Playing Games in the Classroom

Playing Games in the Classroom | Remedia Publications

There's a lot of game playing going on in the classroom these days, and we think that's pretty awesome!

Are you among the 67% of teachers using traditional and digital games in their classrooms? We Are Teachers, an online resource for educators, surveyed teachers about how they use games in the classroom and also found that more than half of the teachers surveyed use games in the classroom more than once a week! 

So with all this successful game playing going on in the classroom, what do you need to know? There are a few components that make game-play a successful, educational tool:
  • Learning happens by doing
  • Feedback is immediate and ongoing
  • Everyone is a participant
  • Challenge is constant
  • It feels like play (because it is!) 

According to Robert J. Marzano on average, using educational games is associated with a 20% increase in student achievement. To ensure that game-play is successful for you and your students, try implementing these strategies: 
  • While students play, walk around the classroom and observe their interactions, conversations, and how they are coming to conclusions regarding the game. This is a good way for you to assess what students need extra practice on, as well as what you will need to review after game time.
  • After game play ask students what they found easy and what they struggled with while playing.
  • Ask students how they were able to win and to share their strategies. You could even assign this as a writing assignment to further assess their critical thinking skills and knowledge of the subject.
  • Have students make up their own game using a game board you already have on-hand or a deck of cards. Asking them to determine rules and strategies will develop their critical thinking skills while reinforcing the subject that is the focus of the game. Then (of course) let them play the game to see how they did with their creation.

Educational Games to Play with Your Students

Try these 3 Game Show Games with an Educational Twist.

Menu Math
This fun game reinforces money & budgeting skills. Each player gets to spend up to $100 to at six different restaurants. Choices range from Italian food, Chinese food, seafood, breakfast, and more. Players interpret menus, purchase meals with play money, and keep a budget. Read more...

Keys to Comprehension
This award-winning game reinforces key comprehension skills: conclusion, sequence, inference, main idea, facts, and context. Each player reads short factual stories and then answer the follow-up specific skill question. Get it right and they get a “key” for that skill, and they are on their way to unlocking the buried treasure and winning the game. This fun game has multiple ways to play so that you can focus on specific skills or all six reading skills. Read more...

Language Detective
Put your detective cap on, it's time to solve the language mysteries! This excellent proofreading game takes students on a mission to find mistakes in spelling, word usage, capitalization, and punctuation. With an easy-to-follow scoring system and self-correcting approach, it's vital to all language programs! Read more...

We have three excellent math domino games that are perfect for students of different ability levels. Each matching game for money, time, and place value reinforces reading these each skill in multiple formats. Students can play a simple matching or memory game, or they can use the tiles as a dominoes game. Check them out here.

Do you play games in your classroom? What's your favorite game?