Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Crazy Pants

This game caught my attention for 2 reasons.  1) It was created by an audiologist and mother of a deaf child - I have always had a sweet spot for the hard of hearing. 2) When my kids are being nutters in the classroom I can often be heard saying "Calm it down, crazy pants!" which my students, of course, think is hilarious.

Crazy Pants is being marketed as a Bingo style listening game but after playing it with my students I've found so many other benefits from using it!  Each student has a game board with laundry hanging on 3 lines.  The caller picks a card and tells the picture/word, like "sock" or "gloves."  If the students have the article of clothing on their board, they cover it with a chip.  The first person to get 3 in a row wins!

A few other ideas that came to me as I played the game with my 5 and 6 year olds:

{give clues}
Instead of reading the word on the card, give the kids a clue such as "these keep your fingers warm" or "this goes over your socks in the rain."  We played the game this way and it helped keep my students' brains engaged and kept them thinking while we played.  It would also enable the game to be played without an adult, because student reading level wouldn't matter.

{ESL practice}
The game says it is for ages 3 and up.  Toddlers would definitely benefit from learning colors, names for articles of clothes and body parts by playing the game and hearing common language being used.  How much more would it also help your ESL students?!  One thing I've really learned about teaching students who don't speak English is that our curriculums assume they've had experiences or know basic vocabulary that's common for most kids.  But often...they don't.  Playing this game would give those students practice in using basic language and building their English language.

{sentence structure}
One thing I have to remind myself every year is to S-L-O-W down my writing instruction.  Once the kids know letters & sounds I'm ready to have them start labeling.  And somehow I immediately start requiring perfect sentences and stories and get frustrated with the unending, no-period, spaceless fragments that I get.  This game would be great practice for teaching structure...without requiring the writing component.  ;)  Before your kids put a chip on their board you can have them tell you a full sentence like "I have a red shirt" or "These are overalls."  Practice practice practice.

And if that isn't enough to get you interested, take it from the experts:

"I like that you have to listen to the clues." - Avery, age 6
"It's so fun when you say BINGO." - Kobi, age 5
"It's good because I have to guess what you're thinking in your brain." - Matthew, age 6
"Because it's so cool!" - Luca, 5 1/2

If you're a pre-K or kindergarten teacher {or know someone who is!}, then the best news is for you...Chatterbox has agreed to give Crazy Pants to a giveaway winner!  Just be a follower of my blog & like Chatterbox on Facebook to enter.  Comment below when you've done both.  Easy peasy!

The giveaway has now ended. Congratulations Ms. Powell! I'll email you the details. ;)
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