Monday, March 23, 2015

WHY I USE BOARD GAMES IN THE CLASSROOM... AND WHY YOU SHOULD, TOO!

I remember back in the good old days when I was a kid. One of my greatest joys in life was Friday afternoon. I would rush home from school with my sister; we’d inhale a snack; and then it would be board game time. Monopoly. Guess Who? The Game of Life. Holiday. Mouse Trap. Candyland. In my mind, it was one of the best parts of my childhood. It was simple, it was fun, and I spent a good portion of my week thinking about all the games we could play the following week after Friday afternoon had ended.

So when I became a teacher, I packed up some of my old games and took them into school for my class. Most of the boxes were old and falling apart. Some of the play money was missing. Many of the colors on the boards were starting to look extremely funky. And yet, when I unpacked the boxes into my cupboards at school…

…THE CHILDREN LOVED THEM.

 

I started lending the games to interested kiddos during lunch. I’m not going to lie, it was super fun to see the children enjoying games that I had loved during my childhood! But beyond that, I started noticing other positive benefits. I started noticing that kids who normally didn’t play together started to interact more because of the games. Boys and girls were more than happy to share games and play against each other. One student who often sat by himself at lunch started to join in – not as a player, but as a keen observer of other students playing against each other. From this, he began to form friendships with the ones who played, which was great to see. And another major plus was how the kiddos started to create their own games, bring them in and play!

Over the years, I have utilized games in the classroom to assist with reading, spelling, phonics, grammar and math. It seems that every time games are brought out, children get excited (and motivated!)… even if the games are (sneakily) teaching them something!

Here’s an example. I was teaching my kiddos about consonants and vowels – and whether to use ‘a’ or ‘an’ before the noun. They did really well during the lesson, but I found that a few weeks later there were still some children writing ‘a orange’ or ‘a egg’ in their writing books. Since the incomparable Krista from Creative Clips had just released some gorgeous clipart bunnies, I made this ultra-cute RAINBOW RABBIT ‘A’ OR ‘AN’ GAME.
RAINBOW RABBIT 'a' or 'an' GAME
(You can get the rabbit game HERE.)

It was a great way to reinforce the ‘a’ or ‘an’ concept, whilst keeping the children engaged. Afterwards, I put it in my early finisher basket. Of late, it’s been a class favorite… (Perhaps it’s something to do with Easter coming up?)

Here are some other class favorites from our early finisher basket.
CASTLE ON THE CLOUD GAME
common nouns, proper nouns, collective nouns, pronouns
(You can get the Castle on the Cloud game HERE).

ASSORTED EARLY FINISHER ELA GAMES
(You can get all 15 of the above games HERE).
 
So I encourage you to use board games in your classroom! They're motivating, educational and can assist children with social skills. And who knows? Perhaps one day one of your students will look back on their time in your class and remember it as the 'good old days'!

YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN:
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Early-Finisher-ELA-Games-Second-Grade-15-GAME-PACK-1775089

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Early-Finisher-ELA-Games-First-Grade-15-GAME-PACK-1764154
 
 
ISLA HEARTS TEACHING
 

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