My Latest Attempt to Bring More Games to the Classroom
Mike Petty
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I have a great job in a school district where I get to work in all grades helping teachers to use more technology in their lessons. Over the past year I have enjoyed many opportunities that allowed me to use games in the classroom.

One thing I’ve been doing is creating game activities for the interactive whiteboards and response systems that we have in our district. We use Promethean ActivClassroom equipment, so I create them in ActivInspire and post them on Promethean Planet. That software can be downloaded and used in a limited fashion for free, so one does not need the boards or a certain type of response system to use the games with students.

The whiteboard is great for showing off an eye-catching graphic design. The software allows for some randomization of cards or similar items in a game. The response system lets all the students vote in various ways (for example multiple choice or sort in order questions) and analyze the results.

The list below highlights the activities I’ve made so far and the games they are based on. Since most of them are related to games I’ve made, this list may seem very self-serving. I freely admit I took the opportunity to post on Promethean Planet so I could get exposure for my games. However...
**The activities themselves are free and they do not require anyone to buy my games to enjoy them in class.

**I have a sincere desire to add some fun in classes. It is exciting for me to think that thousands of students could eventually enjoy these games with their teachers and classmates over a period of time.

**This is a good first step in introducing other games into the classroom or at least into schools. Just pointing out the Geeklist will help some teachers and students discover games that they didn’t know existed. For teachers who know the games, the activities also can be used as an introduction before students play the physical games in groups in class.

**I definitely want to hear suggestions for other games that would translate well. I have contacted one other publisher about this so far, as I need their permission before posting their games of course. Please comment with titles that you think would work well.

Also, I’d encourage anyone else to download the software and create the activities. The 60-day trial is fully functional.

I post other information about these games at my blog here:
http://classroomgamesandtech.blogspot.com/

On to the game list so far...
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1. Board Game: What's It To Ya? [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:4423]
Mike Petty
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I started this experiment last year with this game. It was recently published by Find It Games and I got permission to make the "flipchart" version. It has been up since October and downloads seem to have picked up since I uploaded the other activities.

First I uploaded an activity that allowed a student to draw 5 random items from the game. The student ranks them on paper and the class ranks them with the response devices hoping to match the student's ranking. Results are compared and discussed.

http://www.prometheanplanet.com/en-us/Resources/Item/65897/o...

This summer I got thinking I could make activities specifically for some classes using pre-selected word lists. Now I have these activities:
Government:

Family/Consumer Science:
http://www.prometheanplanet.com/en-us/Resources/Item/92019/o...

Government:
http://www.prometheanplanet.com/en-us/Resources/Item/91960/o...

Debate/Speech:
http://www.prometheanplanet.com/en-us/Resources/Item/91625/o...

Vocational Studies:
http://www.prometheanplanet.com/en-us/Resources/Item/91672/o...
 
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2. Board Game: Yaddy-Yadda [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
Mike Petty
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I didn't actually make a Yaddy-Yadda activity, but one of the games I created before that used the Yaddy-Yadda cards was a haiku game. Players created haikus based on a random letter draw. See Why Did the Chicken...? and Get Paul That Promotion for examples of published games like this that I also had worked on in one way or another. We called them creativity games and played them in a variety of ways.

I took this idea to the classroom by basing the poems on a random draw of two topics. 3 - 5 contestants play in front of the class. The other students vote on those contestants' poems with the response devices.

It comes in two varieties. One is a general game:
http://www.prometheanplanet.com/en-us/Resources/Item/67086/t...

And the other could be used in a Mythology class. It has some words from common Greek myths:
http://www.prometheanplanet.com/en-us/Resources/Item/91900/h...
 
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3. Board Game: Take Your Pick [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:10376]
Mike Petty
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My party games Take Your Pick and Take Your Pick II have been very popular with students over the years. I knew right away that it would make a good classroom activity, especially at the start of the school year when it could be used as a way to introduce students to each other.

Due to permissions with the publisher, I had to change the name of this to This or That?. It is based loosely on the actual game. A player is "it". He or she draws a few pairs of words (all from the previously mentioned games). The student secretly picks the one that most matches his or her personality. The class votes with the devices as to which they think will be chosen. It's extremely simple and students have had fun with this version so far as well:

http://www.prometheanplanet.com/en-us/Resources/Item/92529/t...

 
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4. Board Game: Ximo [Average Rating:2.00 Unranked]
Mike Petty
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I think I made only 2 copies of Ximo, then I decided it was too expensive to produce. Somehow it still managed to end up here at BGG with the lowest rating of any of my games! Regardless, it is exactly what I wanted it to be. It plays like Nim, but it has a random setup each time.

When I was teaching high school math the students loved playing versions of Nim on the board, so I made this flipchart activity. It has a version of Nim, a 5x5 setup for Tactix and a way to play my Ximo game. The features of the software make it easy to quickly set up and remove the dots, though the rules are not programmed into it.

Even if the class isn't in to watching two people go head to head, this would be a fun activity to have up on the board for before school or before class when students drift in early.

http://www.prometheanplanet.com/en-us/Resources/Item/92400/n...
 
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5. Board Game: Ostrakon [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:8718]
Mike Petty
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I didn't make an Ostrakon activity, but the game I came up with, Split Decision, reminded me of what I remembered of Ostrakon. I've actually never played that game, but I had read the rules.

When I was making up these classroom games, I remembered an activity I did with some students where we were posing two choices and the goal was to make balanced choices. I thought this would make a fun competition between contestants, sort of like the Haiku Game above. The contestants would each offer two choices to the class within some category. The goal would be to make balanced choices. The class votes on which choice and the score is based on the difference between the two results. So, a split of 45% and 55% would result in 10 points. Points are bad.

I mistakenly thought that was how Ostrakon was scored. Still, since that game came to mind shortly after I started formulating my rules, it seemed fair to point it out.

http://www.prometheanplanet.com/en-us/Resources/Item/92306/s...
 
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6. Board Game: Wits & Wagers Family [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:1213]
Mike Petty
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I'm happy to announce the first game based on Wits & Wagers Family is up:

http://www.prometheanplanet.com/en-us/Resources/Item/95677/w...

I tested it this week with students and it went over very well. I'm planning a few more in other subjects and I also hope to make some based on Say Anything in the weeks ahead.
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7. Board Game: Why Did the Chicken...? [Average Rating:6.12 Overall Rank:4754]
Mike Petty
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I was really excited to add this game Kory Heath and I worked on several years ago. Random riddles are created and 3 - 5 students compete for the best answers as determined by a class vote.

http://www.prometheanplanet.com/en-us/Resources/Item/146803/...

Based on the popularity of some of my creativity games, I added this page to my blog to highlight all of them:

http://classroomgamesandtech.blogspot.com/p/creativity-activ...

And here's a post about Kory's work and how I use it and other resources to encourage creativity in the classroom:

http://classroomgamesandtech.blogspot.com/2012/04/inspiring-...
 
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8. Board Game: Say Anything [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:840]
Mike Petty
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I am thrilled that Dominic gave me permission to do a classroom version of this game. We have had a lot of fun with it as a family. The classroom activity based on it has been good for a lot of laughs when I've tested it.

When it comes to simplicity of play and adaptation to several content areas, this is the best of my creativity games for the classroom.

Here's the link to the flipchart on Promethean Planet.

http://classroomgamesandtech.blogspot.com/2012/06/say-anythi...

And here's the link to my blog post about using it:

http://classroomgamesandtech.blogspot.com/2012/06/say-anythi...
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