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Charity Preston's picture
Charity Preston, M.A., is a national presenter, consultant and author. She has completed studies in gifted training, cooperative learning and differentiation, as well as a master's degree in...
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Do You Play Games?

Students that are engaged in learning are more likely to enjoy learning and will~ in turn~ be more open to retaining your lesson. Fun educational games can assist in the fun. By using everyday objects to create curiosity~ students and teachers can both increase the joy of the learning environment. Even adults prefer novelty. Think about the last time you had to sit in a lecture. Most adults get up~ text~ or talk during these types of presentations. Students are expected to not do any of those things and tend to tune out instead. Teachers should remain aware of those tendencies and keep it fresh and exciting. Fun educational games can be incorporated in math~ spelling~ and writing in your classroom.

Math lends itself easily to educational games. Many teachers continually complain about students not knowing rote math facts. The first five minutes of math class is perfect time to practice math concepts. Find a small football~ koosh ball~ or stuffed animal that can easily be held and passed from student to student. Set a timer for three minutes (more or less depending on your class)~ along with an expected amount of answers to get in that time limit as a class. Next~ write a "magic number" on the board. Students will be giving the teacher different facts that will correspond to the "magic number" that are not replicas of what has already been given. The teacher starts the timer~ gives the first student the answer item~ and waits for a fact that would result in the "magic number." The teacher writes the fact on the board~ and the student passes the answer item to another student of their choosing and repeats the process. Answers that are repeats do not count. The goal is for the class to reach the predetermined amount of answers before the timer runs out. Teamwork is evident in this game!

Memorizing spelling lists can be torture for some students~ but this fun educational game could be just the ticket to help. Place students in groups of six to eight. Each group pulls a chair up into a circle facing on another. The teacher chooses one student from each group to be the starting speller. The teacher then calls out a spelling word from the weekly list. The first student says the first letter~ and then the group spells out the word around the circle~ each student stating the next letter. If a letter is incorrect~ the word must start over with the next student in the circle. Once the word has been spelled out correctly~ the team puts their hands up to either side of them (side high fives) to form a circle and to indicate to the teacher that they have finished. The teacher waits until she sees a visual of all groups with high fives up before moving on to the next word. Groups will begin completing to finish first and fun with spelling will be evident!

Fun items get students thinking in this fun writing activity. The teacher will need to find several (3-5) interesting everyday objects and place them in a fun gift bag. The presentation is part of the fun. At the beginning of writing class~ the teacher will pull out each item from the bag and show each to the class. If time allows~ pass the items around. The teacher should not say names of the items as that might stifle the creativity of the students. After the class has seen and/or toughed the items from the bag~ they are given seven minutes to "free write." Students must use each of the items in their creative writing story~ while still following writing format. Conventions~ such as spelling~ are not as important in this activity. By finding unusual items~ such as plungers~ potato mashers~ or rare coins~ students will expand their background knowledge and increase their creative thinking skills. After finishing~ encourage a few students to share their work. There are sure to be lots of giggles with this educational game in your classroom!

Fun learning games are so important to incorporate in your classroom as much as possible. Review or filler times are a perfect opportunity to try out some of these ideas. When the learning is fun~ your students will love coming to see you each and every day. Have fun!


Charity Preston - The Organized Classroom