Teachers Guide - Using Aristoplay products in the Classroom
Aristotips for using Aristoplay products in the Classroom
Aristoplay games can be an effective and fun learning tool in the classroom. To get the most benefit out of the games, we offer a few suggestions:
Preparing the class:
1. To get the most learning out of playing a game, we recommend that you thoroughly prepare the class the day before holding a game-playing session. Emphasize that this is an alternative learning mode, not just fun and games. Set learning guidelines and objectives.
2. To promote cooperative and interactive learning, designate captains in each group. The Table Captain will be responsible for checking rules of play and keeping score. The Materials Captain will hand out game materials, shuffle cards, and return all materials to the box after the play has ended.
3. Hold a 15-20 minute dry run before the first game playing session. Arrange students in their groups. Groups can form a playing surface by turning desks inward. The touching desktops will serve as a table on which to place game materials. Materials Captains should pass out game materials. Table Captains should read the rules. You may want to discuss the rules with the class at this point to be sure that students understand them. Have students try a few turns at the game, but don’t record the scores.
Playing the game:
4. After the dry run, students should be able to manage themselves. After the first game playing session, they will be quick to organize themselves to play again. Allow 10 minutes at the end of the playing time to tally scores and put away materials. Players can be divided into teams and score totals can be posted throughout a several-week session. Excitement builds as the weeks progress and the teams try to accumulate the winning score. This is a tremendous motivator.
5. After two game playing sessions in the first week, play the game once a week. Choose a day of the week as “Game Day.” Friday is often good. Students will be anxious for another chance to play and improve their scores. They may even prepare for Game Day on their own by studying the subject matter. Just what you want them to do!
Improving game learning:
6. Game learning is a cooperative learning technique. Even though each game player is working to outscore the opposing players, they must always be good sports and complimentary to teammates or opponents in their game group. A player should never be ridiculed for a wrong answer. Players – and even opponents – should be praised for correct answers. No one expects players to know all the information presented in the games before playing. All players are encouraged to make use of information on the game board or other sources to come up with answers in the game.
7. In most Aristoplay games, questions are written on several levels of difficulty. The first time students play, suggest that they ask Level One questions. When they can answer these questions comfortably, the group can advance to Level Two, or even higher levels. You can encourage students to answer harder questions by awarding bonus points for higher levels.
8. In many of the games, we have included reproducibles for take-home or in-class work and a list of extension activities and research projects to reinforce the material presented in the game and build students’ research skills. Playing the game at intervals will help students realize how much they are learning and reinforce their sense of accomplishment.
The following Aristoplay games are particularly effective for classroom learning: