To use Bingo to develop number facts in the earliest school years, you need to make the procedure as easy as possible to organise in as short a time as you can.
To make starting the game easier, I would create a page with four empty 3×3 grids printed down the right hand side of the page.
I would decide on the range of numbers I would use.
I would print these numbers down the left hand side of the page.
Then I would give each student a copy of the grid page and ask the students to pick their own numbers and place them on one of the grids. I would tell them to select their own numbers, not copy the ones of the student beside them.
An alternative is to create several different sheets with numbers already in the grids. This will shorten your preparation time.
Then I would ask the class to show their page to me to make sure every student had a full card of the correct numbers.
Once all is ready, I would demonstrate on the board what I meant by a line in Bingo to show them how they could win the game.
Here is how the game proceeds.
• The simplest version is for you to just pick a number.
• A more advanced step is to use a simple mathematics problems, e.g. one less than or one more than or the next number.
• You need to say the numbers or question slowly and repeat it giving the students time to work out the answer, find and cross out the number if they have it on their grid
• Use ‘eyes down’ as a cue to listen intently. Tell the class ‘eyes down’ also means ‘Don’t talk or look around to others in the class.’
• Teach the class how to listen actively and how to concentrate. Revisit these skills each time you have an oral game or quiz.
• Inform the class that if they obtain a line, they need to yell “Bingo”. They would call out their numbers for you to check. If they are, the game has a winner. If not, the game continues.
The Bingo quiz has several positive outcomes. They are:
1. Better basic skills; 2. Fun way to revise number facts;
3. Better mental discipline; 4. Provides no angst for students;
5. Success for less able students in a non-threatening exercise.
One final comment: Teach your students how to become powerful listeners. This is a skill they will need not only in school but throughout their life.
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