Unlocking Learning Through Play: Techniques for Implementing Game-Based Teaching

When it comes to the classroom, games are just for special occasions and earned rewards, right? Not so fast! Teachers everywhere know the real secret to playing games in the classroom is actually to incorporate game-based teaching regularly throughout their lesson plans.

Now, this might sound counterintuitive, but when woven in thoughtfully and strategically, games can be a powerful method to achieving classroom goals. The key differentiator here though is employing what’s known as game-based learning or game-based teaching, versus just letting students play a game as downtime or as an in-between filler. Game-based learning is implemented with intention and clear goals in mind.

Some of the benefits to using game-based teaching include helping students learn new material that they might not find as interesting, or perhaps it’s content that they’re struggling to grasp. This approach can also boost retention as well as lead to increased engagement for students, and can certainly be an excellent motivator.

Unlocking Learning Through Play

So as awesome as playing games in the classroom sounds, how does a teacher go about “putting this practice into play” (pun intended)? Luckily, there are many ways to embrace game-based teaching to unlock learning through play, so teachers need only weigh which approaches seem like the right fit for their classroom and their individual students. Here are just a  few tested techniques for implementing game-based teaching to get you started:

  • Puzzles
    Puzzles may be the original form of game-based teaching when you consider not only the varied forms they can take, but also the countless ways in which they can be used as teaching mechanisms. For example, puzzle-based games such as sudoku, crossword puzzles, word search games, Rubik’s Cube and more are excellent means with which to teach math, spelling, vocabulary, strategic and critical thinking, problem solving and beyond.

    Since students learn in many different ways, visual learners may find jigsaw puzzles to be especially impactful as the shapes can be printed with words, phrases or math equations that they piece together to solve.

  • Kahoot!
    Wildly popular, Kahoot! is a web-based learning platform that feels like a game show for your classroom. Students have fun trying to be the first to “buzz in” with the correct answer in a friendly competition among classmates. Teachers can customize online quizzes on any subject matter to be played real-time, for students of any age, at any location and via any form of device.

    Whether students are participating from the classroom or they are learning from home, they can all participate at once while the system does the work to see who answered correctly first. Cheers and laughs are sure to abound, with engagement and retention soaring at the same time.

  • Board games
    Board games can be another “stealth mode” method for implementing game-based teaching in the classroom. When students see a board game come out in the classroom, they are likely only thinking of play and not the learning aspect, which makes this another fantastic technique to employ.

    A few classic examples include Monopoly, Scrabble and even Candy Land for the littlest learners. Monopoly helps students build skills in areas such as decision-making, math and strategic thinking. Scrabble is perhaps another take on a spelling bee as it is an excellent way for students to test their vocabulary and spelling prowess, along with using math to keep track of their score. Candy Land is a great way for younger students to build on their counting skills and taking turns while working with other players.

Learn More About Implementing Game-Based Teaching

Using games and having fun in the classroom can be a winning strategy for teachers and students alike. Explore the many options that are out there and let it spark your imagination for how to implement game-based teaching in your own personalized way for you and your students.

At Raymond Geddes, we’re here to help educators achieve their classroom goals, including how to implement game-based teaching. Our free teaching resources are available for downloadables and activities that can be used in the classroom to unlock learning through play. Contact us today or request a school supply catalog and learn more about the supplies and resources from Raymond Geddes.

With over 90 years of experience, GEDDES has an endless array of creative items and school supplies to check off your shopping list. Browse our blog for ideas and inspiration, and learn more about the supplies and resources available from Raymond Geddes. 


Related Articles

Back to top button