Hi, friends! This week I am chatting about games that you can play that need no tech. We have gotten so used to tech games for learning, both teachers and students. Are you ready for some no-tech, fun games that still allow your students to learn? Keep reading for my top 5 simple games. I also have a FREE list for you to download further down in the post. 😉
Get Out Your Stickers
Let's lighten up word-card or sound-card practice! Have your own word or sound cards? Have stickers? Teachers always have stickers. Am I right? 😀 Do you also have a never-ending supply that seems to multiply on their own? We all have back-to-school stickers, seasonal 🎄 stickers, holiday stickers, smiley 😀face stickers, dinosaur 🦖 stickers...you get the idea. So many fun stickers; all crammed in our desk drawers.
So what can we use them for? This next idea works best with laminated cards because the stickers can easily go on and come off. Tell your students that you are placing 2-3 stickers within the deck of cards. Make a rule for each sticker. I usually include the student in this process of choosing game rules. It works great for the inflexible thinkers-maybe some kids want an extra turn and maybe an older student would want to keep it as like a get-out-of-jail-free card. They could use it as a skip-a-word card during the lesson. If your student chooses this, which some will 😉, still review the word card and break it down as a reader. We know they are skipping it because it is a hard word for them, and we want to make sure they still have a strategy for it.
Do We Match?
You may have seen me play this with the letter board (check out the video👆). It can be applied to any part of your lessons. For example, you can both have a small white board at home. To practice high frequency words, dictate the word, students will repeat the word, and then give students time to write the word. Finally, the student can ask you, "Do we match?" The idea is for them to match with their teacher. This is the perfect time to have a teachable moment if they don't match. It also builds their confidence as it's in game format so you don't have to feel bad saying "try it again". This way you are providing a strategy that works for them, like using the heart words strategy or fun visuals. (From I see-I spell-I learn).
I wasn't really sure what to call this one. If you have a better name for it, please leave in comments! 😀 This one came along during a spontaneous moment of a lesson. Don't students give you the best ideas? Kids and adults have all played it (if you haven't played it, you should, it's so much fun!) You wear a silly band on your head and another person gives verbal hints until the other person guesses correctly.
Okay, back to my spontaneous moment. I just wanted my student to pay attention, so I literally popped the word card on my forehead. Then, I told the student to see how many points they can get on consecutive cards. They had so much fun, and I got the student to pay attention!! 😊 Try it, take a picture of you with one on your forehead, and tag me on Instagram.
This is my go-to game, especially for older students. As usual, I keep it simple. I usually tell them we'll play three quick games. Maybe one has no words, one has sounds, and the last one has real words; or let students choose the order. This also works for spelling. Use the white board or doc camera.
If a student gets too frustrated, just play straight X and Os. They will love the competition with their teacher. I've had some great Tic-Tac-Toe masters pass through my Zoom room. They are so excited to share their strategy with you. I'm actually terrible at Tic-Tac-Toe. I recently had a student explain to me that my brain is better at reading, and his brain is better at strategic games. It led to a great conversation about how we just need to build more strategies for our challenging areas. So smart! 🤩
Games became so important for online learning during the pandemic that I started creating them for teachers and tutors. My students gave me so many great ideas 💡. Students are so amazing! I have a lot of free games with more to come. My goal was to create easy games that didn't involve tech. I really wanted to make it easy on the teacher and fun for the students while teachers still maintain control of the lesson.
Then, I started to realize that I could build an easy game during word reading. I added in bonus cards to my regular word practice and just held them up to the video. I let the students choose what we do on each bonus card, kind of like the sticker one. Games are based on the time of the year and students' interests. My kids are constantly giving me ideas for creating games for you. They are the true creators and teachers. Don't you think?
I hope you try these games. Don't forget to tag me on Instagram with your go-to games, and comment below so we all can try them!
As I mentioned before, I like to gift my Read to Rewire community with free games and activities. This week, download your free Top 5 Games List. Click here to download. Share the blog link with your teacher friends!
Have a great week!
P.S. Don't forget the coaching discount ends soon! Use code SUMMERCOACHING21 when you schedule your personalized coaching call HERE! I can't wait to help you! 😊