Monday, February 9, 2009

Game for Learning ~

Now that February is here and it brings all its doldrums – it got me thinking about more creative ways to teach and have the children remember information while still having fun.

As I stated before we began new spelling programs just this past week or so and things are going rather well I have to say, but there are phonic rules now we need to try to remember so I was trying to think of things we could do to make things more interesting.

We began with jingles for the rules and that is a lot of fun, we always end up giggling at how silly we sound but it is fun and it helps remembering. My son then explained to me about a phonics fish game they played at school so we ended up playing that and I realized how much he enjoyed playing games while still learning and practicing. This got me thinking…I started exploring learning games and how they could help us in our home school and found some great information.

I first explored practicing the phonograms sounds because this is what we were working on at this point. I found some great links: – this is a phonics game played similar to Go Fish. - this is a site for printable reading games, that will help with phonics practice.

As I looked around for more games I came across of a whole bunch of sites that could help not only with our phonogram practice but with vocabulary, spelling, multiplication tables and learning all kinds of things. Here are some sites to help: - pretty comprehensive list of board games to use and modify for use . - online games to help with math concepts to change things up a bit. ;) - this offers printable games for ESL users but our learners can benefit from these just the same. - this site is packed full of great printable board games and concepts..take your time looking through this I still have not even finished with this one. J - crosswords? Why not they offer a wonderful supplement for certain topics.. - these offer more interactive games - working with synonyms - another favorite of mine, if you can be creative you can print any boards you like and find ways to use these to your child’s advantage in their learning. Imagine, no more testing…play a game and see how much they know and not what they do not know! Imagine that! J

Here are some articles I found about using Games to teach:

By: Eleanor M. Savko

"It's been proven time and again that children retain more information when they're stimulated by and actively involved in the learning process. Interactive teaching has become increasingly popular and new tools and ideas for enhancing lesson plans are appearing every day. A great way to get your students interested in learning is to bring the fun back into it by using educational games." Taken from Computers in the Classroom, Volume 1, Number 4, Aug. 2000

Just today I was watching a science program and it was speaking about a video game called “Code Orange” whereby the doctors and nurses practice on a virtual video game and create a triage so that they can understand what actually needs to happen during mass casualties and time of disaster. I listened to the doctor explain her reason for using these programs in our teaching hospitals and she explained that when we read something we retain about 20% of what we actually read, when we hear something we tend to retain about 30% but when we actually experience it then we are able to retain 80% of the information we need to learn. - using games to teach science. - using games to teach reading and math.
One thing I have also realized about using games for teaching is it bring intensity toward the learning. This helps the student become motivated and will help a child who may not be fully engaged to possibly become more engaged while playing the game.

I have been slowly incorporating learning games into our weekly studies and have seen great improvement in my boys with their attitudes, their motivation, their memory and creativity.

I hope some of this information has inspired you to play games and be creative with your Learners at Home.

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