One Sunflower

what’s a club?

on May 15, 2012

It’s late spring, very late –  there are only a few weeks of school left. Once again I’m writing about card games. I love introducing playing cards to my preschoolers.  I have 4 games I usually teach preschoolers: “Concentration,” “Fish,” “War” (or Everlasting as my grandmother called it,) and “Crazy Eights.”   But I don’t really play pure versions of any of these games – as I alluded to in my entry last year.   In fact, I often invent versions on the spot – as was the case today.

I was reminded of this when my husband asked me about my day and I ended up telling him about playing cards with a small group of students.  Leopoldo was putting away the blocks and glancing over at Salomon and Valeriano playing in “the box. ”  (Lately “the box” has become a place to play “doctor” and I’ve had to keep a close eye on the students who head there during free choice time.)  I decided to help these boys shift direction in a proactive way by inviting them to play cards.  I know from previous experience that my students will rarely resist an invitation to play cards; it was a sure-fire distraction.

I asked them if they wanted to play War or Crazy Eights; Leopoldo piped up and named the latter – probably because it was the last thing he heard. He told me he had never played cards before.

Dealing five cards to each boy, I showed them how to hold them in a fan.  I turned over the top card and we began playing the familiar game.   The difference is this, there were no crazy 8’s.  I just taught them how to make a decision about what to play based on whether they had a matching number or suit.  If they didn’t, they got 2 chances to choose a card before we moved on.  When we ran out of cards, we just kept going around to see who could play.  At some point Lila joined in and I just dealt her in with 5 cards.

It was fun and we played for a long time.  After about 3 rounds, the students were able to explain why they could or couldn’t play a particular card and I could prompt them to coach me about what I should play – which is the whole reason I love teaching and playing cards with kids.  There are so many hidden skills and I learned a lot about my 4 card-playing buddies today.

The “crazy” part of Crazy Eights can come later, these kids learned plenty today.

5 responses to “what’s a club?

  1. Ruth Ayres says:

    Yep…they learned plenty because they have a skilled teacher who comes alongside them and joins them in play. Thanks for capturing this powerful slice from your day.

  2. djts says:

    The other nice thing is that they learn, as I did from my parents, that games can be made up on the spot. A game is whatever you make it to be. Just holding the cards in a fan is a huge accomplishment!!!

  3. Tara says:

    I love the way you just knew to expand the game to include Lila…card games are such great fun!

  4. I have never done this! I always played cards with my sons when they were little, but it’s never crossed my mind for the preschool classroom. Thank you for this! My students love games – and what a great way to reinforce number recognition, sets, and so much more.

  5. margaretsmn says:

    If I had a young child, I would want you to teach her. What fun to be in your class, playing and learning. In my gifted classes, play is very important. The kids play strategic games and think they are having a “free” day. Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s