Do you take time to explain to your students why they are playing a particular math game? Or do they play the game to find out who "WINS!"
When you teach a new game, be sure to make a quick anchor chart with them so they recognize why they are using classroom instruction time to play a game.
Actually, I wish Everyday Math would have called their games..."Skill Practice Activities" because that is why they are playing the games. That's also why you must find time in your schedule to let them practice their math skills and play the games.
When you circulate around the room as they are playing the games, you can say comments like these to connect back to the anchor chart and give them authentic and specific praise:
- I can tell that you know the difference between a penny and a nickel.
- How many pennies are there in a nickel? Why do we say the word 'exchange' when you put your 5 pennies back in the pile and take out a nickel?
- Who had more nickels in the last game? How did you know that ___ had more?
- Good job counting those five pennies accurately. I like how you put your finger on each one as you counted.