Magical Teaching Tools Work Like a Charm

Any big black hat promises an element of magic! Use one to delight students and catch their attention.

Any big black hat promises an element of magic! Use one to delight students and catch their attention.

Grab a big black hat and get ready to charm students and catch their attention…

Mid-Week Focus this week features quick and easy teaching tools and tricks that include an element of magic! (No special training needed.)

In the United States and Canada, National Magic Week runs October 25 – 31. Each year, this celebration draws together magicians and magic-lovers from around the world. Volunteer performers visit schools, hospitals, community centers and other venues to treat audiences with their tricks.

Even teachers who don’t personally believe in magic, know that children around the world love to be entertained by magicians. Why not add an element of quick and easy magic to make your teaching spell-binding in the season of tricks and treats.

Check out the following menu of learning activities that are framed around magical tools and tricks. Choose what you think will work like a charm!

Math Magic – Use a magician-like hat and a stuffed toy or puppet rabbit. Make a sign that reads “Math Magic Show – Today!” Set your Math Magic materials on a table in front of your class.

How to play?

  • Give your class tickets to a fun, funny Math Magic Show.  Office supply stores carry rolls of inexpensive generic tickets.
  • Get or make a set of flash cards with addition problems, such as adding different numbers to arrive at the same number. For example, there are 5 number pairs that can add up to the number 8.
  • Make one flash card for each number pair and make 5 flash cards that show only the number 8.
  • Put all of the number 8 flashcards in your magic hat.
  • Give five students one of the number pair flashcards face down.
  • Play magician. Tell your class that your rabbit will guess the answer to each math problem.
  • Pick up the rabbit; point to one student at a time and announce that the rabbit will “pick a card” from the hat with the correct answer. Of course the answer will be correct!
  • Once the kids catch on to the trick, they may call out the answer amid the laughter.
  • Make up other math “tricks” to match your curriculum.

Writing Magic – Invite your class to write a story about magic…

Begin writing time by introducing different story starters that your students may work with such as:

Imagine having a Magic Pencil that writes a story and corrects all spelling errors!

Imagine having a Magic Pencil that writes a story and corrects all spelling errors!

* Imagine if you had a MAGIC PENCIL that could write a story for you…

* Imagine if you had a MAGIC BALL…

* Imagine if your wore a MAGIC NECKLACE…

* Oh what a surprise it was when I ate a MAGIC COOKIE…

* My MAGIC SHOW was amazing…

Depending on your grade level, instruct students to write in the first person only OR create two characters who have a MAGICAL ADVENTURE together. One character is the narrator and the two characters have dialog with each other. Writing dialog is a challenge.

Bulletin Board Magic – Create a bulletin board inside or outside your classroom that features student writing or other work that includes an element magic.

        A bulletin board display of  Magic Stories

Reading Magic – Check your school or public library for books about magic that you can borrow and share with your students or encourage them to borrow and read themselves.

Science Magic – There’s a certain school bus series that takes kids on magical journeys into the world of science. Look for it with key words online. Speaking of online resources related to magic, they’re out there. See what might interest your students.

Cooking Magic – Young children are fascinated (as are some older folks) with the power of a hot oven to transform little balls of dough dotted with dark morsels into flat and delicious chocolate chip cookies!

Ask students if they’ve ever helped make chocolate chip cookies or watched cookies bake. Point out that an oven’s heat does work like magic. (Incorporate this concept into a science lesson for older elementary school students)

Close your Cooking Magic “show” by passing around some REAL cookies to eat. That kind of magic makes for smiles.

Send comments about how you’ve used magic to help children learn.

Stop back by on Monday for Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!

Talk with you again soon,

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet

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Posted in Mid-Week Focus
Barbara Cleary has been serving as a resource to hundreds of educators for more than 25 years. An award-winning writer, producer, teacher, and trainer, Barbara’s focus is on offering easy, fun tools and tricks that support K-5 curricula and assist teachers with classroom management.
Quick tips for common classroom conundrums: K-5
Situation: Young students are getting noisy while you’re trying to teach.

Solution: Hold up "Listen Star," a toy magic wand that you’ve designated to be a cue for quiet. Tell the class, "When you see our friend, 'Listen Star' dance across the classroom sky, that’s your signal to HUSH for a moment."

Related Posts: Let "Listen Star" Work Magic for You