Today is our first teacher day! So this will be a simple idea and not time consuming! I confess, I am a gamer. I have been obsessed with Angry Birds, Candy Crush, Solitaire, PopWords, Sunny Seeds, and Word Warp. I like puzzles that have a definitive goal and ending. My son likes FPS (first person shooter) games like Halo and BioShock. He also likes civilization building games. My daughter loves Sims and was quite addicted to ZooTycoon and RollerCoaster builder games. We all like games but different kinds of games.
When I was at the Games in Educaiton Seminar last week, Peggy Sheehy asked everyone to stand up. Her first question was for anyone who considered themselves a gamer to sit. Only 10 out of about 50 people sat down. Next she said if you play a game on your device or computer even Words with Friends, sit and about 3/4 of the room sat down. Following this she said sit down if you play board games and all but one lady was seated. Finally Peggy got her to sit by admitting she played card games. What is the point? There is a little part of people that likes a game for various reasons.
Last year I downloaded a game called DoodleJump because it had a good write up in a magazine. After failing to achieve the goal, I realized how many different science principles I had to know to progress. It was very subtle, but important to the game. Even without knowing those principles, the game helped me to learn them. Make the car have bigger wheels would be beneficial in one place and small wheels in another.
TanZen is a visual puzzle using tangram concepts to complete a puzzle. Again there is some thinking ahead, looking at remaining shapes. Good for visual thinking. UnBlock Me is the same as you try to get the little red block out of the puzzle. You need to think and plan ahead to move different side blocks.
Word games are plentiful as well. I like PopWords, WordWarp, Words with Friends and Hanging with Friends. It offers the opportunity to play against others online. You can invite someone else to challenge you. These are good for the classroom if students can challenge each other either in the same class or grade.
There are many number games like Sudoku, and Sunny Seeds. Both of which can be completed by students who can add or need practice adding.
Visual challenges include something like Logo Quiz or Dots. Logo quiz might be better for adults since many of the logos are probably not familiar to students. There is always the simple game of Shanghai or Mahjong. Just match the tiles to remove them from the screen.
These are a few of my favorite games I use to pass time. Games can be done as a group in your classroom. Problem solving as in pairs or small groups help others learn some of the thinking process of others. There are thousands of games in the iTunes store from which to choose for your classroom. These suggestions are just what I have been experiencing in games that I enjoy!