Standards Penguin Style!

Penguin Themed Subtraction Game

I have really been on a roll with creating these new penguin games!  As I have been working with my first graders lately, I have noticed that some of them need a lot more practice with subtraction.  Our math program has many more games for practicing addition facts than subtraction facts.  I created this game to help a specific group of kids practice subtraction facts with a heavy emphasis on counting back as a strategy. 

Help!  An Orca is Coming!

This game has been very engaging!  Each student who is playing (usually in pairs sometimes in groups of 3) gets a game board (the one with the picture of the whale) and 6 penguins (if I run out of penguins or they become distracting to kids, I give them bingo chips and they pretend they are penguins).  They place the 6 penguins on any of the numbered icebergs (more than 1 penguin can be on each one) The students then take turns spinning the spinner and figuring out the answer.  If they have a penguin on the iceberg that has the answer, they get to move it to safety. There are dots on the spinner to support counting backwards as a strategy.  You will see some kids relying heavily on them at first but the more practice they get, the less they need them.  Kids who are ready will not use the dots at all. 

I created a record sheet to go with the game. Depending on my intentions when I have kids play this game, I sometimes opt not to use the record sheet.  This is especially true if I have kids who are really struggling and I am going to be sitting there with them for most of the game.  I also will have kids play this game without the record sheet when I am pushing for fluency. 

The game is over when a student gets all of their penguins to safety.  After playing this game a few times, kids start to notice which differences appear more often and start being very intentional about where to place their penguins.  I love that this is a subtraction game but probability is also stuck in there as well.

I have a few more penguin ideas.... stay tuned!!!

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