More on That Cup Game

So apparently That Cup Game started with the late Rich Mullins and his song Screen Door.

Unfortunately it’s not a super high-quality video, but this is what Rich Mullins was doing:

If you’re feeling happy and confident (you are!), then call your friends and re-create this clearer version by melk.

Got your cups and your friends? Go!

Sticky Note Body Parts

Here’s another fun way to learn body parts! It’s especially useful for emerging readers.

You need: a pad of sticky notes, a writing utensil, an emerging reader, a willingness to be silly (but of course…..)

1) On each sticky note, write the name of a body part you want to teach your emerging reader. If an illustration helps, add it. Start with 10-12 body parts. You can include more later.

2) Mix up all the sticky notes, then spread them out face up (sticky side down) on a table.

3) You are a patient, and something on your body hurts terrifically (you bumped it, you fell down, it just hurts, etc.). Be dramatic!

4) The doctor, your emerging reader, cures you by finding the correct sticky note and attaching it to you. (Yes, health care at its best!)

5) As soon as one ailment is cured, something else hurts. Find the sticky note and be cured!

Save the sticky notes so that your reader can play with them later.


It’s a Numbers Game

When your large class needs to stretch and practice numbers, explain that they have 7 seconds to form different numbered groups.

Ways to form groups:

1) Roll one or two dice. If you roll a 7, students form groups of 7. If you roll a 3, students form groups of 3.

2) For a music-minded class, call out music combinations such as trio (3), octet (8), duodecet (12) (hey, guess what a flink of cows is!).

3) The students prefer sports? Call out sports teams and have students form groups of those numbers (soccer, 11; rugby, 15; curling, 4; bossaball, 4).

If there are students left over, you can have them call out the next number. (Tip: Check that no student rudely stops another student from joining a group.)

No, these aren’t big numbers, and yes, there is more laughing than English (or other language) speaking, but sometimes that’s exactly what the students need.

Hmmm…how would you practice fractions?

This idea comes from one of my old teacher’s resource manuals.

W is for World Map

Go to your friendly large bookstore and buy a friendly large world map, ideally a map that includes the country flags.

Hang the map up at home.

Now you can:

1. find your country.

2. find your hometown, if the map is detailed enough.

3. count how many flags have red (blue, green, orange, etc.) in them.

4. plot where your food comes from.

5. practice spelling country names.

6. race to match a flag with its country.

7. explain big and small using country sizes.

8. plan your next travels.

9. better understand your neighbor’s travels.

10. explain that “in a land far far away” might not be on this world map.

11. randomly point to a country, then learn how to say hello, please and thank you in that country’s language.

12. call out a country and race to find it.

13. write a story to or about someone from that country.

14. find out what people eat for breakfast around the world.

15. wonder why North is usually up.

Green Grover

Grover used to be green?

Now he’s cute and furry and loveable.



Name your what’s?

Proofreaders read text backwards to catch mistakes.

Kids write backwards just for fun or to keep secrets or for writing fluency.

Language teachers encourage their students to speak sentences backwards to help with comprehension.

Eh? What was that last part?

When you speak sentences backwards – only reverse the word order – you break the sentence down. You have to think about each word in the sentence.

Example: Students usually quickly memorize the sentence What’s your name? as one group of sounds. But when they say it backwards (Name your what’s?), they suddenly realize the question has three words…not one (What’syourname?). They suddenly have words to understand instead of a memorized phrase.

Eye opening!

Thanks to Troy for the suggestion!

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