Does this sound familiar…..you’re talking to your class about a particular concept and your students look back at you with blank looks on their faces or you ask a question…..and all is silent. This is just the time to implement some quick and easy classroom games to re-energize your students and get them back on track for learning.
Classroom games – books
Over the years I’ve used many books to help me find inspiration for fun classroom games. Below are a few options that you may like to try out.
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101 Great Classroom Games – The games in this book cover a range of areas from science, to math and reading. And they’ve even ranked the games according to noise level, so if you need some chill out time and a quiet game, then you can pick them easily with the noise level indicated.
101 Classroom Games: Energize Learning In Any Subject – The games in this book work well as starter activities, for the middle part of a lesson or even to re-energize kids when you see them tuning out.
Energizers! 88 Quick Movement Activities That Refresh and Refocus, K-6 – This book is suitable for grades K-6 and includes many different ways to get your kids moving. The energizers are labeled by grade level and they also include variations and suggestions to help adapt them to fit other grades.
I also wanted to share with you some of my favourite classroom games. Below are my six favourite classroom games that you can use to get your students energized and ready for learning again.
1. Red elbow
This game involves the teacher calling out a colour and a body part. Students must find an object in the room that is that colour and then touch the selected body part to that object. For example, if the teacher calls out pink thumb, then students need to find an object that is pink and touch it with their thumb. The teacher continues calling colours and body parts.
To make this into a game students that are too slow in completing the instruction can be asked to sit down. The last student remaining is the winner.
I have used this game with every class I have ever taught and they have all loved it. This gets students moving around the room and using all parts of their bodies, a great energizer.
2. Copy me
This is simply a game of copycat. The teacher uses a combination of clapping and sounds to make a pattern. Students need to copy what the teacher says/does. This can start with a simple pattern of only 2-3 and can extend to add more. To make it even more challenging complete the pattern quicker and see how many students are able to keep up and remember all the parts. An example pattern could be: clap, slap, snap, click and yell.
3. Hear me
This game is an extension of the one above. This time students need to keep their eyes closed and use their ears to listen to the pattern and then copy.
4. Beat the teacher
This is probably my favourite game to play in the classroom. Essentially it is the class against the teacher.
The students must copy four beat patterns that the teacher claps, except for one. The teacher claps the forbidden pattern to the students at the start so they know which one not to copy. For instance, the pattern not to copy is: ta, ta, ti-ti, ta. The teacher then claps various four beat patterns that students must copy. At a random time the teacher claps the forbidden pattern. If even one student copies this, then the teacher wins 1 point. If no students copy, then the class scores 1 point. The first to 5 is the winner.
This is another game that I have done with every class….and I think I’ve only ever been beaten a couple of times 🙂
For this game your students will need access to chopsticks. This can be completed in a couple of ways. Firstly the teacher can say different patterns, and then the students copy by using the chopsticks. For instance, the teacher may say ti-ti, ti-ti, ta, ta, then the students would clap this out with the chopsticks.
Alternatively, the teacher can clap out a pattern on the chopsticks and the students copy. The teacher can make the patterns progressively harder, faster and longer until the students find it too difficult to keep up and follow the pattern correctly.
6. Rhythm race
This is a race between 2 students. The teacher claps out a rhythm using some common patterns, such as ti-ti, ti-ti, ti-ti, ta. Students run to the board and then write the rhythm clapped by the teacher. The first student to write the correct pattern is the winner. The winner can stay in and a new challenger is selected.
I hope these six classroom games have given you some new ideas for how you can energize your class when you get those blank looks.
If you would like some more fun classroom games, fill in the form below and I’ll send you my Classroom Games Cheat-Sheets.
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