Monday, August 2, 2010

15 Classroom Uses for Printable Magnet Sheets

When I finished my DIY Tetris-style magnetic block project, I immediately began brainstorming more uses for these printable magnetic sheets.  I quickly amassed a list of 15 free, easy to make and use games, manipulatives, and practical items for the classroom.  Below you'll find ready-to-use printables as well as ideas you can adapt as needed.

1. DIY Magnetic Poetry - I had fun doing this with the scraps from my original project, as you can see.  Obviously the classroom applications for this are endless: create a set using any vocabulary, parts of speech, or sight words you want your kids to learn.  The size of each word is up to you and depends on what's appropriate for your kids.  Have your students manipulate them into sentences, create a story, fix an incorrect sentence, finish an incomplete statement, sort them by type, etc.  Create a magnetic word wall (just make sure they're words you want to reuse year after year).

2. Make contact info magnetic business cards for parents quickly and cheaply.

3. Art project to decorate your board, desk, filing cabinet, etc.  Make your own or ask your students to create it for you (a great classroom culture builder).

4. Holiday gifts for students, colleagues, or anyone who helped you during the school year.  You could use it for end of the year gifts as well.  Create art, print a class photo onto it, it's up to you to fill in the blank.

5. Tangrams - This is a novel alternative to cutting up paper to review spatial relations and geometry.  More applications for tangrams.

6. Jigsaw Puzzle - Print any relevant picture on the sheet, then take a Sharpie and draw some puzzlesque lines.  Warning: Don't go searching for free, printable blank jigsaw puzzles online-- you'll find too many malicious sites out there.  My PC is well protected, but yours might not be.  Better to avoid it altogether.

7. Geometric shapes to use as manipulatives.  Alternately, create a big shape that you can divide into fractional parts.

8. Calendar - Print your school's academic calendar so you never lose track of it.

9. Magnetic Sudoku - I created this 3 page PDF that contains the standard 9 of each digit from 1-9 that you can then arrange as needed.  Why pay for it when you can make it yourself?  Plus, you'll have leftover sheets for other projects from the list.

10. Create ships for my Battleship-style learning game.

11. Perpetual Calendar - This is one of my favorite brain teasers to give students, from the book Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities.  The original creation was two cubes with different sets of numbers on each one in such a way that you could make all the dates in a given month from 01 through 31.  The problem is there doesn't seem to be enough spaces on the two cubes to do so.  I won't spoil the solution, but if you download the PDF I created, you should be able to figure it out from there.

12. Connect Four-style game -  Download my printable PDF (which looks like the image you see on the left) and have at it!

13. Deck of Cards - Take any deck you have, and use a scanner to create images that you can print onto the sheets.  With standard cards, you can fit 9 cards per sheet if you line them up 3 by 3, so you would need 6 sheets total to create an entire, accurate deck.  Of course, you could always just make a few key cards.

14. Random Number Generator - Print out the Sudoku PDF, put the cut out pieces in a bag, and pull out as many digits as you need.

15. Label sections of your board: Do Now, Homework, Agenda, etc.