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Welcome Dr. Penny and A Freebie For Blog Swap and Hop

I am delighted to introduce you to one of the smartest bloggers I know! Dr. Penny from Teach The Math is my guest for the Blog Swap and Hop.  You’re gonna love her. I just know it.  Remember, I’m off visiting a blogger friend myself.  So when you’ve finished here, please hop on over to A Special Kind of Class  (I’ll leave her button at the bottom so you can find it)

to see what I’ve been up to and grab a couple of new freebies.  I’ll see you over there.  Now without further adeau . . .
www.teachthemath.com

Hello all!  I’m Penny from Teach the Math.  I am thrilled to be guest blogging here with you today.  Isn’t this Blog Swap and Hop just the ticket?  It is such fun! Thanks Marsha for letting me share your blog! There are many things that I love about teaching school, but two of my favorites are Kindergartners and math.  Teaching math in Kindergarten can be challenging, but it is also exciting!  
Many teachers use simple games to help reinforce their math instruction. Games are fun, engaging, and provide much needed practice for children who may need to deepen their conceptual understanding of a particular skill or strategy. They not only motivate children to work hard at solving problems, but they are great ways to bring enjoyment back to your math time. So when is enough, enough? Is there any real value in playing a certain game again and again?  
Can you think back to when you first learned how to play games?  If I reflect on my own experiences; I recall it went something like this. I’ll use tic-tac-toe for example. The very first time I played it, I really had no clue what the game was about, what the objective might be, or how to be strategical in the placement of my X’s or O’s.  I simply added my X’s or O’s in a sporadic and random way.  I quickly learned that a random strategy was no strategy at all.  More often than not, I came out on the losing end of the game. Very soon though, I realized that there were strategic moves that were important to know if I wanted to win. The more I played, the better I understood the game.  The more I understood, the better I became. I began to build a bank of strategies that greatly increased my chances of winning. The same is true for Kinder kids who play the same games again and again during math time.  The more opportunities they have to play the game, the better they become at thinking, reasoning, and building new strategies for winning.  

These same strategy building skills are critical to future mathematical success.  Don’t underestimate the power of having simple, but fun math games as part of your math curriculum.  And don’t be so quick to put the games away.  Encourage your students to keep playing them, again and again. I created a free set of fun and easy games for you to use in your classroom. I’ve included them in the link below. Just print the gameboards, provide dot cubes, and your students are ready to play.  Challenge your students to play these games again and again, and see what strategies they will develop in the process.

 www.teachthemath.com       www.teachthemath.com

I hope you enjoy using them with your class and be sure to visit my blog for other fun and easy to use math ideas!  

www.teachthemath.com

Thanks so much for reading along!

www.teachthemath.com

Dr. Penny Messick is an Instructional Specialist with the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI).  She spent 25 years teaching K-2 and is a strong supporter of inquiry based learning.  She spends most of her days providing resources and professional development for elementary teachers across south Alabama.  Penny blogs at www.teachthemath.com.  She can also be found on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

Ok!!! Don’t forget to check out the rest of the bloggers hopping today!  There’s sure to be plenty of great ideas and some special treats to collect along the way.  I’ll see you over at A Special Kind of Class.

Check them out:

Marsha Moffit McGuire

Short little bio goes here. Short, sweet, and lets visitors know about your experience, expertise, etc.