Bingo Chip Bonkers 

Would you like to have your students learn their multiplication facts in a fast, fun, and practical way?  The Bingo Chip Bonkers is the game you will need! 

You will need a basket of different-colored bingo chips on your desk in a non-breakable basket.  (They WILL be knocked off periodically.) 

Watch for a child to do something--anything--astounding, like: 

                    * ask a smart question, 
                    * pay attention when everyone else is asleep, 
                    * smile sweetly, 
                    * say "Yes, M'am," 
                    * a correct answer,
                    * do their homework, 
                    * cooperate in a group, 
                    * read a book or recommend one to a friend
                    * any other great or unusual thing

Never be predictable about giving a bonk...make kids be on their toes...otherwise, they'll drive you crazy.  (Some kids smile all the time!)  One rule:  if you ask "can I get a chip?"  the answer will always be, "no."  Another rule:  YOU do not have to explain your bonking choices.  That enables you to be sure the treasures are spread equally.  Gifted kids may have to work harder to get a bonk!

When you see this "greatness," go over and give them a bonk on their head with your bonker (a noisy plastic baby hammer toy works great).   Anyone who gets a bonk automatically gets up, goes one direction in the room (we have a "one way street") to  the chip basket, takes a chip of any color and returns to his/her seat.   Sometimes, you can put a math problem on the board for students to work on scratch paper.  Set a timer--like 5 minutes.  When they are finished, they walk up and wait in line--one way--to let me check it from the front of the room.  If it's right, Bonk!  If it's wrong, Adios..try it again.  When corrected, Bonk!  They keep trying until time is up.  (You can ask one of the first ones with the correct answer to go give a hand to one having trouble as you are Bonking.)  It gets them physically and mentally active. 

You can always ask for a chip back (use a special hand signal so you don't have to fuss) for anyone off task at any time.  It makes a great incentive.

About 15 minutes before school is out, spin a spinner (preferably on the overhead projector) to determine the value of each color of chip.  Yes, ZERO is a real number!  No respins!  Write the values on the board.  Students must figure out on their own how much each chip is worth and their totals.  One student is the "banker" who sits at a table with a spreadsheet and calculator, writing deposits and figuring balances.

Every Friday (or month for older kids) have an auction with books, wrapped candy, red hots, little toys, etc.  They bid to spend their money or save it if they please.  I've had a red hot sell for $.75!   Kids can also write persuasive letters asking for donations!  One year, Robert Redford sent us his beltbuckle from the Electric Cowboy, Carol Burnett sent an autographed picture and personal letter about reading, the MASH cast sent an autographed script, and Beverly Cleary sent us a chiding letter saying that it isn't nice to write "gimme" letters.  I figure the Cleary letter is worth the most since it surely must be RARE, and it really turned the kids OFF of her books! 

So, if you want to have fun and see great strides with your kids, try Bingo Chip Bonkers with your kids, no matter how old they may be!  Let me know how it works! 

I've been asked how we got the addresses of famous people.  The book I bought that gave me the idea is out of print, so you want to try this one: 

The Celebrity Address Handbook

    I wouldn't bother with email addresses because the kids need to write REAL letters.  Most of all, I think the recipient would really appreciate children's handwriting and pictures, too!

PLUS, I LOVE persuasive the mail: 

Suzy Red, 1707 Twin Island Dr., Lockhart, TX  78644