Monday, February 22, 2010

The Pancake Game!!

The pancake game is a fun way to practice any it can be adapted for virtually any age child from toddlers to upper elementary! (keep reading for adapting to younger kids!)

Have your kids help you prepare to play--involve them in making the game pieces:
-gather supplies: scissors, pencil, "pancake-colored" paper, a cup to trace (about 3 in. in diameter)
-trace your circles on the paper and cut out
-decide how you will mount the skills--
(you could laminate the pancakes and then write on them with washable overhead marker, you could use small sticky notes, you could tape on words typed on the computer, you could use pencil and erase to change the words) You want to be able to change out what is on the pancakes so that once the current words are learned you can rotate to new ones!)
*I typed the words and taped them on for this example, but when I make a set for Q I plan to laminate and use overhead marker.
Get out a skillet and spatula.....

The easiest step would be to ask your child to match pairs of words (not read them yet--just match them). This requires your child to look closely at the features of each word--it's length, the letters in it, the shape of the word, etc. This is important because they MUST have a grasp on these "features" before they can read the word.

The next step would be for you to call out a word and ask your child to find it (and of course scoop it onto your plate!) This is simpler than the child reading the word, but still requires them to look at the words closely. If they choose the wrong one, say, "I asked for "said." "ssssssssssss" Look for the word that starts with "sssssss." Keep giving prompts until they figure it out.

The next step would be to ask them to read the words as they take the pancakes off the skillet.

And the final step--turn em over and play MEMORY! This requires them to read the words AND incorporates remembering where the words are.

A fun extension of this--make some real pancakes! Use some type of writable frosting to actually write the words on the pancakes and celebrate your child's learning! I have these little gel frostings that would be great, and I know there are even eatable food markers out there at cooking stores!

Now...other options rather than words on the pancakes?
-letter sounds
-names of family members
-picture pairs
-objects to match with the number (ie: one pancake has 4 dots and the other has the number 4)
-consonant digraphs (ch- ph sh- th- wh- -ch -ck -sh -tch -th)
-vocabulary words
-equalities (9X9, 4+5)

Some other fun extensions?
*play restaurant--help your children create a menu with the "flavors" of pancakes available (of course the flavors being whatever words or colors or shapes or numbers or whatever are on the pancakes). Customers can order their flavor and your child the chef will bring out that flavor!

*older children can create a simpler version of this game for little siblings

*remember to start out with only a few pancakes at a time and gradually add more as your child starts learning the words (numbers, colors, etc.)