Fun Reading Games

Fun reading games can play an important role in your child’s education. It’s true that some students just love to read from the very start. They don’t have to be prompted to read. They have their nose in a book every chance they get.

But then there are other students, those who find reading dull and/or difficult. For those students, fun reading games can be just the spark they need to get on track with reading practice and skill development.

Here is one simple, goofy idea that can work well with elementary students, both at school and at home. In this game, students are asked to read simple information on food packages, write it down, and then read another student’s answers.

Funny Food

This game is for 3-4 players, in grades 3-5. You’ll need at least one empty food package. Try to choose packages from foods with short lists of simple ingredients. You’ll also need a list of questions for each player. Your questions can include:

1) What’s the name of the food?

2) What is it mostly made of?

3) Does it have to be cooked?

If so, for how long?

4) How many servings are in this package?

To play, each student chooses one food package. He reads the package to find the answers to the questions. He writes these answers on his paper. When all the players have finished, they place their papers in a pile, mix them up and then take another player’s papers.

Now comes the really fun part! Each player takes a turn reading the questions and answers someone else wrote, as if the answers were for her own package. For instance, Jada might have a package of instant mashed potatoes. Her actual ingredients are dried potatoes, salt, and flavoring. But she might end up with the paper written by someone who had a box of chocolate breakfast cereal. Then she will read that her potatoes are made mostly of chocolate, wheat and sugar.

The game can be played several times as long as there are a variety of food packages from which to choose.

You can see how such a simple game idea, using everyday products, can indeed be a fun reading game!

As you teach your students and parent your children, be on the lookout for more fun reading game ideas of your own. You’ll be surprised at how many good ideas you’ll find!

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Online Gaming

More and more people are addicted to playing online games. With plenty of new and exciting games to choose from, people of all ages are now looking into great online games. Today, there are online gift cards you can purchase to buy the games you want to play. These cards can even be used to buy your favourite songs, movies, and TV shows. Experts shared some of the pros and cons of online gaming.

Advantages

You can try it before buying – Online gaming systems offer demos made for gamers so they can try playing that possible purchase as well as decide how much they would want prior to investing. Moreover, you can also buy games right then and there, without the need to rush out to the store.

Access to exclusive content – This one of the best reasons for choosing to play online games. You get to have access to the exclusive content for whatever it is that you are playing.

Communicate with other people – Online gaming will allow people to interact while playing, assisting people to maintain great relationships by communicating with family and friends all around the world. Certainly, this will be very helpful for gamers. Team building skills will be reinforced. Also, more tactical and strategic elements will be added to game-play. In turn, this can help increase your memory as well as develop lateral thinking.

Competitive – It allows you to compare your playing against different players. There will certainly be a feel good factor in knowing that you are a far better player than somebody else. Being aware that you are not against artificial intelligence will install more competitiveness. And since you are not always going to be the best, you will learn how to display good showmanship.

Disadvantages

System updates – If you are about to download the game you want or perhaps play online, there will be a time when a system update suddenly pops up and delay your game-time. You need to wait for it and then reboot.

Server issues or glitches – Glitches are viruses in game causing it to run irregularly. This is actually an issue with all game types; however, they are more common to online games. You may experience a series of server difficulties that are very frustrating for gamers.

Piracy – There has been incidences of breaching copyright laws, scandal, and letting users to pirate games illegally. And these situations have presented a big problem for the world of online gaming. In fact, the scandal caused plenty of controversies so there are some games that were shut down.

The Impact of Technology in the Classroom

How has the use of technology impacted teaching and learning in the PK-16 classroom?When is comes to behaviorism technology has made it even easier. It used to be just like Pavlov’s dog, when the student does something right they get praised verbally or with a good grade versus a treat or a scratch behind the ear. Shaping behavior is important and we need to ensure there is a baseline. Technology almost guarantees that specific learning will take place as the objectives are determined by the teacher. Teachers can set specific goals and the students will know what they need to do to get there. Benjamin Bloom first came up with the idea that the student will succeed in learning the task if they are given a specific time to do it. Technology allows for you to more easily chunk lessons into specific times. Students will perform better, especially when they succeed and get the praise of the teacher. Although the stimulus is provided by the teacher, it will do no good if the students do not receive it equally. (Snowman & Biehler, 2003)
Other ways computers assist is that they offer the ability for repetition and feedback to the student. Teachers can also incorporate the appropriate enforcer’s to the lesson whether it is text, video or audio. The student does the task right they can get a smiley face , text telling them they are “Correct” or audio saying “Good Job!”. (Parkay & Stanford 2004)Social Learning is learning occurs when students learn from each other whether it be through modeling, imitation or observing within the social context. How can you do that with technology? Normally the students work on their own computer, but you can have them do a group project. When students do a project together they will observe how other groups are proceeding and imitate them if it is working well. The teacher usually also models what they are requiring the students to accomplish. Even when working individually the students will assist each other as one knows more than another.There are cognitive factors in social learning as well as behaviorism. There is a clear line between learning by observation and student imitation. The cognitive process maintains that the attention of the student is the critical factor in the learning process. The expectations and consequences that are reinforced will bring about similar future behavior. (Ornstien & Lasley 2000)
Cognitive learning is learning that occurs when a learner process information. This is similar to behaviorism but the student has more input to accomplish how they reach the planned outcome. The teacher can model a project but the student may have other information that will aid them in accomplishing the outcome. An example would be how I instructed my students how to set up an Excel spreadsheet. I had them set up a basic spreadsheet showing how much their parents spent on them in a month. This was relevant to the students and caught their interest. They went beyond the initial project and had boarders, colors, etc. on their spreadsheets. The students who did this were praised aloud and the other students wanted to know what they did and how. This tied in the social learning as well as the behaviorism theory (Didn’t even realize it at the time).When is comes to designing and developing lessons to incorporate technology the constructionist have the nod. Seymour Papert of the MIT Media Lab stated,”Constructionism holds that children learn best when they are in the active role of the designer and constructor.” When the student is actively involved they have the buy-in to the success of the project or assignment. The students will be more apt to complete and learn more from it when they have some ownership. The students in turn will share their new found information when doing the assignment with the other students allowing for the constructionist learning. This form of teaching eliminates the grade and goes more with a go, no go process. Teachers assess the students by the completion of the assignment or lack of completion. This is better because of students being able to play a greater role in the process and assessing their own progress.We teach ourselves how to learn. This is the constructivism theory on how we learn. With technology this couldn’t be truer. Most students have a basic understanding of the computer. They can download songs, play games and set up Myspace web page. What they can not do is build a spreadsheet or power point presentation. The teacher will give them a basic understanding but the students will learn from trial and error and construct their own learning.History of the computer use in the classroom started off slow. Saloman and Globerson (1987) suggested that underachievement in schools is because of the lower expectations on the part of the teachers, parents, and society. That was because the teachers themselves really hadn’t been exposed to the marvels of what a computer and the associated software could do for them. The Commodore 64, Apple II along with the Macintosh began their strong emergence in the early 80′s. Software programmers had a vision about the computer and how it could be used in the classroom. They developed software that teachers could use along with their instruction. Apple began teaching the teachers and Macintosh soon followed suit. This was the beginning of incorporating the use of computers in the classroom. (Jonassen 2000)Using computers in the classroom allows for all the learning theories to come to fruition. A computer allows for the cognitive process to bloom and brings about the social learning as well. When a student is given an assignment or project on the computer they will strive to complete it. The different things they learn they will share with other students especially if they think it is the bomb, cool or whack. On the flip side it can inhibit learning if the student is completely computer illiterate as frustration sets in as they cannot proceed as well as others. The computer also allows the teacher to develop lessons for all the multiple intelligences.With the advances computers and programs are taking on a daily basis, it is allowing for more interaction in the classroom(s). It is even allowing students from different schools to interact. Technology also allows for time to be better utilized, the outcomes of the objectives to be more easily determined and goals easy to implement and automate.