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It's all a bit of a game

It’s all a bit of a game

Have you ever thought about making some games to help your children to learn key information? This might just be a list of spellings or it could be something to see if the children can identify the answers to particular questions. You may be thinking that making games is really hard and complicated. There are a few websites that take away any complication and enable anyone to create a game in seconds, or at worst, 5minutes. These games can then be embedded into a blog/website/vle (see below) or they provide a link for children to type or click on. One thing I would ask you to consider is letting the children create their own games too. They can do that with the sites below so they can then challenge their friends too.

Here are a few examples:

Wordsearch Maker (www.wordsearchmaker.net)

Wordsearch Maker is by far the easiest. There is no sign-up required and you can make a wordsearch in the time it takes for you to type the words. Below you can see an example of an embedded wordsearch for the months of the year.

Make Your Own Word Search

What2Learn (www.what2learn.com)

What2Learn lets you make different games including wordsearches, hangman and question and answer type games. Each game gets a unique number and this forms part of the website URL to help you find it in future. If the children do create games, just get them to tell their game number and you can share them with the rest of the class. You can register for the site, but I haven’t ever bothered to.

Zondle (www.zondle.com)

Zondle has the great feature that you can choose a topic for your game e.g. 7times table and then play over 20 different game types based on your topic. All without having to make 20 different games. You simply click the topic, click the game top and you’re away. You can make games available to everyone but you do need to register (for free) to create a game.

So, give your children the chance to create some games, maybe set some for them as homework or make one as a class on the whiteboard. Feel free to share you games in the comment box below.

Note: In the higher-order thinking pyramid, knowledge is right at the bottom, but sometimes facts need to be taught and children should be able to spell certain words. So I think these games and strategies have a place. I’ll think of something more thought and discussion-based next week.

Author: Ian Addison

I am an ICT coordinator at St John the Baptist Primary School in Waltham Chase, Hampshire. I have been here since September and since starting I have overseen the implementation of Google Apps and whole school blogs among other things. Before starting at St John’s I spent two years working for Hampshire LA as a VLE consultant. In 2010 I attended the Google Teacher Academy in London.

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