Nothing amps up my students' excitement and learning more than when I make a game out of the subject matter. One of the most popular games we play is called "Are You Smarter Than Paper?"
In short, I challenge my children and push them mentally in this fast-paced game, which is very easy. AYSTP can be applied to any subject (science, Language Arts, etc.) We use it for math.
<-- This is a typical half sheet of white tag. It's called a Ten Frame (two rows of 5 blocks each). I have many such "cards", each with a different number of blue and red dots.
In the beginning, I flash them to see if they can see how many blue dots they see. Then red dots. Then no dots. Next step is to see how many TOTAL dots they see (6 here). Follow that by how many empty squares they see.
During the second half of the school year, the cards become math problems. How many blue? How many more do I need to have 5? How many red? What if I want just 1?
After a while, the questions come from out of nowhere, and the kids are frantically trying to best each other to call out the correct answer. The possibilities are endless!