This “Pop It” craze is sweeping the nation, so as great educators, it is our duty to find ways to engage our students in meaningful ways that excite, inspire and appeal to their interests.
Here are 15 fun ways you can incorporate Pop-its for Literacy, Numeracy and Behaviour Management in the classroom!
(The square Pop-its are preferable for most of these activities.)
Fine motor Bubbles
Using pom-poms or paper balls with pegs or tongs, the child can pick up the pom-pom and place into the bubbles (reverse side up).
Upper/Lower Case Matching
Write the alphabet in sharpie or add stickers in lowercase then get students to match uppercase alphabet beads to the lowercase letter by popping them in the bubble.
Push a bubble for each syllable of a given word. Count how many bubbles are pushed to work out the syllable count.
Sound it out
Use the buttons on the Pop-it to sound out words. Remember diagraphs (sh, th, ph, wh etc.) are one button for one sound.
Use round stickers or a sharpie to mark letters on the Pop-it. This can then be used for letter recognition, practising spelling or touch typing for older students.
Sight Word Practise
Get students to recite their sight word 6 times and pop a bubble each time they say it.
If using a rainbow Pop-it, encourage children to place and match pom-poms or other coloured collage pieces to the right row. Alternatively, place coloured objects randomly into the Pop-it holes and get the child to take them out using tweezers/tongs/pegs and place them onto their corresponding matching colour.
Practise one-to-one correspondence by counting and pushing a bubble for every number.
Using two dice, dominoes or written sums, work out the answers to given sums by pressing down the corresponding bubbles and counting the amount popped at the end to find the answer.
Use written sums, dice or dominoes and start with popping the bubbles of the total then unpopping them (flip it over) to subtract. Count the popped bubbles that are left over to find your answer.
Give the student a sum and they need to show the corresponding array to find the answer.
Work out simple division by popping the total into even rows and working out the answer with the clear visual of the array.
Place your Pop-it on a piece of paper and write coordinates along the top (A, B, C, D, E, F) and side (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). Call out different coordinates for students to pop.
Extending on coordinates for the older students, pop 5 bubbles and place a pom-pom or scrunched up paper to be your “ship” in the hole. You and your partner will call out different coordinates to each other. Pop the coordinates you call (so you don’t forget and keep repeating the same ones). When they call the coordinates of your ship, they get to take it. First to take all ships, wins!
Give students a pom-pom each. When they are making good choices they can deposit their pom-pom into the Pop-it hole. Once a row or whole Pop-it is full, the class can play a game (depending on your time frame and reward).
Race to Pop
Need a distraction for a troublesome student? Or want something fun to entice students to behave? Allow a student to choose a partner to play with. (This can give an escalating student some positive downtime). The pair will take turns to pop their half of the rows. The first to do so, wins!
Last one loses
In pairs, taking turns player one will pop the bubbles in one row only and they must be consecutive (next to each other). They can pop as many or as few as they like. The next player will do the same. The aim of the game is to not be the person to pop the last bubble. Strategy + fun = great reward time!
Reward students making good choices by allowing them to have a turn with the Pop-it. Rotate with students throughout the day, giving them motivation for the chance to hold the coveted Pop-it!
I figure if you can’t beat them, join them and use this new craze to your advantage!
Happy popping, I mean teaching!