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Sunday, November 8, 2015

Announcing Movin' It Math!

About 6 years ago, I came up with a game to get my students up and moving around during math class. I called it Movin' It Math and made many versions on index cards. As the years have passed and beautiful clip art and desktop publishing has gotten easier, my cards have migrated to computer generated. Over the last 11 months, I have been working on getting them in a shareable format. This weekend after many hours of putting final touches on, I have released my first 4 sets. Each set includes 40 cards, directions for Movin' It Math and 10 other activities you can use these cards for. These cards are the ones I find myself using over and over again.  We have been using them everyday in K and many days at the beginning of grade 1! 

I have many more versions of Movin' It Math that are sitting as files on my computer waiting for finishing touches.  This game as spanned my classes K-6.  I have cards for addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, finding fractors, fractions, classifying 2-D and 3-D shapes, classifying angles, geometry terms and more.  I am excited to share these with you in the coming weeks.  

Here is a peek at the rules of the game and how I have been using these cards with K&1 students over the past 2 months.  My first grade students are pretty fluent with these numbers now but I see many more months of great activities for K kids as they transition from learning numbers 1-10 to learning numbers 11-20

Movin' It Math!

The Caller
This game is a fun way to practice math for a whole class.  Before playing this game, you will want to make sure your students are familiar with these cards.  There are 40 cards in each set.  Use the representations your students are most familiar with.  You will  need one less card than the number of kids who are playing this game.  Poly spots are VERY handy for playing this game  but not required.  If you have poly spots, have kids stand with their toes on the edge of the spot but not covering the card.  If you do not have poly spots, have kids stand with one foot on either side of the card.  You will need the small numeral cards for this game.  Cut the numeral cards apart and put them in a container that your students can put their hands into. 

Toes on Spot
To play the game, choose one kid to be the caller.  This kid stands by the bucket with the small cards in it.  The rest of the kids go find a spot and put their toes on it.  When kids get to a spot, have them figure out what their card is (and keep it to themselves).  The caller reaches into the bucket, pulls out a card and says the number loudly.  If a kid is on a spot with the number that was called, they are SAFE and don’t move.  Everyone else has to move to a new spot.  The caller also goes and takes any spot.  One kid will be left without a spot.  This kid is the caller for the next round.  They go to the bucket, pull out another of the small numeral cards and say that number loudly.  Anyone who has that number on their card is SAFE and doesn’t move.  The rest of the kids need to move to a new spot and figure out what number is on their new spot.  The caller also takes a spot.   The caller is continuously changing with each round.   You can keep playing rounds in this way until your students have had enough.  There is no winner or end to this game. 

If you don't have spots....
There are many ways to adapt this game to fit the size of your class.  I have also used it with a small group but find it most successful when there are at least 5 kids.  When kids are new to this game, especially if they are young or have a hard time listening to directions, I will teach them the game in a group of 5 or so kids and we will play as a whole group after kids have had some experience on a smaller scale. 

If you find your kids are not moving around trying to find another spot because they all want to be the caller, you can adapt this game by having all kids have a spot and being the caller yourself.  This works really well for some groups of kids.  You can also use call sticks to pick a caller for each round.
Take it outside!
This game can work in the classroom if you have some open space but works really well in a gymnasium or a large open space.  This game is also great to play outside!  If you are playing it outside, having the poly spots makes it much easier.  It keeps the cards from getting muddy/dirty and a little piece of tape between the card and the spot and the wind isn’t a problem.  If you are doing it outside without poly spots, make sure there isn’t any wind!

Once kids are familiar with this game, you can switch out the cards for more challenging ones as the year goes on.  To see all the Movin’ it Math cards available, click here. (At this time, I am just getting started posting these so more will become available each week!)

The Cards That Keep Going

When I first started out, I had one way to use these cards.  I quickly learned that if only used each set of cards I made one way, I would be spending a lot of time making cards.  Because of this, these cards have evolved into something I use over and over again. In the following pictures, I will share with you some of the other ways I use these cards. 


A great way to work on subitizing!

Go Fish

A game that is easy to teach and valuable to know!  Any 2 cards that represent the same number can be a pair!


A fun way to introduce and practice using the <, > and = symbols.  We like to play with the rule that whoever has less gets to keep both cards!


I spent hours when I was in sixth grade playing the solitaire card game pyramid 13.  In this version of pyramid, we find pairs of cards that represent the same number.  

Flip and Tally

This years' first grade group is crazy for tallying and keeping track.  I made up this little workstation as a great way to incorporate that.  I tried it out with some K kids this week and it was a bit challenging for some but we are working on it!

Sorting Cards

This is simple but kids seem to really like it.  We pull out the numeral cards, work together to put them in order across the top of a table or in the first row of a pocket chart.  Then we pass out all the cards and kids put them where they belong.  Then we take a few minutes to look at the cards as a group and fix any that are wrong.  If you take some of the cards out of the deck, this activity can lead to a nice introduction to ideas about graphing. 

Find a ____

This is my adapted version of Movin' It Math that I like to play with my intervention groups.  I put out some dots and some cards and ask kids to find a number.  After each kid is on a representation of that number, I ask them to find another one.  It is a great way to get a small group moving! When it is pick up time, I have each kid pick up all the representations of a given number. 

Each Movin' It Math resource includes more ways we use these cards in the classroom and much more detail about how to play each of the games above.

Here are the 4 sets released so far!

Want all 4 sets?  Click on the picture below to check out the money saving bundle!