I walk around the room and hum. “We/are/ ga/ther/ing.” The children stop and listen. They march and follow the Pied Piper leading his young wards to the meeting area in a corner by the room. I sing, “We are ga-ther-ing, we are ga-ther-ing, we are ga-ther-ing..…” The children join the chant, from soft to slow then loud to fast we sing BINGO.
I begin my mini-lesson. “Last week, we learned the beginning sounds of our names. Today, we play Beginning Sound Bingo!” My first graders clap and give each other high-fives. Play! I explain the game; they squirm on their seats. “Questions?” They run to their work tables and find the deck of cards Teacher Steph had arranged in neat rows of threes.
I show my wonder pouch and pull out a plastic toy. “C-c-c-car,” I say, exaggerating its first letter. “Go and find the picture card with the same sound of c-c-car.” Everyone grabbed a colored chip to hide the picture that matched the beginning sound.
I take out another toy. And another. Again and again and again. Livie had only one more picture to hide. Gabby too. Then, someone yells, “BINGO!!!” Everyone claps. Laughter erupts. A loud, long cheer follows. The girls hug, the boys jump.
Happens all the time in my class when we play games where everyone wins … and LEARNS.