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Active Student Learning Games


March 17, 2009

Found In: games, kinesthetic learning, listening & following directions, phonics, reading, vocabularyword recognition

I have a class this year, two-thirds of which are very active boys, most of whom are struggling readers, and I had been looking for ways to engage them and boost their progress. When I noticed how much they loved playing the game Twister, I decided to use that to my advantage. I created several homemade Twister games using shower curtain liners. I made up several versions, such as: 

  • Short Vowel Twister,
  • Long Vowel Twister,
  • Parts of Speech Twister,
  • etc.

These games help students to identify and classify phonics rules. I ask them to place their hands or feet on a picture that fits a certain category. For example, they may be asked to put their right hand on a short e picture.

My students were so enthused about this game that I also use it to help them to classify parts of speech and science vocabulary (carnivores/herbivores/omnivores).

I also developed Sight Word Hopscotch (also using a shower curtain liner), in which students jump on squares with sight words instead of numbers. I change the sight words each week as the students master them. I also use an adaptation of Chinese Jump Rope, during which students read a fluency phrase as they complete each jump. All of these activities not only incorporate active movement into students’ learning, but they also help students learn directionality and following directions skills. 

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