Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Kiddos not getting along? Try having them create group games for a game center!

 
 
 
We were having difficulties getting along in our class. Lots of tattling and arguing was beginning to occur.  Yikes!!   So a little cooperative group work was in order and as a result we have lots of new games for a class game center!
 
I divided the class into 5 groups to begin planning their games. The first hurdle for them was when  I asked them to decide on a "theme" for their game such as Candy Land, an ABC game, number game or Chutes and Ladders.  Some right away wanted the games I mentioned while others wanted to create their own theme.   I did have some groups voting and a few that had pouting members who did not get the theme that they wanted.  In the end it took two sessions of planning intermixed with a class meeting for everyone to peacefully decide on their theme!
 
Hurdle 2....planning the game board!
The next day I gave each group a large piece of paper and asked them to begin planning one game board.  They were asked to use pencils and to really think about the details of what they want their game board to look like.  Oh boy....we had a couple of groups that had 4 game boards on one piece of paper.  Lots of reminders were needed that each group had to create ONE game! Eventually they got there and we put them away to come back to the next day. :)
 
Hurdle 3...adding the details!
Once the game boards were planned I asked the groups to think about the colors, words and even extra pieces such as cards and dice that would be needed.  Finally the groups starting working really well together!! They were listening to each others ideas, delegating jobs and helping each other to finish. It was amazing to see! 
 
Hurdle 4...creating the rules!
Each group had to create rules for their game.  Again...lots of discussions and listening to each others ideas!  The above rules are:
*  Do not cheat.
*  Do not break the rules.
*  Do not cry if you lose
 
Last but not least...
On the last day of this project I asked the groups to play their games a few times to see if anything needed to be changed.   This was a very important step for them as many realized they needed more items such as color cards or dice. 
 
Once the games were completed each group was allowed to explain their game to the class.  The games are now part of a class game center.  It is very rewarding to watch the children go to this center and explain their game rules to another classmate. They have a lot of fun playing them and there has not been any arguing! 
 
By focusing on creating the games this past week my kiddos are back on track with treating each other with respect. They are listening to one another and are doing a great job with taking turns.  This may be an activity we repeat before the school year is over!
 
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