Category Archives: Games

Look Look

photo credit: http://www.mindware.com
Today’s post is a bit frivolous, but sometimes that can be good, too!  I wanted to share with you a game that my students, K-5, have given enthusiastic thumbs up to during the last couple of weeks.  “Look Look” is a game from Mindware that is for 2-6 players.  If your students like “I Spy” or similar activities, then they will enjoy this.  It is a bit more challenging, and sometimes requires basic addition and subtraction skills.  Personally, as someone who has no visual/spatial skills, I find this game difficult sometimes.  But I’ve noticed that my perception skills have improved as I have played it more.
“Look Look” is a good game for those last couple of weeks before summer vacation as a reward, for indoor recess, or to use in a center to work on basic math facts (by taking out the other cards, you can target those skills.)  You could even have higher level students make some multiplication cards, or invent some other fun ways to use the game.

She Wears Many Hats

Here is a cute printable from Fuel the Brain just in time for Mother’s Day.  I love the thought of brainstorming all different types of hats with my younger kids, and then guiding them to think about how their mother “wears” them.  “In what ways is your mother like a police officer?” I might ask – and I might just be surprised by some of their answers!  Fuel the Brain, by the way, has lots of games and interactives that you might want to check out in addition to the printables!

UPDATE: Here are some examples from the books my students made!

Classroom Game Design

Classroom Game Design“, a TEDx video presented by Paul Andersen, suggests an interesting idea for organizing your classroom.  Why not leverage the fascination that many youngsters today have with gaming by making your own classroom a video game?  Have your students earn Experience Points to “level up” and gain new freedoms (and responsibilities) in the classroom.  This is an idea that does not even require any technology in your classroom – just a willingness to motivate your students using a language they understand very well.

If you are unable to see the video embedded below, here is the link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qlYGX0H6Ec&feature=youtu.be

Brain Curls

Brain Curls is a website with a multitude of links to games that will give your brain a “workout”.  My favorite game, so far, is “Wordies Time”, in which you must guess a common phrase based on the placement of the words.  “brainFlex” is a good game for practicing your multi-tasking skills.  I’ve always enjoyed figuring out analogies, but “Analogix” is a new challenge for me with the added pressure of time.
Check all of these games out, and more, on Brain Curls.  Thanks to my fellow teacher, Kim Ball, for bringing this site to my attention!

Caine’s Arcade

Sometimes I feel like I live under a rock.  Two of my co-workers were talking about this video at lunch the other day, and I admitted that I had never heard of it.  Considering that the video has gotten over 2.5 million views, you would think that I might have come across it at some point.  Even after they discussed it, I still didn’t watch it until today when I saw it referenced in an on-line article.  “Oh, yeah, that did sound interesting,” I thought, and clicked on the link.  I am so glad I did!  It was definitely 11 minutes of my time not wasted.  Caine’s imaginative cardboard arcade will inspire you with its creativity, and his personality will endear him to you.

I read a book to my Gifted and Talented Kindergartners every year called Christina Katerina and the Box.  After we read the book, I dump a bunch of boxes I have saved onto a table along with random bits and pieces of things.  Then I let the kids create.  After seeing Caine’s Arcade, I realize that I need to do this more often – and with all of my classes.

You might want to show Caine’s Arcade to your students.  There is one part that I caught, when they were showing comments on social networks, that briefly flashes an inappropriate word.  If you are concerned about this, or you just want to show key parts of the video, I recommend TubeChop.

Sketch Nation Studio

I should probably preface this post by admitting that I have absolutely no artistic talent whatsoever.  If I did, my creations on Sketch Nation Studio would be much more entertaining – and I might have included some screenshots on this post.  As it is, though, I am pretty certain you will be much more impressed by the actual iTunes photos.

Sketch Nation Studio is a free app for iDevices that allows the user to create a simple app out of his or her own sketches.  You do not have to know any programming mumbo jumbo or submit your game for approval.  You follow the extremely user-friendly steps and, voila!

Your drawings can be created in the app itself, or you can draw them on paper and upload them to the app.  This is where I think the creativity (and superior artistic talent) of my students will shine.  You can find ways, I’m sure, of integrating curriculum with this app.  But the true value is in the joy of creating and seeing a usable finished product.

TechChef4U

The amazing Hostess with the Mostest, Lisa Johnson, at www.techchef4u.com, has just released a free iPhone app – also called TechChef4U.  It is an app to find apps – specifically EDUCATIONAL apps that are FREE.  When I downloaded the app today, there were already over 500 apps listed.  Featured apps will also include examples for classroom integration, and you can search for the apps by Platform, Grade Level, and Category.  This is a great, and much needed, resource for teachers.  Download your TechChef4U app today!