Saturday, February 4, 2012

A few things I have learned

Most all of the games and online lessons on this web site have been “kid tested” in the classroom. For the last 25 years I have taught a 4th grade “Through the Bible in a Year” curriculum. Many of the games were developed to support this curriculum and have been modified because of feedback and experience with my students. The games can be run from the internet, if a connection is available, or downloaded to a PC and run without an internet connection. Here are some of the lessons I have learned through the years that have shaped these resources:

1. When launching the games leave the team names blank, the team names will default to Team 1 and Team 2. I have found it difficult to come up with a consensus on a team name if the teams are larger than 3 or 4 students and it’s always good to avoid arguments on the front end.

2. Allow students to discuss their answer with other team members when it’s their turn. Even though that student is ultimately responsible for providing the answer, allowing discussion keeps everyone involved.

3. Allow students to pass their turn to another team member if they are uncomfortable. This is particularly true for guests who may not have much exposure to the Bible.

4. Choose a game that fits with the lesson topic. I most often choose games that cover the same content as the lesson.

5. Don’t allot more than 20-30 minutes to play a game, leave them wanting more. Normally I play the games at the end of class.

6. Use a variety of methods for dividing into teams so students aren’t on the same team each week.

7. Don’t give out prizes.

8. Only play games if time allows and the students have participated constructively in the lesson.

9. If you make a rule make sure it is understood before the game begins, and if you make a rule keep it.

10. Have fun and laugh a lot, it’s always contagious.