Of course, you want to include games in your classroom. These can turn boring passive activities into a back and forth where students don’t just get exposed to information but also actively use it and interact with it. In this way, they increase retention, engagement and make things just plain fun!
The question is, how do you do it? I mean, there are plenty of actual games already out there. In fact, there’s a school that teaches every single subject through games. But what can you do if you don’t want to immediately grab for those and instead create something that is more in line with what you’re doing specifically (or if you just want to be creative?).
Well, that’s what we’re going to look at today. Here are some tips to help you create classroom games so that you and your kids can have a really great time.
If you’re just starting out, then the best place to start is actually with games that have already been tried and tested. There are tons of games out there that have been played in classrooms with great success. These all have elements that work exceptionally well.
By taking these games as your launching board, you’re far more likely to create something that will work right off the bat. As an extra advantage, there is a good chance that your students will already understand the rules of the game, which will make it a lot easier for your kids to jump in.
The biggest advantage, however, is that it allows you to experiment. You see, when you start out from scratch and the game you’ve built doesn’t really work, it can be hard to figure out where you went wrong. That’s less the case when you’re building on top of an already existing framework. Then you can easily establish which tweak you made that did a good job and which tweak you made that did no such thing.
From there you can get a better idea of what to do in the future to correct whatever didn’t work – while allowing you to keep what does.
Repetition is instrumental in helping students remember. Therefore, whatever kind of game you’re using, if it’s about getting them to retain specific information, make sure that they get opportunities to repeat key elements of what they’ve learned.
In that way, the game will still serve its underlying function of actually teaching the subject as well as engaging your students, so that your students go to RewardedEssays.com when they need to. How often does something need to be repeated for it to actually be retained? Well, it depends on the person, but it is often more often than we might think. This is because we frequently mistake recognition for recall – as in we think we have memorized something when in truth we only recognize it.
In truth, games offer a great opportunity to make your kids recall certain elements as often as they need to in order to truly fix the necessary factoid in memory.
There are now countless networks for teachers out there who you can connect with. If you don’t have a great deal of experience in designing games, then I absolutely recommend that you contact these people, as they will be able to give you feedback based on their own experiences and ideas.
The best thing to do is to suggest your game and then get feedback. Alternatively, state what you’re trying to do, how old your students are and some solutions that you’ve considered. The people on these networks are often super responsive and will give you ideas aplenty that you can work with (as well as how they worked for them).
The biggest advantage is that this means you won’t make the same mistakes everybody else always does, as there will be people to warn you away from them. In this way, you’ll be able to make much better progress and create far more engaging games right off the bat.
The trick to creating good games is to experiment. Don’t be afraid to try out new things or run them by people to get their feedback. Yes, there are a lot of tried and true formulas that you can rely on. And that is certainly a good place to start. Once you’ve got those ideas, however, don’t be afraid to move further astray and trust on your understanding of the underlying ideas of games to create new ideas.
You never know what new game you can come up with that will engage and stimulate your kids to try harder and try to understand whatever you’re teaching even better. After all, engagement – we now know – is the golden ingredient to making sure that your students are able to learn as much as possible in your classroom. Even better, an engaged student body will also enjoy your classes – this means that right from the get go they’ll be positive and willing to move on with your material.
Games can do all of that. All you need to do is learn how to use them correctly and how to avoid the pitfalls. With these strategies, you’ll be able to achieve that and more.