As a classroom teacher I love to engage students in learning through purposeful or educational classroom group games. It beats rote learning or learning from text books. Here are a five great educational group games that you may like to try in your classroom. Use these games to engage students in learning their times tables, quick recall or spelling words.
A great game for learning the times tables or for reciting quick answers to content taught in any subject. For example; recall of capital cities of the countries of the world. To play, students find a spot around the room. The teacher calls out a country and players call out that country’s capital city. The first to call it out correctly can take two steps in any direction in the room, aiming to reach and tag another player. If tagged that player is out of the game. Repeat this process until only one player remains in the game.
Times Tables Relay Game
Form up teams. Each team has a circle drawn on a white board. Write random numbers (about 9) around the inside edge of the circle. Teams line up the other side of the room to their circle. Decide upon a times table (say the 7 times table). The first player from each team must race up to their own circle and place one answer to the 7 times table on the outside of their circle. Then that player races back to tag the next player in their team. This player races forward and provides another answer, or corrects an answer. Keep going until one team completes all the answers to be the Champions!
Shoot the Sheriff
This fun classroom game can also be applied to general knowledge or number facts. Players take up a place somewhere in the classroom, holding their ruler (as a toy gun). The players are all cowboys in a shootout. The teacher calls out a question, the first to answer (all call out) correctly, get to shoot two other players. The players shot are out. Repeat until only two players are left. They are the Sheriffs. The Sheriffs finish the game with a duel. They stand back to back. Players 5 step away from each other, turn around and call out the answer to the basic fact question given. The sheriff who shoots their answer correctly first wins.
This is like a leader board for the times tables. Place student’s names onto individual cards and attach these in a vertical line on the wall. The aim is to be at the top of the leader board. Any player can be challenged to a battle by a player sitting one or two cards below them. Fire them off with ten questions from the times tables. The player to answer most correct gets to take the position of the player who was being challenged.
Beat the Chalk
An excellent classroom game for challenging students to their spelling. Ask for five challengers to stand three meters from the whiteboard. Call a spelling word. Players race to the white board and write the word, then step back to their start line (cannot return to the whiteboard once back at the start line). The first player to spell the word correctly remains as the Champion. Call out four new challengers to take him/her on with another spelling word.
Teachers who are able to bring the fun into learning will have better engaged students. Having a ‘toolbox’ full of indoor group games and circle games, will not only keep the kids happy, but the teacher will be having fun as well!