Teaching approaches: Games

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Teaching Approaches

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Games can be a great way to engage pupils in active learning, and encourage them to use subject specific language while thinking like a mathematician/scientist. You could think about encouraging pupils to create their own games for some higher order reasoning, perhaps for a homework task. ICT Tools may be particularly helpful here, although you may chose to use non-digital Tools or ideas such as Digital Video.

Relevant resources


Games Introduction to games
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This courses provides an introduction to games(tool) in the classroom. The course will focus on freely available online games, which can provide a starting point for exploring their use in the classroom without investment in hardware and software. At the conclusion of this course you will have engaged in lesson planning(ta), ready for implementation in your classroom.
ICT Monsters using Scratch
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Children using a computer programming language to create moving monsters
This activity developed the specific e-skills(topic) of programming and digital animation. It could be considered the first step towards enabling children to design and create their own games(tool) using sprites and user-input controls. Computer programming helps to develop investigation(ta) skills as it requires the use of a previously unknown language(ta) to execute commands, which also develops the skills of mathematical thinking(ta). Computer programming also involves the use of modelling(ta) and planning(ta) techniques. Because Scratch is an open source programming language, this also creates opportunities for homework(ta), as the children are able to download the software for themselves at home.
Language Exploring shape and its mathematical language through sorting activities
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Using mathematical language to discuss shapes of objects either printed or hidden in 'feely bags'. Can you feel the forks?
The Investigation(ta) of shapes and geometry can be very rewarding. A practical approach using objects from the pupils’ environment can increase their motivation and interest. In this unit, you will be using everyday objects to help pupils develop geometrical skills, such as recognising, visualisation(ta), describing, sorting, naming, classifying and comparing.

Through games(tool) on the properties of shapes, the activity engages pupils in group talk(ta), mathematical thinking(ta) and vocabulary(ta). This open ended(ta) task encourages higher order(ta) thinking, and could form the basis of whole class(ta) discussion(ta)/questioning(ta) and inquiry(ta) projects. It can be used as a lesson extension, or as a preliminary task.

VLE Using a VLE in the Classroom
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Using a VLE to support the teaching of French
This activity uses a VLE to help pupils develop their language(ta) and vocabulary(ta) skills using games(tool) and a range of teacher-produced digital media. These resources were also available to the pupils out of school to support them with their homework(ta), thus equipping pupils with more independent study skills(topic). The teacher also used the VLE to support their own classroom management(ta), using data from the VLE to record which tasks the pupils has worked on.