Monday, August 17, 2015


Hi all! I am so sorry I have been M.I.A. lately! The first 2 weeks of school have been crazy and have flown by! We are already on the ground running this year. 

For the first two weeks of school, we did review in math. Review...that can sometimes be boring, so I made sure it was not! I took an idea from the amazing Hope King. She is amazing! She recently periscoped about how she was going to use Giant Jenga in her class. I tweaked it to work for my class. As a second year teacher, I don't have the budget to buy the Giant Jenga, so I went and bought the normal Jenga from Target. I'm pretty sure the lady at the checkout line thought I was crazy when I walked up with 5 Jenga games, but when I told her I was a teacher, but she just smiled and said, "Oh you teachers, you've always got something up your sleeve." She has no idea!

I chose 9 different colors. Each Jenga game has 54 pieces, so each game had 6 pieces that were the same color. I went to Michaels for my paint, and got it on sale! SCORE! I used the acrylic paint that comes in the little tubes! I also have a ton left over! Painting these little blocks were easier than I originally thought (thank goodness). With a sponge brush it took my a total of 1 hour to paint all the pieces! It honestly took 2 dabs on each end. The nice thing was it dried super quick, so I didn't take up my entire dinning room table for too long!

Once I was done painting and they were all dried, I was ready to store my new games. My OCD self did not want to put them back in the cardboard box they came in, so I threw those away and went back to Target! I'm surprised they don't know me by name yet! I found these great storage containers that came in a pack of 5, could it be any more perfect? They also were right around $5. I counted and divided out my games and put one game per container. These are great because they stack great, and they are easy to store, especially at school!

Like I said earlier in the post, I first introduced it to my class by using it to review certain topics from fourth grade! We reviewed long division, multiples, factors, math facts, subtraction, and prime/composite. If you want a copy of my recording sheet, email me at My kids had a blast! I cannot begin to thank Hope and her amazing idea! There are so many ways I want to use it this year! I also have a class at all different levels, so the beautiful thing about this activity is it is easily differentiated. My students played in their math groups, but not one kid noticed that their group's paper was different than the next. BEAUTIFUL! 

Check out Hope's blog post about here to get more details from the expert, this is just my experience with it! I hope my tips can help you make this for your classroom! It is totally worth your time, I promise, and it is kid approved! "Miss Schaar, this is so awesome!"


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