Monday, May 14, 2012

Types of Games to Use in Classrooms

by Rosshalde Pak

Teachers Pay Teachers Storefront: Rosshalde Pak

Students love learning when it's simplified, and games make learning easy and fun. Here are some tips on types of games to use in classrooms:

1. Student Made
Students get to shine when they create games that are used in their classes because they implement their own versions of games. Every game listed here could be made by students. If worried about time or educational connections, have students make games that count as formal assessment.

2. Bingo
There are countless ways to use bingo in classrooms. For example, I created an award-winning bingo game based upon people from American history. The boards have historical people’s faces on them, and the clues are all standards-based facts. Try math bingo with numbers and clues, which result from problems students solve mentally or on scratch paper. Bingo can be used for phonics, vocabulary, spelling, sounds of letters, and more. Bingo is a game that can be specifically designed for any subject matter. 

3. Memory
Memory is a simplified version of bingo. It works great with phonics and simple math expressions. Also, it is wonderful for ESL students: use images and words, spelling and phonics, and states with capitals. Be sure to laminate the cards. 

4. Hangman
Hangman might just be the easiest game to play.  Use Hangman when introducing new topics of study or as clues for school assembly topics. Hangman can be great as a get to know students activity. It can introduce book titles for upcoming units. Have students come up to the board and pick a word from a word bank. Hangman is a fantastic time filler.  

5. Around the World
Around the World works best with a set of flashcards--math,  sight words,  spelling, vocabulary. Have all students stand. The first student stands next to the student behind him. Show a flashcard. The student with the correct answer moves on. As a bonus, if a student makes it all the way around the room then they get play against the teacher. “What, beat Mrs. Pak?” Since I’m the teacher and I answer the fastest, I give the student three tries to beat me. If I get beat, then the next time we play Around the World, the student gets to be the teacher. 

6. Get Out of Here 
Get Out of Here is a fun game to play before the end of the day, before recess, or before lunch. Stand in the doorway with either a set of Trivial Pursuit questions or flashcards. To get out of the classroom, a student must answer three questions correctly. If not, the student heads to the back of the line and starts over. For students who answer three questions correctly, they get out of the classroom earlier than others. 

7. Jeopardy
There are lots of middle and high school teachers who utilize Jeopardy-type games. It’s great to use as a study tool before a big test. It works well when preparing for the end of units, midterms, or finals. Also, it can be used as a project for small groups of students. Let them create their own Jeopardy categories, clues, and answers so the whole class can play together. This game is perfect for arts, history, literture, science, and so on.

8. Fast Facts
Give students 100 simple math problems and a limited amount of time to solve them. The idea is to get students to understand math problems so well that solving them becomes rote. Use 100 problems and five minutes for third graders; fourth graders get four minutes; fifth graders get three minutes; sixth graders get one minute. Also, Fast Facts can be applied to pronunciation or spelling of words. Pair students, give one a timer, and the other has a list of 100 words to say correctly. Use the same time structure. Fast Facts is quick, easy, and a great way to increase memorization skills.

9. Scavenger Hunts
Scavenger hunts are fun but take some planning to set up. The great thing is they can be used for almost every subject. Go through classroom materials beforehand to create questions. Use fill-in-the-blanks, pictures, dates, people, or anything students need to know before units. Then, put students into small groups to search textbooks, encyclopedias, online sites, and around the classroom for the clues. Get other classrooms involved and have students  visit to find clues.

Using games in the classroom makes learning easier, and time moves quickly when learning is fun.

Visit Rosshalde Pak's blogspot: Education Shortlist 

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  1. I love the "Get Out of Here" idea! Great for formative assessment, too!

    Mr. B's Beach Brains

  2. hi. really liked these ideas. will be looking for more such fun activities.

    Hangman Games Online


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