6 Ways to use Games in the Classroom

Hi, teacher friends, as you head back to school I have some tips to help your students 'flourish' in their learning - using games!

Research shows 'worksheets don't grow dendrites'!  
If students are engaged and having fun with meaningful content - 
Games are engaging and fun!
Kids do learn as they play!

 I used to think that I could only use a game if I had previously taught the concept.  
Not true - so I learned 'by accident' ;) 
I was in a pinch one day because our week had been shortened with a Monday holiday -  So I thought I would just use the phonics game to teach the spelling patterns we were covering that week.  
The kids were so motivated to learn the patterns- so they could play the game!  
Ta-da moment for the teacher!  
Games could be used to teach.
Sometimes I would use my document camera and sometimes we would meet on the rug to learn 'how to play the game' - which included learning the concepts.
Word Work
I used this game to introduce and teach the spelling patterns 'ew' and 'ui'.  We read and sorted all the words as a group, and then I released them to play (independent practice) with a partner.
The same games can be used for guided practice portion of your lesson.  Just partner or group the students to play as you walk around and monitor their understanding of the concepts.

Common Nouns Printables
Once the academic concepts have been taught and practiced, the students can gradually be released to use the games as independent practice in your lessons.
 I try to add two components to the games at this point, an answer key and 
mini anchors poster of the concepts being taught - so students can refer to them as they play.
The answer key and the anchor posters help the students to self-check their use of the new concepts.

Centers provide wonderful opportunities to use the games to review and reinforce concepts that have been previously taught.
Math Fact Fluency

Here is an example of some multiplication games that make differentiation a breeze!
After assessing your students, partner or group students to practice the particular multiplication table that they need practice on.
Multiplication Fact Fluency

 Many authors include black and white versions of their games.  
These are perfect to send home as homework.  Games provide families with a friendly framework to practice concepts in a fun context.  Parents appreciate this kind of homework because their kids are usually eager to play a game, whereas a bundle of worksheets are tedious not only to their kids - but to the parents as well.
Math Fact Fluency

I hope I have inspired and given you some ideas on how to use games in your classroom this year to help your students 'flourish' in their learning!
Primary Flourish


Don't Nag - Call the COPS

Are you tired of nagging reminding your students again and again (and yet again) to check their writing for capitals, spelling, neatness, and end punctuation?
If you are - CALL THE COPS!
Seriously!  Use the COPS to help your little writers
slow down and edit their own writing.
So don't keep nagging reminding -
just call the COPS!
Don't you just love acronyms?!  They really help anchor concepts in the students' (and teacher's :)) minds!
As you can see in the posters below, each letter in COPS reminds students important details they need to check for in their writing.

This pack includes all you need to teach your students to do their own editing!
Use these 4 Posters with kid-friendly 'I Can Statements' to introduce COPS to your students, then leave them up in your classroom for easy reference through out the year.
Writers workshop
Students love flip books, oh my!  
This is a fun, interactive way to cement the editing concepts in their minds.

The Common Core State Standards are written in kid-friendly language -
in an "I can" Statement.
The included Rubric can be used for individual, peer, or teacher/student reflections.

I have included this printable for students to practice 'Patrolling with the COPS'.
A blank copy is also included, so you can make up your own sentence for your students.  I like to use this as a task in their morning work.
Notice the COPS boxes to the left of each sentence - that is for students to put tally marks (or numbers) of how many of those edits needed to be made in that sentence.  This helps them s.l.o.w. down and actually reflect on their writing.

Now, we know there will be some little 'speeders' that rush though their writing without 'patrolling their writing!  
That's when they get a ticket!
Just put a check under the area that need editing and attach it to the writing that needs editing.
 The student then needs to look back to find and correct their own writing.
Click on the picture below to see more.
Editing writing will be a joy for your students with Edit Writing with COPS! It is an engaging, effective way for students to remember to edit their writing! “Patrol Your Writing with COPS!”  May easily be used for: self, peer, or teacher editing. I post these on my Writing Focus Wall and the students glue the bookmarks in their writing folders.

Back to Top