Fun and Games

You already know that I think games are a great way to teach math because they are a repeatable activity. Students are willing to play the same game repeatedly but they are not willing to do the same worksheet over and over.

I recently read an article (http://www.edutopia.org/blog/learner-outcomes-through-educational-games-kristen-dicerbo?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=post&utm_campaign=blog-understanding-learner-outcomes-games-image) that explains that quality educational games need to balance engagement (they’re fun), assessment, and learning.

I was recently with a group of first grade students playing “Cross out,” the first game on the second page of the attached document   dice.  
  • The first student to arrive was given the job of writing the numerals 2 – 12 on strips of paper.  She was able to start working while we were waiting for the other students to arrive.
  • I rolled the two dice and the students took turns determining the total.
  • Everyone got to cross out the total on their piece of paper.  There wasn’t going to be a winner and they were OK with that.
  • By listening to how each student determined the total, I was able to assess – 
    • Which students needed to start from one and count all the dots
    • Which students were able to count on
    • Which students didn’t have to count when they got doubles – they know their doubles
Everyone was actively engaged and they were learning from listening to each other.

Consider playing “Cross Out” or any other game.  Look for engagement, opportunities to assess, and opportunities for students to learn from each other.
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