#diffimooc Week 5 Blog: How are games providing new opportunities for differentiation in the classroom?

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Games in the classroom are highly motivating for students and they can usually work at their own pace. The differentiation is built into games because of the nature of gaming in the classroom. Students are usually able to work at their own pace in games. My students are using games to deepen their understanding in math and language arts.

When students are given the freedom to create within games, their creativity comes out. Students are given the opportunity to follow their own interests when they are given the flexibility in games such as Minecraft (Ossola, 2015). When students are given the flexibility, they can be creative and work at their own pace. Games provide a different opportunity to learn various concepts where we might be able to reach students with different learning styles. Teachers can differentiate tasks within Minecraft and students use the chat feature to communicate difficult concepts within the game (Teacher Take Advantage of Minecraft in the Classroom).

The games that I have been using in my classroom are math and language arts games. I have been using IXL math and language arts for students to practice 2nd grade skills. Monforton encourages his students to play math games in his technology classes. IXL is a game that makes learning math and language arts fun (2015). While students practice at their own pace, they are earning rewards and metals within the game. Splash math is an app/website that my students have been using in the classroom, it is common core aligned and students have the opportunity to practice math skills at their own pace. It is a fun and engaging way for students to practice skills (2005).

Games provide differentiation in the classroom because they are usually self-paced. Students have the option to do as much or as little as they can do within the games. I have been using IXL and Splash Math to help deepen my students understanding in math and language arts.

References:

“Monforton Teacher Instructs Coding to Kids.” The Belgrade News. Web. 12 Feb. 2015.

<http://www.belgrade-news.com/news/article_6716d926-ae2a-11e4-959b-13ebce844c1c.html&gt;.

Ossola, Alexandra. “Teaching in the Age of Minecraft.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media

Company, 6 Feb. 2015. Web. 11 Feb. 2015. <http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/02/teaching-in-the-age-of-minecraft/385231/&gt;.

“Practice Math & Language Arts | K–12.” IXL Math and English. 1 Jan. 2015. Web. 12

Feb. 2015. <http://www.ixl.com/&gt;.

“Splash Math – Fun Math Practice for Grades 1-5.” Splash Math. Web. 12 Feb. 2015.

<https://www.splashmath.com/&gt;.

“Teachers Take Advantage of Minecraft in the Classroom.” Education World:. Web. 12

Feb. 2015. <http://www.educationworld.com/a_news/teachers-take-advantage-minecraft-classroom-60294258&gt;.

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4 responses »

  1. I like how the games provide a self paced experience for the students. I think it’ important to give them “enough” time to finish an assignment or learn a concept. Everyone learns differently, so we need to remember that when requiring students to work on a project or complete a game. I have never heard of Splashmath before. I like how it’s aligned with the common core state standards. I found planet turtle this week, to be aligned with common core and the teacher can choose what concept the students work on. It is also a math program K-8th students can use.

  2. Ali, I think this is one of the reasons that students love to do the games in the classroom. Not only can they go at their own pace but them students also have to opportunity to be creative and follow their interest. Nice post!

  3. I have experience using iXL, but limited using Splash Math. I have had some teachers use the free Splash Math apps, but they are very limited. I will have to check out the paid versions I didn’t realize they were also a website. Is Splash Math something your district/school pays for? Or do you pay for it for your class? It’s also nice that many of the games are accessible at home. My daughter’s school uses Mathletics and part of her homework is doing activities online at home. It’s a great way for parents to see the importance of using these resources as well.

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