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Subject: Games for Teachers rss

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A. B. West
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Beech Grove
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My oldest girl came home and announced her teacher just got some new board games for the class: Battleship and Othello. I groaned. "How could you let this happen? Haven't I taught you better than that?"

Here's my question. My wife and I have decided to buy board games for our kid's teachers this Christmas. So what I need are a few recommendations: for science, math, history/government and literature. A few constraints. These are kids from 5th grade (10 years old) to 8th grade (13 years old). The games have to be fast to teach and fast to play (20-30 minutes tops).

What say ye?
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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Set. We played so much Set in math class. It was really fun. For others a simply chess/checkers set is always nice since a lot of people already know the rules.
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Giles Pritchard
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Shepparton
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Language: Apples to Apples Junior is a good one.

Science: Polarity Magnetism obviously, but another one more about the scientific method would be Zendo

History/Government: Depends how complex you want to go - from Road to the White House to 1960: The Making of the President and beyond... certainly though these will last longer than you want. If you are after Geography at all I can suggest the 10 Days series or the TransAmerica/Europa games.

Maths (there are more for this area than any other): Carcassonne (spatial skills, pattern recognition and basic number facts), or Unnamed Object (division, addition, risk management, chance etc) are two good ones.

There are a great many more games for each area, I would also suggest checking out (or providing a link to) www.gamesforeducators.com - which is a website for teachers about board and card games and how the relate to education.

Good luck and I wish you great success!!

Cheers,

Giles.
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Bob
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Tried and scored with 5th Graders:
Diamant
Walk the Dogs
Ubongo
Hey! That's my Fish
Loopin' Louie
Get Bit!
Tsuro
Snorta

Oops, responded without reading entire post
Other games I have used with success:
Math--Poison
Social Studies--Democrazy
Science--AC/DC
Language--Apples to Apples Junior
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Chris Schenck
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Dayton
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Good grief, well you really can't get much farther from educational value than Battleship.

Here's a few good classroom-friendly quickies I enjoy that that have some more merit:
Hive
Ingenious
Blokus
YINSH

Really I think Hive is the most appropriate of the bunch. It's quick to teach, quick to play, inexpensive to buy, lots of educational value with strategy and planning. (EDIT: Oh, and I forgot it's nearly indestructible too ... which is very important for a classroom game!)


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Shellie Rose
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Talk to your kid and the teacher before you donate. I was going to donate some games to my daughter's school, but was told the games were used for free time and indoor recess. Therefore, unless the kids already knew how to play or were motivated to teach themselves, the games wouldn't get used and would just end up in the school tag sale. I was disappointed, but glad they were honest with me. I donated a bunch of jigsaw puzzles instead, and they were very happy to get them.
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Ed James
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Perth
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Attribute is a quick and fun adjective matching game, suitable for kids of such age. Kinda educational, cheap and definitely fun.



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Jae
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Bryan
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adamw wrote:
So what I need are a few recommendations: for science, math, history/government and literature. A few constraints. These are kids from 5th grade (10 years old) to 8th grade (13 years old). The games have to be fast to teach and fast to play (20-30 minutes tops).


Doing it by subject is a bad idea.
You'll quickly pigeonhole yourself into games that aren't really educational, rather pandering.

NinjaBob's list got it right. I would add Ricochet Robots to his list.

The thing is you don't want to teach "math" or "science" or "literature".
You want to explore graph theory, or problem solving and such. Games are a mechanism, not a means.
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Greig
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Peterborough
Ontario
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Galactic Emperor
 
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Dirk Liekens
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Dvonn would be great as well.
 
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A. B. West
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Beech Grove
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Thanks for the suggestions!
 
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Mark Hubbard
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Quote:
A few constraints. These are kids from 5th grade (10 years old) to 8th grade (13 years old). The games have to be fast to teach and fast to play (20-30 minutes tops).


Well, I subbed a 5th grade class for a week, teaching groups of 3 how to play Settlers of Catan during lunch. By the fourth day, I was able to let the interested kids teach the other students how to play, which freed me up to play Carcassonne with some of the more 'challenged' students.

Settlers may not fit your parameters, but as listed above from other replies, Carcassonne and Hey, That's My Fish! will always be played, once taught.

 
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Matthew Jones
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Forest Grove
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cbs42 wrote:
Good grief, well you really can't get much farther from educational value than Battleship.


Hey Now! Wait a minute! I have successfully used Battleship to teach map-reading skills, specifically grid coordinates. Then I up the ante and start playing "Go-style" by playing on the intersections of the grid coordinates when I teach real Longitude and Latitude.

How much Longitude and Latitude really have to do with much of anything, I ain't really sure

But Hey, I taught 'em! State Standard checked off (in at least a slightly amusing way, no less!)

Ok OK, ALL the other games mentioned here are better than battleship, but it isn't completely bad.

I like Rat-a-Tat Cat, quick and with an element of bluffing. Not a tremendous curriculum connection, but fun nonetheless.
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Craig Liken
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My wife was relieving at this level once and took some of our games in case the kids had free time. Apparently No Thanks! was a huge hit. Simple game, with I guess some maths application, but the kids really seemed to take to it.
 
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