Hey y’all! Today I want to share my love of using games in the classroom. The games I use are versatile, fun, and easy for students to learn and learn from!
I know that as teachers, especially in elementary, you probably already know the importance of games as well as I do. Educational World has a great post that reminds us how games provide an engaging context for students, teach a variety of skills, form positive memories of learning and grab students’ attention. Games can be a great escape from “regular class”, giving students a way to try new things with low consequences. After all, if they lose, it’s only a game, they can always play again!
So I won’t spent too much time convincing you that you should use games. The issue I hear more from teachers isn’t whether or not to play games, it’s WHEN to fit them in. With district requirements, or strict curriculum guidelines, often you’re not as in charge of what you teach as you may wish. Don’t despair, there is always room for games!
An easy place to sneak in a game or two is for our early finishing friends who always seem to be miles ahead of the rest of the class. Have a handful of games available for those who are often ahead of the pack. Once the others see how much fun their friends are having, they may be motivated to finish early too!
Some students are unlikely to be early finishers, and that’s ok. This shouldn’t keep them from getting to play games. Games can be a great activity to start the day with as a group, or have ready to play as students enter the classroom in the morning.
Use games as a way to review or reinforce skills learned in class. This works great on a Friday afternoon to cement new concepts before the weekend, or first thing on Monday to dust off those weekend cobwebs.
(Speaking of cobwebs, I have some spooky fun Halloween game packs available in my TpT store!)
If you have students that are habitual late arrivals in the morning, or are often struggling to finish work on time, they might miss out on morning games or the early finisher opportunities. In our classroom, we have “Unfinished Work” folders where students can complete their work later if they run out of time. Sometimes I’ll sneak a game in there to surprise them, or give them an opportunity to ‘take a break’ from work and get to play with a friend.
I hope this has given you all a few ideas of how you can incorporate games into your classroom. I’d love to hear your solutions too. Where do you squeeze in games in the busy elementary classroom?
Interested in the game packs I have available? Click any of the links below to visit them on TpT!