I wish I could tell you that the most exciting time in my fifth grade classroom was when I grabbed the old basal and walked up to the front to impart knowledge on my students. However, this was not the case. Even with all of the differentiation, RTI, technology and other interventions that have been a part of my recent years of teaching, nothing seemed to get the students more pumped up than when I grabbed a die and walked to the front of the class. I immediately said "find a number" and then the mood in the classroom took a sudden change. (I had previously placed the numbers 1 through 6 around the room using sticky notes.) As the students settled on a number I rolled the die and everyone on that number had to sit down. The students chose a different number and the game continued until 1 or 2 students were left standing. Those students were rewarded and if time allowed we usually played the game a few more times.
I loved to see the smiles and excitement. I am going to revise the game, on occasion, this coming year to include math facts, squares and square roots. If I find something they enjoy I definately want to use it to help them learn.