Old Fashioned Board Game Day!

At the end of the year last year, I was trying to come up with a fun yet “sort of” educational things to do the last week of school. I always like to ask the students what they would like to do and one of the then fourth graders asked if they could bring in a board game to play with the others.  The students thought that was a wonderful idea, and most of them had a game at home that they wanted to bring to school too.  I scheduled a block of time for “old fashioned board game day” as the kids called it because the one rule was that they couldn’t play a game on the iPad or the laptops.  It was a huge success.

I always like to have one day every so often where we put aside formal learning and just chill as they say.  So when I started thinking about a day for this I asked the kids what they wanted to do.  The first thing that they mentioned was “old fashioned board game day”.

I had to set some ground rules one being that if you bring in a game and nobody wants to play it, there are to be no hurt feelings.  Another rule was everybody is included.  If any one is left out, people are to ask them to join their game. Finally, good inside voices must prevail.

Today was the day that we had our game day.  What a success it was!  If I had planned a lesson on being kind to others, it wouldn’t have matched what I observed today.  Everyone was involved, happy, and playing so well together.  (The only rule that didn’t get followed was “use of inside voices” and I want to apologize to all around us!)

Another great thing was that the games were educational.  I played one called “Doodle Dice” and it involved logic, visualization, and probability. Some of the others were playing risk and there as a world map and we are studying continents and oceans.  So I feel like the educational value was there even though I was not teaching them a skill directly.

However, the most important thing that happened was that I spent good, quality time with my students.  We laughed, competed, and had a wonderful time together.  It sort of reminded me of the feeling I got last year when we prepared for the student-led conferences.  I saw the people that my students are and hopefully they saw the human side of me.

When I called time, all I could hear was “no!” It was music to my ears.  What a great day!

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Teacher-Twenty-One

October 2013
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