Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

Hullabaloo Shape & Number Game

As we are getting back into the swing of things after our winter break, the students seemed to have all of this energy that was preventing them from sitting at a desk and studying shapes, number configurations, etc. Students, who were excelling in areas before break, seemed to have lost some of the previous material they had been working with. Some students who were once able to count up to the 50-100 range began to skip numbers and forget the order of their multiples of ten.

Today, Friday, we decided to create a fun, interactive, educational game for the students to practice their shapes and numbers. We cut out the intermediate shapes they have seemed to be struggling with the most: squares, rectangles, trapezoids and rhombuses. Then we wrote one multiple of ten (20-100) on each shape. If anyone is familiar with the children’s game Hullabaloo, this game should seem fairly similar. We laid each shape on the floor and brought two students over at a time to play the game. The object was to find and step on the shape, or number, that was called out by me. I made it fun by switching the way I asked the students to transition each shape. For example, the student’s favorite was, “Dance to a rhombus.” We played this recognition game of shapes and numbers for about five minutes before I had them stop, and my partner, who was taking note of their recognition ability, declared a number or shape that would make one of the students a winner if he/she was standing on it. The students really got into it and enjoyed this learning experience.

We chose pairs to play the game based on their similar levels of understanding of shapes and numbers that the students demonstrated that Wednesday. We debated whether we should have students with similar or differing abilities play the game together, but in the past have come across domination in games when one student takes over another because of their quick responses. We wanted students who may have to think about our commands within the game to have a chance to do so. This game and similar ability grouping seemed to work well for our students. We are eager to play more interactive games like this in the future.

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