Whole Group Games: Entry #2

Blast Off Featured Image

Here is the second installment in my series of whole group games that I am reviewing in my blog.  My favorite here is “Blast Off!” and for this game, I needed a drawing of a rocket.  I looked on the internet to try to just “borrow” one from somewhere out there, but never found one.  So I decided to draw my own rocket, and I am including the game here as a free download for my blog readers!  In it, you will find one page with just a black and white copy of the rocket, just in case you wish to print your game in black and white instead of color.  There is also a blank page at the end of the game in case you want to use different flashcards with a different topic for your game.  My game is designed to have the kids practice counting.

Blast Off

Blast Off!
This game plays similarly to Whole Group Bang, but you change the picture to a rocket and the word to “Blast Off!”  (If you missed the directions for Whole Group Bang, see the entry above.  Every time the card comes up, the whole class,including the teacher, turns 90 degrees to the right, and continues drilling in this new position.  So what happens is that every time you come to a “Blast Off!” card, everyone in the class shifts to a new position- and being the goof-ball that I am, I make a big deal over it and sort of run over to the other side of the room in a hurry, all flustered.  The kids get a kick out of it.  Well, you know what they say!  Good teaching is 3/4 theater, and 1/4 preparation!

What you need:
Flashcards for any concept, and some “Blast Off!” cards mixed in with them.  When I made mine, I used a counting theme to help the kids practice counting to 100, and especially to get from those “nine’s” to the next group of tens, such as from 39 to 40, and from 49 to 50, and so on.  Duplicate extra “Blast Off!” cards so that the game will be different each time.

The end of the game:
The game is over when you run out of cards.  Whoever winds up in the “first” row closest to the teacher is the winning group!  This will be more of a surprise if you vary the number of “Blast Off” cards that you put into the set each time you play.


Whole Group Memory

What you need:
Flashcards for any concept, such as CVC words and matching pictures, and a pocket chart.  I use the flashcards from my CVC book, but any flashcards and pictures will work.  Even matching the same words will work, of course!  The CVC book can be downloaded one vowel unit at a time on my website.  Sorry, this one is not a freebie, but it is not that expensive to just get one unit.  It’s just five bucks for the download, and it includes flashcards, worksheets, and a bingo game.  That would be everything you would need to teach the “at/an” family, etc.

How to play:
Put the cards face down on the pocket chart and have the kids come up one at a time and try to match them up.

Variations on Whole Group Memory:
– Match numerals and numbers.  Use ten frames and flash cards.  The ten frames are a free download on my website.  Free is good!
– Practice sight words by matching two of the same sight words written in different fonts.


The Old Switcheroo

What you need:
A hundreds pocket chart, or numbers on a pocket chart up to 10, 20, or 30.

How to play:
Have the kids hide their eyes.  Meanwhile, switch two numbers on the chart.  Have the children guess which numbers were changed.  Give the children clues to help find the correct numbers if they cannot figure it out.

Variations on The Old Switcheroo:
You could play this game with letters of the alphabet as well, or even by switching two children’s seats!  This was a favorite game to play right after we did the calendar on some mornings.  It was very quick; we just did two or three rounds and then went on to the next activity.

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Heidi Butkus

About Heidi Butkus

Heidi Butkus has been teaching in California public schools since 1985. She has somehow managed to stay in Kindergarten all of those years, with the exception of five years in first grade, and also taught a parent participation preschool for a short while! Combining a strong knowledge of brain research with practical experience, Heidi has created a wealth of fun and engaging teaching techniques that work well with diverse populations. She has presented at conferences nationwide, and is the owner and founder of HeidiSongs.com. Heidi has also created fourteen original CD's and DVD's for teaching beginning reading and math skills, three musical plays designed especially for young performers, and has written some picture books and many other teaching resources. Heidi's multimedia workshops are filled with fun and motivational educational activities that have been classroom tested and revised for effectiveness with all types of learners.

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