As a teacher, I have struggled to find a great way to start school each day. The problem you run into is that students arrive at different times. Some are right at the door at 8 a.m., and others are running in right before the bell rings. The different arrival times makes it hard to assign any kind of practice work that all of them could participate in.
I was meeting with Mrs. Gamez in the spring and she showed me some “brain games” that she uses to motivate her students. They are fun games created to challenge the mind by building reasoning and creative thinking skills through play.
So this summer I collected different games that were created with the brain in mind. Some of the games the students play in the morning are Last Letter, Spot It, Tell Tale, and Izzi. The card games are fast paced and require quick thinking and inspired vocabulary. You can match symbols, play word games, tell stories based on crazy pictures, or simply match geometric shapes into a puzzle.
A side benefit I didn’t anticipate is that playing the games helps with socialization in my class. Often, my students mix with kids other than their best friends.
So if you come into my classroom on almost any morning, you are welcome to join in on a game and stretch your brain!