Learning Games: A Fun Way to Engage Students

Learning games are often the key to engaging students in learning. These games can be path games or card games specifically designed for students to practice skills taught in class. What is more fun? Practicing High Frequency words with flashcards OR turning over those same word on cards while moving along a path after a roll of a die? Students LOVE to play games so why not incorporate that desire with a fun card game where a little friendly competition is thrown in?

Use Different Formats for Games to Practice Skills

We have always used a LOT of games in our classrooms with great success. Different game formats keeps the learning unique and fun! Our most favorite game formats are: Path Games, Tricky Cards, Bumper Cards, Swipe, Roll and Read, and Roll and Cover. These games practice High Frequency Words over and over again BUT because the format of the game changes, the students think they are playing completely different games! Roll and Read is a Phonics game format that has students building C-V-C words and then reading them. All our games (except Roll & Read) come with EDITABLE cards so ANY words (or even Math facts) can be added to the cards to match the words your students need throughout the school year.

Our MOST Popular Game Format is soooo Tricky!

Tricky Pirates (or Tricky Fish, Tricky Dinosaurs, Tricky Shamrocks, Tricky Ghosts…you get the idea!) is such a fun format. You know if you change to clipart used to create the game, it’s a WHOLE NEW GAME…to the students of course!

The object of the game is to acquire the most Word cards. Game play goes like this: The first player turns over the top card & reads the word, shows it to the group, & places it face up next to the DRAW PILE in the “IN PLAY” space. The player must decide whether to draw another card or Stop. If he chooses to draw again & gets another WORD card, he places it on top of his previously read card on the “IN PLAY” space. The player “reads” the new card to the group. Again a decision must be made: to continue to draw another card, risking all the “IN PLAY” cards or STOP.  If he chooses to continue & draws a Oh, no! card, he loses ALL the cards that were drawn on THAT TURN ONLY. These “lost” cards are put on the bottom of the deck to be shuffled and played again as the game progresses. The game ends when time runs out OR the stack of cards is depleted.

There is sooooo much anticipation as to whether or not a player should continue to draw cards and risk losing OR stop after just a few word cards. You can gain a lot of insight as to who the risk takers are in your classroom and who choose to “play it safe”!

Imporant Idea to Remember!

Because these are Learning Games where the goal is for students to learn, there is an important piece of advice we have always followed. If a child is unable to read a word when they turn over a card, an adult helper either provides support by stretching out the word or simply telling them the word. The student repeats the word and continues to play with no penalty for not knowing the answer. We want our students to want to play the game and get the repeated practice in a successful experience. Why would one want to play a game if they had no hope of winning over a far more capable student? Only the roll of the dice or the lucky turn of a card is what determines how the game progresses and who eventually wins! So in the end, every learner wins by gaining a bit more skill in reading High Frequency words!

We have a complete FREE Tricky Robots Game (as seen above) available at our TPT store. Click HERE to download it. There is also a FREE Video that explains in a bit more detail how to play this fun game. Click HERE to access the VIDEO.

Our Other Game Formats

Our other game formats are seen here. They are Path Games, Bumper Games, Swipe, Roll & Read and Roll and Cover! They come in MANY different THEMES so they can be added to Learning Centers throughout the year.

Want to try out all these game formats AND save money?? Check out this BUNDLE of Robot Games! Check out ALL our learning games by stopping by our TeachersPayTeachers Store! Add some new learning games to your classroom and watch the fun begin!

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