Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Gone Fishin'

When I first began teaching at public school, a fellow teacher told me that if you turn practicing ANY skill into a fishing game, kids will play it over and over again without complaint.

It's totally true.

I took some dowel rods, some yarn, some magnets and some tape (I should use glue, and will adjust this soon, but I was in a hurry :) ) and in less than 3 minutes was the proud owner of two fishing rods.

I attached large paper clips to Sophie's sight word cards and some addition flash cards I found in a box, set them out on a blue bin lid (because water is blue, right?) and taught the kids how to "fish".

They loved it. In fact, they loved it so much, we have been playing it every day. I love it too, because they can practice whatever they are individually working on, but do it together, and add an element of competition if they so desire.

I typically put Sophie's cards face up, and let her pick a word and read it to me. We have also played variations in which I tell her which word to find, or set the cards upside down so it is a surprise. Each version has been fun for her.

Delaney's cards have math facts on both sides, so she "catches" any card and tells me the answers.

 The girls take turns, and if any answers are incorrect, the "fish" gets thrown back in the water, a.k.a. placed nicely back on the lid.

This game has endless possibilities...For Sophie, I will probably make it into a counting game next week. Delaney's math facts will be tailored more closely to what she is currently learning, and subtraction will appear. We could practice alphabetical order, vocabulary, colors, patterns, shapes, rhymes...the list is really endless. It's inexpensive to make, too - you can fashion a fishing rod out of many things that are lying around the house...pencils, paint stirring sticks, wooden spoons, etc.

I might have to make it a little more exciting at some point, and plan to make some cards with sharks and other dangerous ocean creatures, and perhaps some nice ones too, and toss them into the mix. It's always fun to catch a surprise.

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