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Subject: Please assist us in setting up a BG school club rss

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Panagiotis Stogiannos
Greece
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Hi friends,
My wife, who shares (part) of my passion for board gaming, is working at a high school and has decided to run a BG club. I sort of volunteered to help... We talked with the administration of the school and fixed a time and place. The club will take place during the 1 1/2 hour break in a big classroom with large tables.
We expect both middle and high school students, ages 12 to 17, hopefully both boys and girls. We have also contacted our FLGSand have their support as well (although this has not yet materialized to anything concrete).
The format we have in mind is the following:
Introduction to a category of games and presentation of 1-2 examples of this category. For example we were thinking to kick off things with Blokus and Ubongo, because both have Greek editions and enjoy this 'spatial perception' aspect, although they play very differently.
Then the students will get to play the game (for the remaining 1 hour).
Another session could be devoted to tile placement. I think you get the general idea.
We also plan to hold two events in the year. One a pre-Christmas board game day special and a competitive event in late spring (if all goes well).
We welcome, indeed ask for, ideas, comments and anything that you feel might be helpful (i.e. do we run a ranking list, should we introduce (as I have read elsewhere in the forums) games like RISK 2010, etc.).
We very much want this to work, so if you can help please do.
Thank you
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Freelance Police
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I'd recommend adding party games to your list. They can attract the non-gamers, and you could have events where adults and parents play as well. Say Anything, Wits and Wagers, and the various non-English Out of the Box Games work well for general audiences.
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PenumbraPenguin
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Let me just add a recommendation for Blokus - I've taught it to several groups of kids of about that age, and it's been fantastically recieved each time.
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suPUR DUEper
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I think a game like Roborally is a good game for developing spatial awareness and logical thinking.

Galaxy Trucker is a good "design, build and test" game.
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Scott Nicholson
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A few things to consider:

- I did a free class on YouTube about gaming in libraries this summer. It's bigger than just board games, but there's a lot there that will apply to your situation. It's a 30-video class that will take you about 7 hours to work through. All of the videos are at http://www.gamesinlibraries.org/course/?page_id=117

- I've got a geek list of "Bait games" which are games that I have found useful in this type of setting. I call them bait games as they will lure people away from video games to try them and they are easy to teach.
http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/36564

- There's some folks doing great work on games for school libraries which focus on the pedagogy of the underlying games. Their work is at
http://sls.gvboces.org/gaming/
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Panagiotis Stogiannos
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Tbank you all for your nice suggestions. We held the first meeting of the club today, during the 'big' (ie 1,5h) break and I think it was a success. Indeed I thought i might start a new thread somewhere in the forums to discuss what happens in the club (and to post some pictures and stuff). If anybody has any suggestions as to where in BGG forums would be more appropriate to post, please help.
Again a very warm thank you to all.
BTW...
We had Blokus, Ubongo, Bandu (Bausack) and Villa Paletti for the kids to play, and of these the best "bait" was Villa... they absolutely loved it (although we played a variant to accomodate more students).
 
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Stéphane Athimon
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Can we still make some suggestions :

I thought about ricochet robot (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/51)
As I also have a boardgame club in a high school in France, I've tried a lot of things the las i tried today was Mr jack (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/21763) and Halli galli in order to have a mix between games where you have to think and games which are easy and light.
What i thought first was to have the rules explained in less than 3 minutes.
They have also liked the kakerlaken poker (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/11971), wazabi (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/48979),
I also plan during the year to have a kind of world cup with this game (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/327) I've seen i has been tested in France near Paris it sounds funny.
I also plan to have more strategic games during the year.
That's all for now.
have a nice day.
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Jeff Szekely
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Other Suggestions for games that have worked well in our 7-12 gaming club:

History of the World - I never knew so many kids liked history! I think they just love the pieces and getting to fight each other - with dice of course.

Axis and Allies - Older kids mostly

Diplomacy - for the older kids

Acquire - great for what's going on in the economy today

Pirateer - MENSA select title - not that that means that much

Star Wars Epic Duels - popular but not that educational

Clue Secrets and Spies

Risk revised - this edition is more popular than the classic one because of playing time

Pandemic - gets played every single week

New World: A Carcassone Game - panned by BGG elite but loved by the kids here.I personally like it better than the original.

Pit - A classic where kids get to yell, scream, trade, and be uncivilized - just like Wall Street!

All of these games have been played more than twice in the past two months. Most are great at developing strategic skills as well as spatial awareness and historical context. More than that kids in this age group love them!

cheers,
Jeff Szekely
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Matt Taylor
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I was wondering how often you do these gaming gathering in schools. I am contemplating one or more gaming sessions with the local school, and/or local homeschoolers (as we do that also).

Also, what faculty involvement do you tend to have? Is it just show you to a usable room and let you go, or is there a teacher or other employee there to help?

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Jaime Lawrence
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Game Teacher 1 wrote:
Other Suggestions for games that have worked well in our 7-12 gaming club:


As a teacher, I'm wondering how you got the school admin to agree to such things and how you got the kids involved? If I suggested this I'd have maybe 3 kids and strange looks from most of the staff...
 
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Panagiotis Stogiannos
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wha2do wrote:
I was wondering how often you do these gaming gathering in schools. I am contemplating one or more gaming sessions with the local school, and/or local homeschoolers (as we do that also).

Also, what faculty involvement do you tend to have? Is it just show you to a usable room and let you go, or is there a teacher or other employee there to help?



We meet once a week (on Wednesdays) during the big break (which lasts from 13:10 to 14:20, roughly one hour). We have 20 students attending the club on a regular basis, with 5-6 students who are not regulars but come to the club once-twice per month.

We have requested, and received, a grant from the school (it is a public school) to purchase its initial board games collection (which is, for the time being, kept in a locker; but we have made arrangements with the school's library, to include said games in its collection and to lend them to student,s for them to play during the breaks in the library (there are several large reading rooms with good sound-proofing).Our collection consists, at the moment, of 3 copies of Blokus and Ubongo, one copy of Blokus 3D, Keltis, Tally Ho!, Ticket to Ride, You Robot, Bohnanza, Carc and Werewolves of Miller's Hollow.

We are also planning to host 2 major events (open game days) in collaboration with Kaissa and several games groups in our town. I shall keep you posted on these.
 
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Matt Taylor
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Thanks, and I hope the open games events go well for you.

My local school is K-12 ages 5-18 so I'll have to limit who attends, I'd imagine.
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Damon Hoffman
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I think having some trading style games might also be good, such as:
China Town
Container

and some meeple placement games would be a good intro to euro style gaming, such as:

Stone Age
Castle for All Seasons

And I'm sure some of the boys would like a dungeon crawl, like:

Runebound
Descent

But if your school doesn't already have a Chess club, I would concider setting up a Go group, because I find Junior high and High school kids learn Go very well.
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Jeff Szekely
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Hida Mann wrote:
Game Teacher 1 wrote:
Other Suggestions for games that have worked well in our 7-12 gaming club:


As a teacher, I'm wondering how you got the school admin to agree to such things and how you got the kids involved? If I suggested this I'd have maybe 3 kids and strange looks from most of the staff...


It's an after school club - not during the day so the admins had no problems, especially since I provided all the games and the funding for prizes came from student dues, and not from district coffers. My principal is also a huge Risk fan (I know, stop the booing) so it really wasn't a stretch. Plus, we have a reading list and that helps. As far as kids, I recruited the dorks and geeks from my band and choir classes. It gave them a place to belong and a place to have fun, not just work at things. I also did a decent job of marketing.

As far as the odd grade level (7-12) our school building runs those grades under one roof so it was just logical to include everyone. It's pretty cool, the older kids often teach the younger ones and "groom" them for positions of power in the club. Fun times.

I started with only 5 kids but the club now brings in almost 15 to 20 kids per week. Kids have friends and they have friends and it kind of grows like a disease.

We run ours on Thursdays from 3:30 to 5:30 and meet in our library. The tables are big and there are plenty of them. We also now have three faculty affiliated with The Arena. The newest of which is the former head of the chess club. Last week he had a 36 move match with our Thai exchange student. The student did wind up beating the teacher, but Mike could have had him if not for over confidence.
Good luck to you guys. I hope these things spring up all over. Mad props to "myiu" down in West Virginia. Another Arena going strong!

cheers,
Jeff
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Ryan Full
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And I'm the second Arena!

I did the same thing Jeff did. I had a core of 5-8 kids who were interested. We meet in my classroom once a week after school from 3:30-4:30. That worked well for several years.

Then I saw the things Jeff was doing with his Arena and really liked the idea of meta-gaming. The kids enjoy the competition and it renews my interest because I can be entertained by the larger scale game while maintaining the club. Back when we were smaller each week I always joined the kids in a game each week. Now I get too many kids and too many games running to really play with them much.

I actually hold an extra meeting once a month with just the club officers where they get to sit down and have one serious game against me. :lol:

Definitely look to the paradigm Jeff set up. It works and is really fun to run. The competitive kids jockey for leaderboard positions (I post a leaderboard in my classroom every week and intend to update it on a club blog as well). The non-competitive kids just come in and play and don't care about their position on the boards (and therefore just ignore the metagame).

Either way, The Coliseum is in West Virginia as a younger sister to The Arena.

-Ryan

edit: As a sidenote - My officers enjoy coming into the school and upstairs to my classroom before the kids are really supposed to be in the building. I enjoy having a few minutes to chat with them and socialize before the day really starts. To that end we decided they needed permanent passes (so other teachers would let them by).

So over the holiday break I made full color business cards for the officers that have their name, hall pass info, my signature, and their title. They were so stoked to have permanent cards that said things like Sam - Caesar. :lol: Oddly enough, I thought it was awesome as well and wish I had a business card declaring me Caesar.
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Michael Swanson
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I am a 7th grade math teacher and started a game club in December. We meet 3-5 Wednesdays.

Our game Library consists of:

Pitch Car
For Sale 4X
Incan Gold 3X
California
Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride Europe
Life
Careers
San Juan
Carcassonne
Numbers League 3X
Risk
Robo Rally
Kingdoms
Medici
Chess 3X
Checkers 3X
Chinese Checkers
Bamboleo
Blokus 5X
(I am prbably forgetting a few)

Just got another grant and will be purchasing

Fairy Tale
Container
Worm Up
Mimic
Wasabi
Scotland Yard
Snow Tails
Bohnanza
Mamma Mia
Money
Hare and Tortoise
Tally Ho
Key Largo
Giro Galoppo
Strat-O-Matic Baseball (hopefully to set up a draft league)

Also looking at when more funds come my way:

Settlers of Catan
Modern Art
Heroscape
Lost Cities
Oregon
Ice Flow
Thunderstone
Dominion

Anyway, what are some other suggestions for a Game Club for 6-8 middle school students?

I just want to make sure I am not missing some relly good ones out there.
 
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Gerry Smit
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As the chair of the Parent Advisory Committee (Ontario's version of the "PTA") for my son's Middle School I can't think of anything more fun than setting up a games club that isn't just Chess and Checkers.

One of the points that is well worth pointing out in any of your write-ups aside from the obvious educational and edu-tainment goals is the leadership development skills being taught. A couple of the previous posters have mentioned dealing with the club officers, and with older kids grooming younger kids to run the club in later years. THAT IS A HUGE ASSET for any student, and thus for any club. If you EVER get flack about "playing" vs "learning" haul that leadership training card out fast! The literacy, numeracy, and spatial learning they'll have heard before. But "leaders of tomorrow" should rock any nay-sayers back a bit.

Finally, I will try and get the game's list from Harrison's teacher. She stocks several titles in her in-class library for lunch breaks.

IIRC "Smart Ass" was the current #1 favourite!

Gerry

eta: Clean-up, readability. ghs2
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