The Fun and Fast-Pace Review Game You'll Students Will BEG to Play: SPOONS

If you've been reading the CGN blog long, you probably already know that I teach Sunday School at my church to a group of very active, mostly boys, class.  If the activities we do don't involve competition and/or action, forget it.  They won't be interested.

For that reason, I am always looking for cheap (or FREE) ways to keep the learning active, and most importantly >>> FUN! And, if I can find a review game format I can use over and over again. BOOM.  Game over - I hit the jack pot!

Well, I just might have found it, friends.  If you walked into my classroom last Sunday, you might not know what to think, but I promise you they were learning, engaged, and having SO. MUCH. FUN!

So what game were they playing?  SPOONS!  I mean, it really doesn't get any simpler.  Gather some plastic spoons and you're set.  Well, there might be one or two other steps, but I promise, you won't break a sweat (or the bank!)

Here's how to play:
There are many different versions of the game, SPOONS, but this how we played:

// Choose a skill that you want your students to practice.  Specifically you want it to be a skill that requires students to collect a set of ideas or numbers, or make a match of some sort.

  • Maybe you're students are practicing sight words.  You will want to choose several different sight words and create playing cards with those sight words on them, having the same word repeated 3 times throughout the cards set.  (For example, 3 cards with the word the, 3 cards with the word same, 3 cards with the word should...etc...  The more students playing in a group, the more cards you will need)
  • Maybe you're practicing synonyms.  In this case you will want to make a set of cards that have cards with groups of 3 synonyms written on them.  (For example you might have three different cards; one with huge, one with gigantic, and a third with large on it - all synonyms.  You would create several matches similar to that)
In my case, we were reviewing a Bible story and I chose several different images that represented the main concepts of the story.  I made several cards showing the same image.  Here's an example of some of the cards I created.

You don't have to give each card a point value, I just did because it create a little more competition fun :)  At the end of each round, I had students all up all the point of the cards in their hard.  They kept track throughout the whole game.

// Next, after you choose your skill and create your cards you're ready to get started!  You'll want to divide your students into small groups.  I suggest no more than 6 students in a group, or it gets extra crazy!  You'll need to provide each group with a set of game cards and spoons.  You'll need one less spoon for the number of players.  So, if you have 6 players in a group, you will give that group 5 spoons.

// To play, each student is dealt 4 cards.  The remaining cards are placed in a pile face down next to the dealer.  Player only need to get a match of 3, but they will have 4 cards in their hard.

  • Arrange the spoons in a small circle in the center of the table (shown below on left).  Players sit in a circle around the spoons so that all players have equal access.
  • Each playing is trying to get 3 cards that match (3 matching sight words, 3 cards with synonyms, 3 identical pictures..etc.)
  • The dealer takes the top card off of the deck and places it in his/her hand and discards a card in his/her hand to the left.  At the same time the dealer is discarding his/her card, the other players are choosing a card to discard.  The card the player chooses should be a card that he/she doesn't need to help them create a set of 3.
  • Players always take the card from the person on their right, and discards a card to the person on their left.  This continues until someone has a set of 3.  
  • The person sitting to the right of the dealer places all their cards in the "trash pile."  Once the dealer it out of cards to pass, he/she just begins taking from the trash pile to keep the game going.
  • Here's the fun part:  When a player has a set of 3, he or she races to grab a spoon.  When all other players see this, they also make a mad dash to grab the spoon.  The player left without a spoon is out.  (Of course, you don't have to eliminate players if you don't want.  Players can get back in each round, if desired.  However, if you do eliminate players, than you will want to remove a spoon each round to reflect the number of players). 
  • Since students are practicing a skill here, after each round, students should be checking the winner's cards to make sure that he/she has a match!

Are you a visual person?  Me too.  Here's a quick You Tube video I found so that you can see this game in action.  The video shows the traditional way to play the game, just using a standard deck of cards where players try to get 4 of a kind.

Oh man.  Get ready to hear you kiddos beg to play this game!  I'd love to hear how you could use this game in your classroom by responding in the comments below!

Be Inspired in 2016! {and save 28% while you're at it!}

With almost 3 full weeks of 2016 under our belts, I am feeling great about this year.  I've got two really awesome projects in the works that I believe are going to work as an inspiration for YOU in your classroom; offering your tips and strategies to up your teaching game!


In the meantime, get inspired during the TpT site wide sale where you can stock up on resources that are going to save you time and support you and your students in your teaching and learning.  Save 28% on EVERYTHING in my store.  These sales are the best time to purchase those higher ticket items including my unit bundles where you'll save BIG!

Be inspired!

3 Math Games to Print and Play {RIGHT NOW}

Everyone loves a quick printable!  Below you'll find 3 {FREE} printable math games for you to use right now!  It's as easy as that!

This game is for the younger kiddos who are practicing their math facts fluency up to 10.  The game is provided in color or in shades of gray, as shown below:

This is a loaded printable with game boards for all 4 math operations.  It also has students practice finding coordinates on a grid.  It is also provided in color or shade of gray.

You'll want to tuck this game away for your 100 Days of School celebrations!  "Close to 100" is a game of strategy and risk!  The suspense of what they will roll next will make this game a favorite in your classroom!

Download any of the games above instantly by clicking on the pictures!  3 freebies - not a bad way to start off your Monday!

DIY "Guess Who" Game

Happy Monday!  The first week back after Christmas break is over and you're back in the swing of things!  Time to start pluggin' in some new ideas into your daily routine!

Yesterday in our Sunday School class, we played a really fun (yet ridiculously simple to make) game to help review the lesson we were learning for the day.

We were learning about the 12 sons of Jacob (characters from the Bible), and I was looking for a fun way to review them, so I decided to do a little "Guess Who" game.  It's so simple friends, that I can barely even call it DIY because *I* didn't really do much accept for spend about 5 minutes on the computer creating the following two pages.

This top picture has boxes with the pictures of Jacob and his 12 sons on it (images found here). and the bottom picture has the same sized boxes, but no pictures.

I had the students cut out their picture boxes (see - so easy, I didn't even have to do the cutting!).  They then set the up 2 file folders like shown below (I paper clipped them together so that they would stay together. 
 You'll also notice I stuck an object (a bell, in my case) in between the folders to keep the top half from falling over.

The students then placed their blank box sheet on their side of the folder and placed the picture cards in any order on top of the blank boxes.  Again - notice who is doing all the work :)  Not me!

I then had a separate set of the picture cards, one set per partner group (this was in ADDITION to the cards that they cut up).  Once students set up their board placing all pictures on the box, I had each partner group pick a person from the additional picture card set and paper clip this picture in the corner on the top of the file folder.  (Ex.  The picture below shows "Levi" clipped in the corner).  This became the person that their partner would try to guess. 
Students played the game using the regular "Guess Who" rules asking their partner yes/no questions about their secret person. (ex.  Does your person have a striped belt?).  Students would remove people off their board as they eliminated who their partner's person might be.

Once a partner had won, the students could rearrange their board as they wanted to and choose a new picture card and play again.

So, how can you use this idea in your classroom?  EASY! 

Choose characters from a book, historical figures, or any other group of people your students need to review.  It would even make a great game to tuck away for now and use at the beginning of the school year by using pictures of your students and have students guess which classmate their partner has.  What a great way  for your students to get to know their classmates at the beginning of the year!!

Ten on Ten (January 2016!!!!)

Wow - the first ten on ten of the year!

Here are my first 10 pictures of the year!  Enjoy and feel free to link up your own 10 pictures to share what you've been up to this month!

 Don't know about Stitch Fix?  Oh My GOODNESS!  You have no idea what you're missing.  Check it out here!

(Are you a TpT seller wanting to grow your business, but can't make it/afford the TpT National Conference in Orlando?  This Northeastern Regional conference is going to blow your socks off!  Top sellers, marketing specialists, and amazing workshop leaders will present on April 9th in Rochester, NY.  Check out all the details here!)
 Your turn!
Here are the rules to participate:
1)  Choose ten pictures that show your readers what's been going on in your life lately (classroom happenings, seasonal activities, family fun...).  The pictures can be both teacher and non-teacher related.
2)  Place the pictures in post on the tenth of each month. You can include a small caption with each picture if you'd like.  You must include my blog button (found on my side bar) somewhere in your post)
3)  Come to the Classroom Game Nook and link up your post to the linky party.  Check out other bloggers who have linked up and leave a comment or two on their blogs to share the love!