Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Explore Like a Pirate Book Study Ch. 9

Today I am linking up with Sweet Sweet Primary for our book study of Michael Matera's book Explore Like a Pirate.  Join us each Tuesday as we share our takeaways from this book that is all about engaging your students.  If you missed my previous posts you can find them here:

This chapter is all about finding the joy in assessment.  Isn't that an oxymoron?  Not so if you use games to assess Matera says.


Mini-games in the classroom should provide a "brain break" and serve as a confidence builder for your students. Matera provides a variety of game ideas and suggests investing in a buzzer system. 

I use this set from Learning Resources.  My students absolutely LOVE them!

Royal Rumble

This is a traditional review game with a few twists.

You will need:

  • Prepared review questions
  • Buzzers (optional - you could just have students raise their hands to answer)
  • A line on the floor where 1 member from each team will stand.
Students answer questions and win points for their team for each correct answer.  They lose points for incorrect answers.

You can modify this with bonus points, not losing points, or ????

Mystery Box

You will need:

  • Prepared review questions
  • Game Board (Point cards turned around backwards on the board)
In this game students answer questions and if they are correct, they get to choose a mystery "box" to open for points.

Fun Fillers 

These are just what they sound like, and are used when you have 5 minutes to fill or just need a brain break.

Super Silent 

This is a series of challenges that students must accomplish without making a sound.  If they don't achieve the task, they are given another chance.  If they do, give them the next challenge.  Matera says to be ruthless and demand absolute silence! If they wiggle a little too loudly, they start over.  Some suggested challenges could be:

  • Start seated, stand up.
  • Switch seats with someone on the other side of the room.
  • Stand on one leg for 15 seconds.
Bean Bag Toss

This game is similar to silent ball.  You play with a bean bag using the rules below:

  1. Students stay in one spot with little movement.
  2. No talking.
  3. Toss beanbag underhanded
  4. Good tosses and catches.
  5. Additional Rules can be added such as (catch with left hand only, throw to someone wearing blue, etc.).

Do you use games in the classroom?  I would love to hear some of your ideas!

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