Teaching Reading

Games in the Classroom

For my teaching demonstration this week, I decided to use a game as a type of review over the story we read. Due to this, I wanted to make this blog post about some positive and negatives to using games in the classroom.

In my own presentation, some positive feedback that I got for the game was that it set a positive mood in the classroom. I believe this is incredibly important because students tend to learn better in a positive environment. Another positive I got is that the game involved everyone in some way. I think this is helpful because it allows the team members to get their opinion out there. In my lesson, there was usually one person who answered for the team. I would change this and make it be a rule that the buzzer has to be passed around so that every student has the opportunity to answer.

A positive to having a review game is that the students are seeing the information but are not under the stress of having to answer the question on paper. As I said before, this creates a more positive environment and this could be because of the stress being gone.

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Image from Olga Sakharova

During the game, there was some competitiveness and this can be both a negative or a positive. It could be a negative because some students can take this competitive nature to far and start arguments between their classmates. Luckily, this did not happen during my demonstration but that could be because we were all college students. In a middle school classroom, this would be something to keep in mind when playing a game with students. Competitiveness can be used as motivation for the students especially when they are working towards something that can help them. For my teaching demonstration, the “students” did not get anything but if I were to use it in a real classroom, I would give the winning team some extra credit that would go towards their test scores. For some students, this can give them over 100% or even pass them if they did not do the best.

A major negative with using games in the classroom is that it can come off as looking unprofessional. When people think of learning they usually don’t think of students sitting in groups hitting a buzzer. The idea of having students sitting and just listening to a lecture can have student disengaged from the lesson and what they are supposed to be learning. This is not effective for a students learning. They need to have some motivation to do well and games, along with various other techniques, can provide that better than just lecturing.

Overall, games can be helpful for students if structured in the correct way. Games can be very student oriented but that should not be student ran. A teacher still needs to maintain some authority but by having student’s be the center of attention, they are able to work towards something they want. Whether that is the prize or just winning.

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