Friday, February 04, 2005

Game Time

For the past two years, I have been a teacher for the after school clubs offered at my school.

The first year, I taught stamping and scrapbooking to students, ages 6-12. Kids loved it. They loved to be creative and come home with something to share with their families. However, it took me forever to develop the materials for each day's lesson. My paper materials were paid for, but the actual stamps and pads were my own. I didn't mind sharing because I do have an embaressingly large amount of stamping materials. It just took so much personal time.

Last year, I did art club. We explored ideas of depth, value, color, texture...all things art. I tried to connect each project with a familiar piece of art by a master. However, the students had no idea who these masters were. By the luck of the lottery, I received a rather rowdy bunch of artists and spent much my time managing behavior rather than cultivating these future artists.

You should be catching on to a pattern...I love stamping, scrapbooking, and this year is another passion of mine.

This year, I am offering a games club. I have noticed in my own teaching that students are not familiar with board games. They know a lot about XBox, GameCube, and Nintendo, but very little about the classics. Scrabble! Sorry! Gin Rummy! Connect Four! So, this year, my objectives are to teach these games and more, but also, teach good sportsmanship. Kids are not used to losing. I am not sure why. I have a feeling that at home, some parents 'let' their kids win. I have a kindergarten cousin who has a history of behaving poorly if he loses. I played "Guess Who?" with him, but warned him that I was not going to let him win, that I might win and he might lose. He needed to prepare himself for a loss...but, he did beat me at "Guess Who?". But my point remains.

So, what are some other games that are excellent, fun games that I should teach?


Matt said...

Don't teach Monopoly. That's my only advice there.

However, I do want to comment on your thought that parents let their kids win at games. I think that's very true and it drives me crazy. I specifically do not let Rachel win at every game we play (Pretty, Pretty Princess is a favorite...) I admit that I have at times fudged a little bit if I saw she was really getting down or losing interest, but I think it's important for kids to learn that other people winning is a good thing, too. When I win, I always say "Yay! Daddy won!" and she usually smiles and says "Good job, Daddy!". Which is what I say when she wins. Losing well is an important skill and I commend you for being willing to teach it to kids.

Mama Duck said...

Totally can relate. We used to do "game day" every now and then in my classroom just because 1. they had to read directions (to games with which they were unfamiliar) and follow them, 2. it's interaction they don't get via video games and 3. like you said, it teaches sportsmanship.

A good problem solving game is Mastermind. I see there's a Cranium for kids on the's fun for adults, probably kiddos too. Ohhh, Boggle is fun too. Also, I found some random trivia board game for kids at Big Lots or the like (I checked it for content), but nobody had ever heard of it so that's where the reading directions came into play.