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FUN FRIDAY: Teacher-created board games

November 26, 2010

In my book, Joyful Learning (with co-author Alice Udvari-Solner), I wrote about how to differentiate instruction using student-created board games. You can give different students or groups of students different goals or objectives to focus on, assign different roles to different students (e.g., some make the rules, some design the board), and you can have students use materials that are most appealing or appropriate for them (e.g., directions printed in Spanish and in English, larger foam dice for students with physical disabilities).

Dr. Carla-Amaro-Jiminez, a professor of education at the University of Texas at Arlington, features a twist on this idea on her personal web page. She has her pre-service teachers design teacher-created board games and she has photos of several of them on her site. These games not only look great but seem like a lot of fun for kids.

These games are such a great tool to have in the classroom because they can be used during instructional time during the unit related to the content of the game (e.g., play the fractions game during your study of fractions) but they can also be pulled out when students are stuck inside for recess or for choice time or centers.

And don’t limit games to elementary and middle school. Create options for your high school students as well. How about a card game about photosynthesis or trivia questions on the Renaissance?

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