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What's the date?

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I have been trying to teach my first years (12-13yrs) to properly read the date to no avail..until today. I came up with a great game and it was a roaring success, though it involves some preparation. Here's what to do;
First step- Write down a bunch of dates(m/d/y), preferably involving all the months, including a variety of st's/nd's/rd's/th's..eg, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and an even number of 2000's and 1900's..eg 1999,2001,1990,2008. Fifteen to twenty dates should be enough for a 45 min. class.
Second step-Make 2 sets of cards with all of the different components..eg, if your first date is January 1st,1989, the different components are; January, 1, st, 19 and 89.
Before playing-I had about 37 components each for both teams, each student should get at least 2 cards, some will probably end up with 3 depending on how many cards you make. Hand them out, or let them pick them out of a bag.
Explain the game-I wrote "What's the date?" on the board, explain that everytime you count 1,2,3 everyone yells "What's the date", then proceed to yell a date, if you say January 1st, 1989, everyone holding one of those components has to run up to the designated spot and put themselves in order with their teammates. The team that does this the quickest gets a point, then point to someone from their team and say "What's the date?", if they read it correctly they get an additional point, if they are unsuccessful, point to someone from the other team and let them have a go. If they don't read it properly alternately keep pointing at students from team to team until someone successfully reads the date and they get the additional point.
My students were crazy about this game and can all now successfully read the date. I hope this game works as well for you as it did for me. One tip..make your cards colorful, and try not to use dates and years that have the same numbers. Also, it may happen that one person has two components from the same date, explain that if this happens they have to give one of their cards to a neighbour and they both go up. There should always be a total of five people to make up any one date. Thanks to everyone else that has submitted games, they have been extremely useful to me.

Cheryl Trottier
China

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