Sunday, June 29, 2014

Games people play...

As part of the Connect Learning MOOC I am participating in this summer, we are exploring many ways we can connect our teaching through technology, making, tinkering, writing, or what-ever we can create.  

#clmooc — Making Learning Connected

This week we are exploring using games and play.  In my life, "games" meant Board Games, usually Monopoly, Life or Sorry, the games that came out during the rainy days at the shore, during hurricanes when it really wasn't safe to be sailing, after a family gathering, after dessert; games are a very important family tradition.  It was not my experience to see "games" as electronic (maybe because Atari hadn't been invented yet).  Last year during this MOOC one idea that came up was "tinkering" with the "rules" of a game.  I loved the idea so much that I went to a few yard sales, purchased a few games and brought them into my classroom.  My goal this year was to give the games to the students and have them create new rules, combine games, or whatever.  What I got though was a group of students who wanted to play "old school", using the originally designed rules.

I had the pleasure of sharing my classroom during "Homeroom" and the game of SORRY was discovered the first day of the school year.  It was fun to watch a group of 8th grade boys run into the classroom to get a game started before the day began at 8 AM. This behavior continued the entire year, with some true strategies for success being designed.

I am a firm believer that games are important in a class which has the title "Skills for Life" because of the social skills and ethical behavior that is learned through the process of "playing".  Students become engrossed in the game, learn how to deal with success as well as defeat.  When the period ends, they have engaged in a social experience that will benefit them in the future - just don't tell them that - let them think it is for FUN!