Let’s face it, most people enjoy playing games. Thinking back to when I was in the school full-time, some of the most fun days we had were when we decided to play a game. I often wonder why we didn’t incorporate them more often. There are a number of benefits to playing games. Here are 5 reasons why you should incorporate games into your classroom.
Engages the Students. Playing games is one of the easiest ways to engage our students. It is engaging because it involves them, capturing their attention and makes learning fun. There is an anticipation that comes when we play games and excitement of the unknown. It eliminates the monotony of the day-to-day experience in the classroom.
Builds Community. Playing games is a great way to build community in your school. When students come to our school, they naturally form cliques in the student body. Games force them out of their “group” and requires them to work with other students. Sometimes they will be on the same teams as their friends, other times they won’t be. But whatever team they end up on, they must learn to work together if they want to win. And let’s face it – who doesn’t want to win.
Reinforces Learning. The whole purpose of the classroom and the student salon is for the student to learn. It is really one of the best reasons we have to play games. Students learn through the process of playing a game. By putting our content into something fun, it creates a connection to the material, creating positive memories of the learning process. Because the fun and silly moments of the game stand out to them, students can recall those memories when it comes to taking a test, increasing their testing ability.
Makes us Better Educators. Anyone can stand in front of a class and read out of a book. Excellent educators will find a way to take the content in the book and bring it to life. It doesn’t matter what discipline you’re teaching, what level of student you have, or whether or not you are in the classroom or student salon. You can find a game that can be used to support what you do. Just about any game out there can be adapted to our content.
Students Love It. I asked several students why they liked to play games, here is what they had to say:
It breaks up the monotony of bookwork
Being interactive helps us retain the knowledge easier
Builds relationships with other students
Helps me remember
Helps me understand the information from the book
It’s fun! It brings us together, we have fun and learn stuff at the same time
I like the silliness of it. We can be ourselves and have fun, and it helps us learn
It’s fun and that puts us all in a good mood, and that makes the whole day good
No matter whether you love games or can’t stand them, there is value in adding them into the classroom. Give it a shot and see what happens.
Lisha Barnes is a Cosmetology/Barber Instructor with over 25 years of experience. She started out in a small private school working in Admissions, Financial Aid, Education, and School Director. She was a Director of Education for a chain of Private Cosmetology schools. Currently she serves as the Academic Development Manager for Milady where she supports schools and educators around the nation with continuing education, curriculum development and product knowledge. Lisha has served as an Educator for Milady’s Career Institute; NACCAS Commission; Career Educators of America Committee Member; and has authored numerous writing projects for Milady. This industry experience allows her to see the industry from a variety of viewpoints, which helps in sharing information and ideas with educators all around the world.