Thursday, March 22, 2012

Calling all teachers...

With all the fun to be had on the playground and after school it can be hard to keep your students focused on learning. You’ve heard it before and I’ll say it again, the trick is to make learning fun! What’s more fun than candy? I don’t know anyone who hasn’t had his or her mood lifted by sugary sweet Pixy Stix or Jolly Rancher. Here are some simple and fun ways to make sweets (and fun) part of the equation.
Nothing feels better than a job well done. By creating a reward system that allows a student to earn tickets for good behavior or scores you can build confidence and self-esteem, and set off a bit of friendly competition. We’ve all been in classroom with this kind of system; typically, the tickets are used to purchase goodies from the classroom store. Instead, try setting a goal number and allowing the first student to reach that goal earn a sweet treat to take home and enjoy alone or share with the class.

When teaching simple math, like counting, addition, and subtraction, actually seeing the action take place can speed recognition. Begin by passing out a small handful of assorted flavored candies to each student.
Step One: Have each student count his or her candies and write the total number of pieces on a sheet of paper. Step Two: Separate the sweets into categories by color. Count each color and write the number next to the color name beneath the total.
For example: I have 15 pieces of candy. I have 3 Red, 5 Blue, 2 Green, and 3 Yellow.
Now instruct your students to trade (not eat) their candies with their neighbors to get the combination of flavors they like best. Set a time limit for this portion.
Once they have done so repeat steps one and two. Compare the numbers. What math had to occur to get from the number blue candies in step two to the number of blue candies they have now?
Who said learning wasn’t fun??

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