Thursday, March 29, 2012

Super Simple Puzzle Practice

Here is a super simple way to have your kiddos practice sight words, math facts, just about anything. I go to the Dollar Tree (can you tell I hang out there a lot!?) and pick up a couple of their sturdy puzzles with only 25 pieces or so.  I have been able to find really sturdy cardboard ones, once even a couple of wooden ones.
Of course, I usually buy a "boy" one and a "girl" one.
After, I get them home, I open the puzzle and put it together. I take each piece one by one, and trace around them on the backboard of the puzzle.  Soon I have 25 puzzle shaped pieces with matching outlines on the board. Again matching the puzzle to its outline, I write one thing on one piece, and the answer or matching part on the other.  For example, I write sight words on both pieces and the my students must read and match the words in order to put the puzzle together.
The one pictured here is a Spiderman puzzle for practicing sight words. Two students can work as a team to put the puzzle together. They are so excited when they get the puzzle together, and I am so excited that they have practiced their sight words.
You can also use this for math facts or just about anything.  So keep your eyes peeled for puzzles at the store or at yard sales. You can never have too many. I use easier words in the beginning of the year and more difficult ones toward the end.  In the beginning I may just have them match number to dots (the number 3 on one piece, and 3 dots on the corresponding outline) and move on the doubles etc.
I hope your kiddos like the puzzles as much as mine do.  BTW if you don't tell them that they are actually studying -- neither will I!