Orchard's EC/ES Director Plays The Ultimate Math Game TENZI with 2nd Graders
Heather Girton, Early Childhood & Elementary School Director
When kids ask me what my favorite thing about my job is, I tell them it's because I get to work with everyone in the building. I'm especially lucky when teachers graciously hand over their time to me for a lesson here and there. When 2nd-grade math and science teacher Mrs. Nichole Cazares and I were talking about math games earlier in the week, I was reminded of one of my favorite games, Tenzi.
As a bit of background, I love board games. Being able to use them in the classroom has so many benefits - from academic skills practice to the social skills and self-regulation kids get from playing them together, it's time well spent. I was fortunate to attend a professional development session a few years ago that highlighted some newer games and how they leveraged applying differentiated math skills. Enter my love affair with Tenzi! While it really is a game of luck with a smidge of strategy that you can play simply for fun, the math applications available as you dive into the variations are many. It's perfect for both small and large groups, and it's most certainly one of those games where kids rarely think of it as "math work".
The 2nd-grade team graciously offered me their free math time last week to teach them Tenzi. I told the kids that I've had a dream of a grade-wide Tenzi Tourney for a while, so I was also excited to see what they could do. We tried a lot of variations, mostly for fun ("Woozi"), and some that required some simple math as a warm-up, ("Pairzi"). Now they're ready to take this resource into their math groups next week and use it to practice all sorts of numeracy and math skills with their teachers!
I love taking the chance to keep teaching alongside our amazing faculty any chance I get. The energy your kids have for learning is definitely contagious, which means we're always ready to learn new things around here. I'm grateful to have been a part of their day last week (see more photos below). Here's to more fun and more learning, always!
Heather Girton Early Childhood & Elementary School Director