I am a great believer in making learning fun, exciting and engaging for my children. We have loose topics that are based around the interests of the children, and this week our theme is “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory” Lots of our children have been talking about Charlie, so we decided to use this as a theme to hooks lots of learning onto.
The children have gone for it great guns, it’s only day two and already we’ve had lots of fab observations covering all of the characteristics of Effective Learning.
Despite having an “In the moment” kind of planning format, we also plan very carefully for our focussed sessions. Many of my followers often ask what we do, and how we do it. Each day we have a focused phonics, literacy and maths session. We plan very carefully to ensure it not a “Chalk and Talk” session, and that the children are as active and engaged as they possibly can be, whilst ensuring the learning is being firmly embedded.
In our maths focus today we used the idea of the chocolate game. I am sure many of you will have played this game at parties as youngsters, but basically you roll a dice, and if you roll a 6, you begin putting the hat, scarf and gloves on and begin eating the chocolate whilst the dice gets passed around until the next 6 is thrown.
We innovated this idea somewhat, and rolled the dice twice, and added together the two numbers rolled. If we could find the total, we then began to put on the hat, scarf and gloves. The dice was then passed to the next person in the circle. If they could too roll the dice and add the numbers they could then take charge of the hat/gloves etc. It was a fantastic game to play, as ALL children we involved and engaged. Even if they were not throwing the dice, they also had to add the numbers together to check the dice roller called out the correct answer.
It was lovely to see a competitive side come out in children who very rarely show this side of their character!
Once the game was finished I talked to the children and asked them what they thought they had learnt from this game… Their answers were amazing (I have taken a picture of these answers but they said …)
* Counting on
* Racing against time
* Putting on gloves and hats
* Being quick
* Having fun
* Taking turns
* Playing fair
* Reading dice
I love the fact that they are able to see the learning through their play and verbalise this.
On reflection of this activity, there are a couple of thing I would do differently should we play it again.
1. Smaller groups (we did it whole class, and although all of the children were engaged, it was a long time for them to wait their turn)
2. A blank dice written with higher numbers for more able
3. Use numicon to help some children who were struggling
Please feel free to use this game, do let me know how you get on