It’s been a busy summer for me this year: William and I were married four weeks ago, and when we returned I began working for the reDiscover Center’s Pasadena expansion of their Tinkering Camp project.
The idea behind tinkering camp is to teach kids to use tools, give them access to materials and help them generate ideas, and then just let them do their thing. Continue reading
I’m taking calculus for the first time right now, and it’s got me thinking about math learning a lot, especially how to build intuition for math concepts and see them as tools for problem-solving in the real world.
As a grade school student, I always liked word problems in math class, for two reasons:
- There’s a heuristic pleasure in reading a passage and figuring out the math problem hidden in it. This is much more interesting to me than just getting the math problem by itself.
- There’s considerably less math per character in a word problem than in a block of equations. Since I suffered from fear of math in school, this was a big plus for me.
Images are versatile game elements. Here are five vocabulary games that require nothing more than a set of cards with vocab images on them. All of these games ask players to repeatedly access target words from memory in order to achieve a goal that requires more than just vocab recollection.
Don’t have an image set already? Try some of these.
The Two Problems with Jeopardy
I have played many a Jeopardy-style quiz game in class. And with good reason: quiz games adapt to many topics, and they stir up students’ competitive spirit, making for an easy kind of engagement.
1. But if I’m honest about it, I have to admit that with this kind of game, it is most often the strongest students who invest and engage the most. Many games result in winners and losers, but one of the benefits of using games in class is that they can give middling or even poor students a chance to be victorious – something quiz games rarely do.
If you create your own games, you have ideas that need to be tested. Create a lab space for yourself by keeping a game kit around, with some basic components in it that can be used for just about any mechanic you have in mind.
Game parts aren’t very expensive, and you don’t need much to get started. Here are five of the most useful, most versatile components, along with sources and, if you need them, even cheaper substitutes.