“The score never interested me, only the game,” Mae West
A few weeks ago, I wrote about why games boost students’ learning. They soothe anxiety and calm the amygdala, making student brains receptive to learning. They make drill fun. They give students a way to beat the teacher. In short, they are a great tool, especially for drill or practice.
Games can be a quick five-minute review to start a lesson or to wrap up one, or they can be the core of practice in a lesson. When I work one-on-one with students, I usually play a game for at least ten or twenty minutes of a fifty-minute session. With that much time, you need to make sure the game is serving its purpose well and efficiently.