Less than half of the students in India are proficient in Math, and most would instead go fishing than learn math!
Here, we are asking more of our students than ever before. We want them to comprehend the concept, join the dots and communicate their reasoning. But how do we do that?
Researchers and Educators have over the period emphasised on implementing game learning for class learning!
The prime reason being a paradigm shift in learning method. Students are very active and well aware, thanks to the social media revolution and the internet at fingertips.The teachers are now leveraging these factors and bringing in the more interactive way of learning and assessing.
This is not a mere observation! A Game-based learning scholar Constance Steinkuehler talks about her research on online video games and literacy, and how learning skyrockets when students are passionate about the subject matter
On a broader picture, if you see, games instil a sense of competition and breaks away the barriers of communication.
Math games encourage a strategic learning, problem-solving and develop fluency. Students have a space to apply their learning in a different situation and the chance to explain and discuss the mathematics involved with their peers – without any fear of judgement or being wrong.
Once the rules are in place, there is a very little input required from the teacher’s end, thereby making absolute learning exercise at home.
One of the best thing about implementing the game in class is: students are motivated and have a positive approach to the mathematics involved, strengthening the school-home relationship.
No, it’s undeniable that each school and class has a different need compared to the rest. So while one has taken upon this concept of integrating games in classrooms, some might just be getting started. In either way, a Game-a-thon serves as an icebreaker.
We recently organised a game-a-thon for a Delhi Public School East, Bangalore. And here are the heads up if you have never done it before or want to do it differently!
Define the sole purpose:
For us, the purpose of the event was to build team camaraderie among students through the event and provide an opportunity for these talented students to feed and learn through the event interactions.
Arrange an informal setup:
This helps the student in moving a lot and also aid in overcoming the fear of judgements. A casual set-up leads to more flexibility and experimental temperament
Make the effort count: reward them
42 of the top sparky scorers( sparky is the badge given to students based on a student’s accuracy) were selected in teams of 3 each, resulting in 14 unique teams, each team having children from class 3, 4, 5. Each child was given a participating certificate and winners were given trophies along with certificates. And here are the heroes of the event : Yuvaan Fabian, Rishabsaket Agarwal, Ananth Subramania smiling and posing with their shining trophies. This ensures me that a child on his success makes a very positive impact on him/her.
Observe and Assess:
A teacher gets plenty of time to observe, ask and analyse each student’s approach and method to solve the problem. It becomes easy to differentiate the student’s learning and understanding of the concepts. This dialogue can further be carried in class, and more focus can be given to students reasoning skills. You can also see the empathetic side of the children amidst all the competitiveness. Our wild card winning team; Anjalika Dash, Yasswanth S, and Shourya Sinha stands tall and happy, with their teachers and coordinators.
For us, with each passing round, the intensity and excitement of the teams became higher. The most emotional time of the event was during the announcement of results. The children who qualified for the higher rounds were incredibly excited, and the ones who did not qualify felt disheartened.
In the end, we had two winning teams, and both the winning teams were decided on tiebreakers.
Game-a-thon brings out a lot in a student. They are empathetic, competitive, curious and self-motivated to win. It helps better in assessing them most informally. If you feel, you should be organising a game-a-thon anytime soon, let us know here: https://goo.gl/forms/eRdtSPhs89qwB23n2
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