19 July 2014

Summer Fun...Math Style!

I have to say that I've been blessed with two kids who LOVE to learn.  Trust me when I say that I know this isn't always the case so I am very grateful that {at this moment in time} they love it.   My wish is NOT for them to be at the top of their class{es}, read the best, or anything like that, rather I want them to LOVE school and LOVE to learn.  And so far, thankyouJesus, they do.  

As you can imagine with two little boys who love to learn, we haven't been sitting idly at home doing a whole lotta nothing.  Yes...there are MORE video game moments than I can count....the pool has been their second home....and our neighbor has taken permanent residence at our house...but they've been SO excited to try new "games" and extend their learning while they aren't in the classroom.  I guess the bonus to that is that the majority of the time they don't even realize they're learning!  SCORE!!!

One of our favorite summer games so far has been Math Fact Jenga!  They're finally in the "game phase" of their lives {seems like it took FOREVER for them to get here!!} and they love to play!  
We started out with regular Jenga, but then I decided it was time to amp it up and see if they could rise to a little summer challenge.  Let me just tell you that ANYtime I say the word "challenge", my boys are determined to prove to me that they can rise to the occasion. I shudder to think what this could mean when they're in college {deep breath, mom.  Deep breath.}.

To play Math Fact Jenga at your house...or in your classroom...you'll need a set of Jenga blocks & peel off stickers {I love my garage sale dots!}

As you can imagine, you play this version very similar to the regular version.  When you find a block you want to strategically move, you have to solve the problem BEFORE you can move it.  If you solve the problem correctly, you move the block.  If you get the problem wrong, the next player has the option to solve and move and you lose a turn.  Then you just keep on playing 'til they all fall down :)

Of course, using math strategies is highly encouraged!  I can already tell a difference in fact fluency with my 1st grader.  He's starting to remember some of the addition problems and he's becoming a much faster player :)  

What I love about using the garage sale dots is that I can change out the facts...or activity...as often as possible!  In case you don't know, I am seriously cheap.  I don't like to buy more than what I need or already have.  The sticky dots give me the flexibility to change it up whenever I feel the need.  The possibilities are ENDLESS!  

In other news, today's Christmas in July deal is on two of my FAVORITE math resources!! 

Don't Forget My Number is an awesome number sense packet perfect for starting the year!  It's chock full of number anchor charts, games, and printable activities to reinforce number sense!  It's usually $11, but TODAY ONLY it's on sale for $8!!

Splash Into Summer is a fun little packet full of printable math practice pages!  Perfect for the summer between K-1 or great for starting out the first few weeks of first grade!  It's usually $7, but TODAY ONLY it's on sale for $5!!

I'll be giving BOTH of these packets away today on my FB page, so if you're not a fan already, head on over, click "like" & "get notifications" and enter to win!!


  1. This is such a good idea! My little guy who's turning 5 in September is headed to Kindergarten and I have been desperately trying to get him excited about learning. I think my approach -- out of my sheer anxiety over him entering school -- has been ALL wrong. I think I'll switch your awesome Jenga idea up and label the blocks with upper and lowercase letters so he can identify the alphabet and the letter-sounds!

    Sarah Plum
    There's No Place Like Second Grade

  2. I have 2 sets of Jenga blocks that we use for our "Fun Friday" time. I'm SO turning one into this for my math tubs! GENIUS!

    For the Love of First Grade

  3. Guess whose Jenga is getting a makeover?! Thanks for sharing :)

    Little In Betweens
    (formerly Teach on a Limb)

  4. Girl you seriously knock my socks off with your geniusness! Adore!

  5. Cute game!! So trying this in my classroom! :) Thanks!!!!
    K&C Love Grade 3

  6. Cara, I love this idea! I too am having a little "summer school" with my son. I am so lucky because he eats. it. up. He will flip over this game! Thanks so much for the great suggestion!
    Sarah's First Grade Snippets

  7. I just posted about how competitive my 4 year old is. If he can win it he can learn! Haha. We will definitely be playing some sight word jenga tomorrow.

    Teaching with Hope

  8. Love this post! I feel exacly the same as you about my new kinder daughter!

  9. Awesome idea!!!! Mine is only 3 but I can't wait to do it with the alphabet. He is going to love it! I always look forward to see what awesome idea you'll come up with next!


  10. I do this with sight words, but I wrote them on the blocks with a sharpie. How clever to use the stickers so you can change it out! Now I wish I would have done it that way!!!

    :) Stephanie from First Grade Bangs

  11. Okay, I totally LOVE this idea and will use it for multiplication facts in my 2nd grade class this year. Thanks!
    Windows Into My Classroom

  12. What a wonderful idea! So clever - love it! This activity will be great for quiet evening hotel time or a rainy day while camping.

    I'm going to link this on my website www.theeducationaltourist.com where I write about traveling with the kids and learning along the way. I would love a shout out from you!

    Thanks for sharing such a creative idea.
    Natalie, The Educational Tourist

  13. This is brilliant and I love that it can be updated as skill level goes up! Thank you for sharing- pinning via K12's Pinterest for other families to try!

  14. This is an amazing game. Thank you so much for sharing. Also look at "OCEAN RAIDERS" math game for basic addition. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MDFYCBS

  15. Very creative..thank you for sharing..i love this game to play in my math class

  16. Very creative..thank you for sharing..i love this game to play in my math class