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## Have A Few Extra Minutes? Play SQUAT!

To practice math facts, spelling words, or any other quick answer type learning, you can play Squat.  To play Squat, two students from two different teams approach the board.  The teacher calls out a fact or a spelling word.  The two students at the board race to answer the question correctly and then they squat when they think they have the correct answer.  If they are correct they earn a point for their team.

When I have played this, I usually split my class into two teams.  Different students on the teams take turns to be at the board to earn their team points.  Team points can be taken away from students who aren’t waiting quietly or who blurt out an answer when it isn’t their turn.  Students love this game and will beg to play it after you have played once.  If you have some extra time (heh, heh, who has that?!) during a spot in your day, this is a fun way to reinforce skills or fill time.

## Have You Played This Game to Strengthen Number Decomposition?

I learned this simple but powerful game–Make Ten from Melissa Conklin of Math Solutions at NCTM two years ago.  The first and second graders at school have successfully played this game for several days to help strengthen their number sense.  They have already become much more fluent in recognizing the sums (bonds) of ten.  Make a deck of ten frame cards.  Downloadable for free right here (Free Ten Frame Cards).   Copy the printables four times so you have enough to make a deck.  Students lay out four cards from the deck face up on the table between two to four partners. (I think the game works best with pairs).  Then students take turns to pull two cards that have a sum of ten.  If there are not two cards that have a sum of ten then students may pull one more and place it face up in the middle of the table until there are a set of two cards that will make ten.  When students pull the pair of cards from the center of the table, they say the equation that matches, for example, three and seven make 10 or three plus seven equals 10.  After students have played the game once or twice, have them record their equations in their journal.  I highly recommend playing this game to build number foundations to ten.

I am also posting a clip here of a ten frame SMART Board slide I made for my K-2 teachers to adapt to their specific needs.  This slide has all of the ten frame cards on it from 0-10 and would be great to adapt for many Math Solutions lessons such as this one.