It is commonly accepted that learning should be fun and engaging. Teachers – at least the good ones – are enthusiastic proponents of this adage. However, it can be difficult to figure out precisely how to incorporate games into the classroom without wasting time or curtailing the learning process.
Countless studies have shown that there’s a plethora of simple logic-based games that, when implemented well, help students learn and retain basic concepts more efficiently, all while maintaining their full engagement in their schooling and with their peers. Here are a few reasons why games can help positively contribute to learning in the classroom, and why such things are worth taking the time to implement.
Just as in life, every classroom is full of students who are naturally confident, and those who are more like wallflowers, and take some time to open out. Games can help provide a natural boost to any kid’s self-esteem and make them less shy about opening up. Lots of studies show that games can bring kids together, and allow them to feel a connection to one another that can sometimes be buried in the dynamics of everyday interactions. Also, when students are playing a game well, they feel proud of themselves, which is something that any good teacher should want to instill in them.
Memory games are the best in terms of providing a workout for the brain. These particular sorts of games are sometimes meant for babies as they begin to learn to make sense of the world around them, or even for older people who struggle with memory loss. But people of all ages can still massively benefit from memory exercises, games within which you can utilize the anagramme solution such as scrabble, or a good old-fashioned game of cards like solitaire. Alternatively, digital versions of these games can also work to help kids’ memories, which has many long-term benefits.
Develop Problem Solving Skills
Playing games means that kids also have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes, and better understand how to approach different issues in the future. Yes, games in the classroom are about learning a specific skill or concept, but they’re also about trying to figure out what went wrong. For instance, when trying to play scrabble, many kids might resort to cheating on scrabble or what French calls ‘tricher au scrabble’. This may not be ideal for them at first, but they’ll eventually learn new words and realize their full potential. Developing problem-solving skills also provides an excellent opportunity for them to cultivate their emotional health, which in turn helps them mature and grow.
Kids, even from a young age, could sometimes silo themselves into groups. Teachers can try to break up this tendency by having them play games that encourage cooperation in the classroom. Kids love working in teams and don’t really appreciate the labor involved when working on their own as much. Sure, things can get rocky between students, but over time they will be able to work on their cooperation skills and will feel comfortable with different team-building exercises over time. Even if the game becomes contentious, it’s an opportunity for them to learn how to respect one another while playing fairly.
There are all kinds of games that can be played in the classroom, from those centered around mathematical concepts and the sciences to reading and so on. It’s always worth taking the time to research different games and get creative with teaching. Learning should be a two-way process, and kids can benefit from it tremendously.