Games make learning joyful and productive

For many years, I have been convinced of the benefits of game-playing with my students.  Moving games are novel and require whole-body participation.  Board games help students forget they are engaged in drill practice.  Card games build dexterity and memory skills.

Lately our 3 year old son has been playing "Concentration" and "UNO."  His ability to remember the location of the matches with 30-40 cards on the table is astounding. 

I have often encouraged my students from K-12 to use "Concentration" as a game whenever memorizing 2 companion pieces of information is required.  One student memorized the Periodic Table symbols and element names–it took him a week or less.  Other applications of "Concentration" are:  vocabulary to definitions, math facts, sight words (2 cards for each word), literary characters with quotations, states and capitals, and the list is endless.

While "UNO" may seem fairly mindless, students who have difficulty with thinking flexibly or strategically can benefit from this "just for fun" game.  Teaching color and number recognition for preschool children is an obvious benefit, but planning ahead and utilizing the special cards and Wild cards to gain advantage are strategies that can be explicitly taught to students who have executive function weaknesses.

Wisdom Seekers was started to provide the games I have developed over the years to teachers who either don't have time to make games or lack the creativity to design their own.  These games are the same games I have used with every one of my students in academic therapy for reading and arithmetic.

I do hope you'll utilize games at whatever level or in whatever setting you teach.  Students relax and enjoy skills that are otherwise tedious and difficult!

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