I love games 🎲🎲 in the classroom and they are a big part of my practice and review time. Many folks have asked me why I find games so valuable, so I wrote the following!
🎳Are you struggling to get students to:
ü pay attention
ü participate in the lessons you teach
ü engage in cooperative groups
ü attend to tasks that focus on practice
ü be responsible for their own learning
If your answer is yes to one or more I suggest you add games to your instruction.
🕹Why should we include games as part of our instruction?
When we include games in our instruction we tap into the essence of high quality instruction. Games motivate and engage student learning in so many ways.
Ø Lowers students affective filters
Ø Creates common classroom experiences
Ø Develops an environment where it is fun to teach and learn
Ø Provides a safe place to wrestle with new knowledge
Ø Retention of knowledge through student interaction
Ø Expands subject or topic understanding by hearing different perspectives about the same knowledge
Ø Constructs social skills
🎯Notes on classroom management:
Game playing needs to be highly structured. Start with your learning target or objective. Choose a game that tightly corresponds to your objective/target. Make sure the game is reinforcing your lesson.
o What starts and ends a game?
o What will the player do?
o What do the other students do during play?
o How will you deal with common undesired behavior?
o Will you use a timer or timekeeper to create a fun sense of urgency?
o Finally, what is the consequence for misbehavior?
Games need to be active and engage all players. Stick to procedures and routines for game playing. When students know the game procedures and routines more time playing is more time learning. Don’t hesitate to put your own spin on familiar games. Use fun ditties to remind students of the rules! For example, when handing out game pieces recite: “You get what you get and don’t you don’t throw a fit!” And when presenting dice: “If you throw the dice off the table you loose your turn, roll it gently!”