Monthly Archives: April 2015

Do You Like Toast?

Let’s say you want to show a short video to your class, and even though it has really good information, it’s a little on the dry side. (I’m talking about ones that have educational value and are obviously tied to the curriculum in some way. What did you think I was talking about?) The internet is full of these things, and let’s be honest, some of them are pretty hokey. When I want to show a dry, hokey video with lots of good information, I also find another short one that is just plain fun. (Like the toast song.) I say, “I’m going to show two short videos, and I want you to tell me which one you like best.” Always start with the educational one. As soon as it’s finished, be sure to review important ideas and concepts-just like a real teacher would do. Then show the fun one. After the second video, say something like, “So, which one did you like best?” This way the kids learn what they need to and you won’t get a reputation as always showing boring videos.

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 16, 2015 in Teaching Tips


Tags: , ,

The Need for Speed

Looking for a fun, easy way to fill 15-20 minutes in your classroom? (Especially now that spring break has come and gone, right?) I’m not usually one for cards, but Speed is a fast and furious card game that’s really easy and fun to play. All you need is one deck of cards for each pair of students. The great thing about this game is that kids from kindergarten through middle school will love it. How do I know? I’ve watched kids as young as four play against teenagers. Even the “I’m-too-cool-for-school” seventh graders I work with enjoyed it.



The rules:


To be the first person to play all of the cards in your deck and say “Speed!”

Set up

– Players sit across from one another.

– Deal 20 cards face down to each player.

– Deal the remaining cards face down between the two players in 4 piles (two outside piles with 5 cards, and two inside piles with only 1 card).

Game play

– Pick up the top 5 cards from your deck and arrange them in your hand.

– Simultaneously turn over the two single face-down cards in the center.

– Begin playing the cards in your hand on top of the face-up cards in sequential order. (The number order can go both up and down. Either a King or a 2 may be played on an Ace.)

– Pick up cards from your deck, keeping 5 cards in your hand at all times.

– When neither player has a card that will play on the center piles, simultaneously flip one card over from the outer face-down stacks. (If these stacks run out of cards, turn the face-up piles over to face-down and start again using the top card.)

Winning the game

Once you’ve used all twenty cards in your hand and your deck, yell “Speed!”

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 13, 2015 in Teaching Tips


Tags: , , ,