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Games, Activities, & Puzzles
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Essay for Teachers: "G.A.M.E.S."

Games are:  Good Assessment of  MEmorieS.

Subtitle: "What are GOOD Games for Teaching?"

by me: Leon

Sometimes we teachers use games as time-consumers or rewards, anything other than what they should be used for, don't we?   It is my belief that games should NOT be used unless the purpose of the games being used is ASSESSMENT and/or REINFORCEMENT.  Herein below, I suggest some criteria to determine if a game is a good assessment tool.

1.  Does it cover the content of the lesson for that day or that week?

            If not, scrap it.

2.  Does it require students to apply what they've supposedly learned?

            If not, it may not be entirely useless.  "Regurgitation Games" have value in that they reinforce the neural pathways formed by the assimilation/accommodation of new schema.  But, ... (you what I'm going to write)... it would be better to APPLY the material in concrete situations, to add stronger reinforcement by associating a "value" to what the students are learning.

3.  Does it involve all students simultaneously?

            If not, students get bored and it wastes the parents' time and money.

4.  Is it engaging (i.e., interesting)?

            I prefer competitive games, but they don't have to be competitive to be engaging/interesting.  Students can have just as much fun trying to accomplish some fun task without the stress of competition. 

5.  Is it challenging, but not too challenging?

            From my experience, if the game is too challenging, students get frustrated and embarrassed, and usually become turned off to the subject matter.  If it isn't challenging enough, they get bored quickly.  

"The best way to learn anything, is to not know one is learning."

Quotation is from a Korean Buddhist Nun of the Jo-gye Order
(I forgot her name)

(by Leon, 2006)




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