Jodi Sarkovics is a veteran third grade teacher from Indianapolis who truly believes that engagement and FUN is the key to learning. Her roots in teaching stem from C.L.A.S.S. (Connecting Learning Assures Successful Students) as she began her career immersed in a school where the belief in collaboration and brain compatible teaching were held dear. She is a teacher who has always differentiated for all students based on their needs and learning styles. She uses the workshop approach to reading and writing, but also knows that there are times when changing things up is a necessity and exactly what the students need to keep their excitement for learning.
Here she shares some of her ideas for making the week before the NFL showdown especially fun and engaging! Thanks for sharing, Jodi!
Some things that can be done in advance:
- Decorate your classroom door or even your entire classroom with a football theme. You can focus on the specific teams in this year’s game or just keep it simple. The kids can also help and will have a terrific time working on decorations during recess time.
- Encourage your class to wear football jerseys, shirts and hats the entire week before the big game.
- Have the class make pompoms and/or pennants (home or at school).
- Change up your independent reading homework routine. Instead of your normal log, have students keep track of minutes. In my classroom, each time a child reads for 20 minutes at home they are able to put their name on a football and place it on a poster I decorate like a football field. I hold a contest between the boys and girls to make it more competitive and with the hope that it encourages them to read more minutes that week.
- Find as many football books as possible for the class to read during their independent reading time. Put them in a basket in a predominant place in the classroom.
Some Lessons & Centers I Have Tried:
NLF Pro Shop: Find a large cart or a space in your classroom to create an NFL Pro Shop. Decorate it with a sign and place any football item you can find in the shop. (I used Colts jerseys, t-shirts, hats, games, footballs, books about football, football trading cards, mini helmets, Xbox games, etc.) Put price tags on each item. Try to make them a little out of the ordinary (not all of them ending with the same two digits) so the students get practice adding various amounts. The kids are given a specific amount to spend. They are in charge of choosing items, figuring out their total and determining if they get any change back. Have an adult volunteer or a student act as a cashier to check totals on their “receipt” with a calculator. That person can let them know if they need to check their addition and return to the cashier.
Pro Shop Sign , Price Tags & Receipt (we have included two different receipts so you can easily differentiate this activity)
Problem Solving: Write a set of differentiated word problems related to the two teams that are playing. The problems can be about touchdowns, players stats, field goals, etc… This could be changed every year to match the teams playing. (Problems can also involve telling time, addition, subtraction and multiplication.)
Multiplication War: The kids play multiplication war using football shaped cards. You can either print and laminate these on card stock to use year after year, or you can give your students sheets of them and they can cut them out and keep them. In either case, students can use one or two sets of the shapes (0-9) depending on how long you want the game to last. They flip their cards, multiply the numbers, and the first one to call out the correct product wins both cards.
Concession Stand: This is similar to the NFL Pro Shop as it has students adding money amounts and determining change. I created a menu with prices that contained typical ballgame food items (hot dogs, hamburgers, french fries, pretzels, chips, popcorn, peanuts, nachos, candy, bottled water, pop, etc), and I placed on the board like it would be at a concession stand. If you have a SMART board this is fairly simple and you can add pictures. (You could also bring in items and tag them with the price.) The kids had to purchase a minimum amount of items and then they then were required to figure out their bill, determine what bills they would give a cashier, and calculate their change. You may also wish to provide the students with some sort of concession stand “treat” if they stay on task and work hard at this center. 🙂
Football Multiplication Memory Game: I used a football jersey shape for these cards. You can create a deck of cards containing all the multiplication facts or differentiate by having a 0 – 5 fact deck and a 6 – 10 fact deck and then be intentional about the level of the students you are having play each other. Put the problem on one card and a matching answer on another card. Players place all the cards face down and have to turn over a multiplication problem and match it with the correct answer. For further differentiation, give students blank cards and have them create their own small personal deck by writing problems at the level they are currently working at. Pair them with someone who is working at a similar (but not the same) level for additional practice of other facts.
Writing Activity: I keep this pretty open-ended most years. If students finish a center early, they can write a story or poem that has something to do with football. Choices could be a fiction or personal narrative football story, a poem (such as acrostic), or maybe even a cheer.
Game Predictions: Have students make game day predictions! You can think about the big win, or even focus on scores, yards, tackles, sacks, etc.) These can be graphed on your board in numerous ways (mini jerseys, helmets, post its notes, etc…). On Monday, discuss the outcome of the game and their predictions.
Plan a Tailgate Party: On the Friday before the game, host a tailgate party! Make it elaborate by having parents help with a full lunch or keep it simple and just plan to serve a football snack of some kind.
Things I am considering for this year are…
- Find the circumference of a football.
- Review symmetry using shapes related to football (football, goal posts, football field, numbers on jerseys, etc).
- Create class graphs on the computer of favorite football teams or players
- Use the commercials from the game to help teach persuasive writing. Maybe the kids could create commercials too?
- Find some good current event articles for the class to read about football, the NFL or the big game.
- Research the food consumed during the game. We could look at this mathematically or from a health perspective.
- Have the class find the NFL team cities on a map.
- Research the history of football.
- Find the average age of the players on a football team.
Got any great ideas to add to Jodi’s? Let everyone know by adding them in the comments!
Go Colts! (Sorry – we can dream can’t we??!!)