5 Important Reasons to Use Games in The Classroom
“Learning is not a game, although you learn by playing”
When we teach it is not only a matter of writing on the board and expecting the students to absorb all the information and knowledge we have, it’s a matter of thinking and sharing what we know with the students. The best way of doing this is by connecting with them through games.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Juan G. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
1. Useful Method
As a teacher, I believe that games bring you a methodology for teaching and it aids the student to be motivated in class. There are some teachers that avoid using games and playful dynamics often because they are terrified of losing control of the class, but through my personal experience I can say that when you use games in the classroom, you will encounter various reactions in students and most of them are good signs like, the students are having a good time and they are paying attention to your lesson. Sometimes, you'll notice they feel curious and they will start asking many things about your lesson or different topics related to the game. It is true that this tool shouldn't be exploited, if so the students will think your class is only made of games and they will not take it seriously, so we should use gaming times wisely.
2. Students’ Needs
The introverted student loses his learning potential when he’s obligated to participate in front of the class. Using games in exchange allows every student to be a part of each activity, constructing a comfortable environment not only for the students but also for the teacher. You can prepare your own games and customize them, changing the topic and making it suitable for your lesson.
3. Rapport Between Students
Most of these games improve teamwork between the students. This requires the integration of diverse perspectives and experiences. This is translated as better learning and development of new skills like empathy, communication, tolerance, etc.
4. Way of Evaluation
Through games like bingo, crosswords or contests between teams, it’s possible to evaluate in an effective way the progress of your class. Games allow you to check periodically the student’s domain in the content of your class, and with this, you can obtain an effective diagnostic to plan future classes.
Learning is more efficient when we invite the students to learn about each other. This means to enhance cooperative learning and this is one of my favorite reasons...With diversity, we can promote learning no matter, religion, race, sex or nationality.
With games, we can touch the hearts of every student and in my case, kids, which are one of my strong points, no matter where or when you will connect with them even if you are not utilizing their native language. That is why for me this is one of the most meaningful and lovely things about using games in the classroom.
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It shouldn't be boring… not only for the students but also for the teacher. When I was a child I remember one of my teachers, he used to sit and make us read books and write a lot of paragraphs. Every class felt pretty boring. Almost every class he was just sitting at his desk without connecting with the students which are clearly a bad method. I can’t remember anything he expressed in his class not because I was young at the time, I can remember many things from my childhood. You never forget the things that you enjoy when you are young…those funny things that are carved in your memory. We should use games not only to make students happy and make the lesson funnier, but we should also use games as a connection between the student and the teacher.
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