Phonics and Math Movement Breaks with Bank It! Plus a Fun Freebie

Bank It.. A Fun Way to Learn!
Let’s talk about Bank It! I am super proud and excited to share this game with you. About 2 years ago, my husband and I were brainstorming ways to get our students up and moving in a fun and engaging way. We wanted it to be a learning and movement activity.  I also wanted to tie money into it because we use money daily in our reward system and it is highly motivating. After a lot of collaboration, Bank It was born. We decided together on the general format and then he modified it for his 6th grade math students and I use it in my first grade classroom. 
The most important part of the game while in the creation mode was making sure that everyone participated and no one was eliminated. I did not want students sitting out during the game and not participating.  I also wanted it to be fast paced with little time for off task behavior.  Above you can see my banks and money. Really any money will do if you have paper money from your math program.  We store our banks and money in a container in the front of the classroom so it is ready to go at any time.  
Here is how we play…
 We pick a banker. This person is in charge of the money. They pay the winner.  The students BEG to be the banker so we take turns. If you don’t want this to be a student job, the teacher can do this as well.  Each team gets a “Bank”. It is one of the paper banks.  I usually have two teams but have done 3. The “Banks” are placed in the back of the room near the end of the line. 
Divide your students into groups. The groups don’t have to be exactly even. I actually like it better when they are not because then they end up with a different partner the next time they are up. I have my groups stand in a line, one on the left side and one on the right side of my classroom.
Next, you put the game of your choice up on the projectable board. I have them in both a pdf file version or a Powerpoint version.  I usually sit up front on a stool as pictured in this photo, next to the banker. (This was taken at the beginning of the year so the students were not the banker yet).
One student from each side comes up to the board. Whoever says the correct word first, gets money for their bank. Then they move to the end of the line. 
Here are a few more pictures. I move very QUICKLY! If the next students are not paying attention, they may miss their word or math problem. This keeps them ultra focused and ready to go.  Another hint I will give you, or should I say rule… If you are talking in line, you have to pay the banker. Students don’t want to lose their money so they are quiet.  
 Once the slides are over, the students count their money. Whichever team has the most money, is the winner. Another tip I have learned…assign a counter.
I promise you that once you play this game, your students will BEG you to play on a regular basis. No worries I have many versions of this game and I continue to add to them. Currently I have 36 literacy versions and 18 math.  
Here is what a few people said about this game. 
” My Kinders loved this game because it got them up and moving! They didn’t even realize they were developing math fluency. Thank you so much!”

 “My kids loved this game! They begged to play it every day this week! Easy to use and fun for all! My daily helper LOVED being the banker!!!”

“My students BEG for Bank It! What a fun, creative way to practice decoding and encoding skills! I will be buying more for sure!”

Do you want to try out a few games with your students for free? 


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I’m Megan, a first grade teacher and a mother to 7 amazing children. I love to create and collaborate with teachers. When I’m not teaching, I love spending time with my family, baking and playing tennis.

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