News (not): games are fun!

We started reading Poor Anna in the beginners’ class yesterday. Wow. That’s the fastest I’ve ever read the first few pages with a group, and it still felt slow…but they really got it all. We were doing a lot of parallel storyasking. Again, I credit the speedier TPRS results to MovieTalk this year.

In the advanced class, we have been continuing our fairy-tale unit, so we’ve been reading (after story asking) in that group too.

I wanted them to re-read, and so I set up a jeopardy game for each class. The MSU Clear Rich Internet Activities site is a godsend. Their “Quiz Break” game is fast to set up. I spent literally ten minutes setting up a game for each of two classes. (PS You can do further edits on these, but remember to check what you called a game the first time, because you’ll have to give it the same name if you don’t want multiple copies showing up on your list.)

For once, I liked how I worked with it after that. First, we reviewed the reading (yeah, re-reading!). Then pairs of kids got whiteboards, markers and erasers. I would show a jeopardy square, and they would write the answer quickly. In one class, I gave credit to only the pair who finished first; in the other group, I gave credit to multiple right answers. White boards were waving all over the room! They kept track of their points. Here’s the game my beginners played. The headings aren’t very creative, because I really only took ten minutes to make up the game.

Then we went to the lab, where the kids played in pairs on individual computers. I put the link to the game into a post on our class website for them to get to it easily. After that, they took quizzes on Quizlet. I really liked giving them whiteboards to begin with, so that they were all trying to do it (instead of counting on just one person to give them the answers on a side in the classroom), and then breaking them into pairs meant that they read the questions again. What I might do in the future is reverse it, taking the books into the computer lab and making them have to really look for the answers. That way they might be a little more prepared for the game.

Repetition, repetition! Russians say, “Repetition is the mother of learning.”


2 responses to “News (not): games are fun!

  1. That looks like a good “Jeopardy” platform. I’ve used the template from, but I haven’t been happy w/some formatting glitches that seem to pop up every time.
    I checked out your game–did you find the text kind of small to be projecting in front of a classroom? In pairs in a lab seems like it would be fine, but the text size looked pretty minute to be viewed across a room.
    I’m going to be teaching a class online over the summer, so Jeopardy-style pair/team games don’t really work. I’d like to find something akin to Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, to maintain the money “points” feel while being individual. It doesn’t look like RIA has a game like that, though… Have you ever come across one? (superteachertools has one, but it’s meant to be used *in* the classroom, not as an individual activity, I think, plus like I said above–formatting frustrations w/their platform)


  2. Hi! I’m traveling on spring break, so will be brief…have you checked out Textivate? Try it…fun…I think even for kids on line. That’s a huge challenge. Maybe later you can tell us the situation and we can see who has suggestions…Nathan in particular is really good at on-line ideas.

    I have used Jeopardy in the classroom on my Promethean Board. I have a Mac, so I can zoom in and make the headings big. I am sure there’s a way to do it on PCs too…or you could print out just the chart, and read the things. Admittedly, my classes are not huge (max 25), and I don’t have desks, so they can all scoot their chairs up close to the screen to see.

    You could tell your students to try playing just as partner A…maybe?


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