Games With Movement To Increase Classroom Learning
Student learning and student engagement are always a high level of focus for educators. Keeping instruction and the learning environment engaging can be a struggle if educators still use the more traditional approaches of teaching while using games and movement acts as a natural form of engagement for students. Additionally, movement in the classroom offers many benefits in connection to increasing student levels of learning. Cox (n.d.) shared that “studies have also found that children that move about when learning are better able to understand more difficult concepts, as well as pay attention more in school” (para. 1). When educators bring games with movement into the classroom setting, they are providing the students with an environment that promotes deeper learning. Shapiro (2014) shared information that Ed Dieterle, Senior Program Officer for Research, Measurement, and Evaluation for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation outlined stating “for a student sitting in the median who doesn’t have a game, his or her learning achievement would have increased by 12 percent if he or she had that game” (para. 6).
Games with physical activity can be added into any subject content area with ease. “Classroom games add flair and student engagement to more tedious, yet necessary tasks like teaching math facts, grammar rules and vocabulary, reviewing for tests or even completing lab experiments. Adding an element of competition motivates and energizes students” (Pak, 2019, para. 3). Classroom teachers can post numbers, site words, or vocabulary terms around the room and challenge students to swat the correct cards in a timed race with a classmate. Whoever is able to swat the most cards correctly wins the game for the team. During this activity, students will be motivated by the quick game atmosphere as well as interact with the information in a different way. Charades can require students to act out a vocabulary term or even recreate a section of a story to demonstrate their understanding of what they have read. Physical games can extend learning beyond the indoor classroom. Scavenger hunts to find objects that rhyme or start with the same letter can help kindergarten learners while older learners can apply math concepts to items they see on a scavenger hunt. Hopscotch can be turned into a spelling practice game. Traditional games with movement components can be combined with educational concepts to help students practice or even master academic skills. Jensen (2005) shared additional ways to turn a game of tug-of-war into a learning experience by having student debate topics. After each side has shared its information, classmates select a side to support.
Participants will leave this presentation with a broad knowledge about how embedding games with components of movement can increase student learning. Abdelbary (2017) restated that “studies show that children who are more active exhibit better focus, faster cognitive processing, and more successful memory retention than kids who spend the day sitting still” (para. 2). Twelve years of experience in an elementary classroom by the practitioner has provided a strong background of methods to increase the implementation of games with elements of movement into learning environment. Examples of ways to incorporate various ways of embedding games into classroom activities will be shared with attendees.
- Abdelbary, M. (2017). Learning in motion: Bring movement back to the classroom. Retrieved from https://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2017/08/08/learning-in-motion-bring-movement-back-to.html
- Cox, J. (n.d.). 10 classroom activities to get students moving. Retrieved from http://www.teachhub.com/10-classroom-activities-get-students-moving
- Jensen, R. (2005). Teaching with the brain in mind. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/104013/chapters/Movement-and-Learning.aspx
- Pak, R. (n.d.). Engaging classroom games for all grades. Retrieved from https://www.teachhub.com/engaging-classroom-games-all-grades
- Shapiro, J. (2014). Games in the classroom: What research says. Retrieved from https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/36482/games-in-the-classroom-what-the-research-says