Without a question, being a teacher is one of the most challenging jobs in the world. Teachers often find it draining to come up with new teaching methods. It can be challenging to find new and creative ways to keep the students engaged while teaching them the core requirements necessary to move on to the next grade. There will always be those days where teachers cannot seem to connect to students, so the best thing to do is to make the learning fun! Continue reading to find out more about creative inspirational games perfect for the classroom.
Preschool is the first school environment your child will encounter so it is important to keep them focused. All toddlers want to do is play all day long; they have no sense of the difference between play time and when it is time to get serious. Incorporating games into the learning environment is an easy and simple way to smooth the transition from being at home all day to being in a classroom.
- Letter identification: One of the most important requirements for a child to move ahead into Kindergarten is letter identification. We created a simple game where each student chooses a popsicle stick that has a letter on the end (letter squares found in the Antique Urban Podgeable Papers). The teacher has students choose a popsicle stick letter, and asks them to identify what letter they chose.
- I Spy: Another creative game to challenge preschool students is I-spy. The students pick a stick similar to how they did in the letter identification game. Instead of the student saying what letter they have, they find something around the classroom that starts with that letter. This game is a little more difficult for preschool students, but it helps them with their spelling and learning to read; both skills crucial for Kindergarten success. An alternative version would be to have students find their letter somewhere else in the classroom. To take it a step further students could choose capital letters and then hunt for the lowercase match.
Classroom Games for Kids
Classroom games are not only for preschool students; they can be used for all elementary students. It’s a especially helpful as an opportunity to get out of their seats and move around. The common core sets specific standards for mathematics and ELA, but it is always nice to take a break from traditional learning.
- Alphabetize: This next game can be played several different ways. You can break the class up into groups of four to five students, in half or keep the entire class together. Each student is given a popsicle stick with a letter attached, similar to the two games mentioned previously. The students in the group have to work together to put themselves in alphabetical order. You can use a time restraint to make the game more challenging (remember that the amount of time you give for the game depends on how many people are in each group).
- Learning nouns, adjectives and verbs: Same drill as the prior games, each student is given a popsicle stick with the letter attached. Now with the letter they have, they are expected to come up with either a noun, adjective or verb that begins with the letter they are holding. Tally points to spark a mini competition; students can gain extra points by naming more than one and clarifying which word is a noun, which word is a adjective and which word is a verb.
- Memory: Create game tiles with the circular pictures found in the Pogeable Paper – there are lots of them. Use the Mod Podge to glue the pairs of cut-out circles onto a sheet of the Podeable Paper. The newspaper design works well as you’ll see why in #4. Then cut the sheet into squares. Lay the tiles in a grid with the circle images facing down. One or two students can play the memory game by flipping over 2 tiles at a time and trying to remember where the pictures are to match pairs to win. This is a great quiet-time game that can be played by student who finish their work before others.
- Puzzle: I know what you are thinking, puzzles are not a new and inventive game. But on the contrary, the puzzle brought to you by Pampered Teacher is a little more challenging than your average puzzle. All the puzzle pieces in this puzzle are squares (the reverse side of the Memory tiles), so the students have to pay better attention when forming them. This can also be a great partner activity to get students better acquainted.
Studies have shown that students that are more active get better grades. Kinesthetic learning puts students at the optimal position to retain the most information. It has been proven that when you combine movement and education, students perform better overall.
To create these movement resources, cut out the letter squares from the Podgeable paper, Mod Podge them onto equally sized squares of foam board (also called foam core), and add a small piece of magnetic strip to the back.
- Hangman: Hangman is a great way to practice for a vocabulary test. The teacher simply tells the students what word and the students take turns putting a letter on the board. You can even get creative and break the class into groups. Students enjoy when you add a little healthy competition, especially if there’s an incentive.
- Tiles: The tiles are a great way to develop an extensive vocabulary. It allows peer to peer education, which is often beneficial. For example, if you are practicing three letter words, one student will come up with a three letter word ‘CAT’ and the next student in line changes one letter to come up with ‘MAT’ or ‘CUT.’ So the student changes the C to an M to create ‘MAT’. This game is great because it can teach students words they had did not know before.
Pampered Teacher intern, Britni Mignon, has been teaching dance and religious education since the age of 14. At the end of every class, she would treat her students with an educational game. When teachers add games into the learning environment, it gives students something to look forward to. For example, you can use it as a reward when students do well. Britni learned from experience that when you make learning fun, students are more likely to pay attention and are more willing to learn. Since it is required for students to learn the material, why not make it fun?
Stay tuned because the Mod Podge and Podgeable Paper used to make all the games listed above will be included in upcoming Pampered Teacher subscription boxes.