Saturday, October 25, 2008

Halloween Math

I learned the following two games at a work shop from other kindergarten teachers and I've used them every year since. They are a nice structured way to celebrate, that includes learning and also lets the kids have some candy without going overboard.

This game is called Bag of Bones and requires a small supply of the different skeletal shapes. I found the bones candy in the Oriental Trading catalogue 2008 Halloween #20566D1, item #NY-25/4641 Bones Candy
Oriental Trading's phone # is 800-228-2269
So, you make a graph by drawing or tracing the shapes several times. Be sure to leave a space for students to write the number of bones they find. The students receive a bag of bones and graph the different types of bones on the correct line. Then the student writes the number in the space provided.
If buying candy is not an option, I've also made several copies the the different skeletal shapes on different colored construction paper, cut them out and made a "bag of paper bones" for students to sort, graph and count.

I also really like this game, ghost count. To prepare, you need white beans, several small containers and the ghost count sheet. Mark the white beans with 2 permanent marker dots. These are the ghosts. Put 10 ghosts in a film canister or other small container. The students shake the container and pour the contents out. Then the student counts the number of ghosts with eyes facing up. They note this by coloring a ghost next to the correct number. The game can be played until all ghosts are colored or it becomes time to stop. I save the ghosts containers to use year after year, but I have to check them because the "ghosts" can disappear.

To save paper I copy both the bag of bones and ghost count back to back because I know we will play both games.