This year’s class is much more hyper than last year, and it’s a lot harder to grab their attention. I’ve been using mainly games this first week (although getting them to be quiet and listen long enough to explain the rules is quite a challenge in and of itself!). One of the most popular games we’ve done so far is Slap!
To play, print off small flashcards (I get four cards to an A4 sheet of paper) of the vocabulary you want to review. You’ll need one set for each team (in my case, since we have four tables, I have four teams). You can laminate them if you want. Actually, you have to laminate them, if you want them to last more than one game!
Place a set of cards on each table, face up. Call out a word. All students at the table should slap the card with the correct word. There are two ways to keep score: either award a point to every child who slaps the correct card (which means, basically, every child gets a point, because slower students will wait to see which card the faster ones slap, and slap the same one; they’re still learning, so it’s all good!) or, only award points to the first child to slap the card.
The first variation is better for small kids who may not be mature enough to handle competition yet. I use this one all the time with my K4 class, and usually up until the middle of the year with my K5 class. But the second version, where only the fastest kids win a point, is probably better for older kids, or else you lose the excitement of the game.
K5 got the hang of the game right away this week. K4 is a little slower on the uptake; I had previously done a game with them where they had to pick up the (color) I called out, so it took a long time and several tries to get them to understand that we weren’t picking up the cards this time!
Be warned, though, this game can get pretty intense….especially if you have little boys in your class who like to roughhouse a lot! If you have students who are slapping their classmates’ hands with unnecessary force, you can always make them sit out of the game for a round.
I’d give this game an A in K5, and a B- in K4 (I’m hoping it will get better as we continue to play and the kids pick up on the rules!)