Although some resources are made with specific ideas in mind for how they will be played or used in the classroom, sometimes teachers need to adapt. Today, we’re talking about how to modify Digital Review Games for different scenarios.
One of the hardest parts about teaching in the upper elementary classroom are all the changing variables in the equation.
Sometimes you plan to have 20 minutes for an activity, but a last minute guest comes through the door and drops that down to 10 minutes, or you plan an activity for groups of 4, but you end up with an odd number of students. Then, your high school basketball team goes to state and the pep rally requires you to remove an activity from your plan altogether.
The constant change within the classroom environment definitely keeps teachers on their toes, but it also makes teachers appreciate resources that can adapt with the needs of the classroom.
Having a good lineup of digital resources that require little to no prep and can be adapted for different scenarios is important to maintaining control and making swift changes day to day.
These Digital Review Games were designed with adaptation in mind. In addition to being fully digital and easy to set up or replay, they also can be adapted for a number of different set-ups. Today, we are showing you exactly how to modify Digital Review Games of different scenarios.
How to Play [The Original Version]
Each of these Digital Review Games include 30 self-checking questions, an interactive game board, and a recording sheet that teachers can use for accountability purposes.
In the original game, the students play the game following these rules…
- Students roll the dice using the start and stop function on the dice-rolling video, and then they move that number of spaces on the board.
- Then, using the clickable pdf document, they select the number of the question they have landed on, and they answer that question.
- If they get it right, they place an X on the spot and they roll again.
- If they get it wrong, they stay there, and the next student rolls.
There are enough game pieces in the interactive game board for 6 students to play. We have also included bonus questions for students to answer if they land on the same spot as a player before them.
How to Modify Digital Review Games for 5 Different Scenarios
Scenario #1: I need to use this game during center time as an individual activity
Although these Digital Review Games were initially created to be competitive group games, sometimes they need to be modified or used as an individual activity.
You can modify these activities for individual students in a variety of ways, but for the most part, you are probably going to take out the gameboard, and have students only use the questions.
Here are some ideas for modifying individual student play…
- Give students a specific list of questions you want them to work through based on the type of practice they need.
- Create individual ‘skill lists’ that identify which skills are being worked on in each question, so you can quickly print out or handout a list of questions to students as a way of differentiating the review.
- Provide students with a time limit to challenge them as they go through the questions one by one.
- Ask students to roll a dice, and only answer the questions that end in that number.
- Ask students to pick three game pieces. The student will play through the game using each game piece, and then at the end, they will record on the board how many turns it took each piece to get through the game. Using the data gathered by the students, you can then use the information as a math lesson.
Scenario #2: I want to play the game as a whole-class with students in pairs, but there aren’t enough game pieces.
If the game is being used as a way to pre-assess or introduce new content, then one way you may modify it is by allowing students to work in pairs.
The benefit of playing in pairs (especially early on in the introductory phase of the content) is to provide students with extra support and someone to lean on when they are uncertain of an answer.
Although the game only has enough digital pieces for 6 students, you can always project the game board onto a magnetic board and use magnets as game pieces. (Note: If you project the game board, you may need a second computer for showing students the questions.)
Using magnets as game pieces allows the teacher to include as many student groups as they want while also giving all of the students an opportunity to work through all the questions. In this scenario, we highly recommend passing out a recording sheet to every student, so that every student or pair is answering every question.
Then, play through the game just as you would during regular game play, with pairs responding with their answers.
Scenario #3: I want to play the game as a whole group, but I want to be able to use the questions more than once.
Each Digital Review Game includes 30 self-correcting questions. If you are playing the game as a whole group, and you want to be able to use questions more than once, simply project the game board, but run the questions off of a separate computer. When an individual student or a pair of students lands on a space, pull up the question on the other computer, read it aloud for all the students to answer, and then have the students come to the computer and select their answer in secret. They can announce if they got it right or wrong, but they will not tell the other students their choice. This will keep the answer secret, so that if any other students land on that space, they will not know the answer to the question.
Scenario #4: I need the game to be longer with more opportunities for students to answer questions.
If you want the game to be longer, consider making your own game board. Using a game board from a game like Chutes and Ladders or Candyland, number the spaces randomly with numbers 1-30. Then, let students play through the game as they normally would, but use the tactic discussed in scenario #3 about hiding the answers to allow the students to reuse questions.
Scenario #5: I want students to play this game in small groups, but I don’t want them screwing around or getting too distracted.
Any time a game moves too slowly or students don’t feel like they are being held accountable, you run the risk of students getting off task. So, with this modification, we are addressing both the timing of the game, and the accountability factor.
To deal with time, give students a specific time limit to play, and even go so far as providing a countdown timer to keep them moving. We want them working quickly, but not necessarily rushing, so make sure the amount of time provided is fair and appropriate.
To help with accountability, use the recording sheet, and ask every student to answer every question. This will help keep them motivated to pay attention. You can also create your own accountability sheet in the form of a Google Form that students can pull up on their computers and type into. If you are using a Google Form, just make 30 questions that say What is the answer for turn # 1?, and What is the answer for turn #2?. Each student in the group will answer the questions during each turn in their game, and then submit their answers when the game is done. You don’t have to check these answers, but it will let you know if the students were paying attention or not.
These Digital Review Games are highly adaptable and by using this list hopefully you are starting to get a clearer idea of how to modify Digital Review Games for different scenarios that you encounter in your classroom.
If you’ve come up with any other scenarios you’d like us to discuss, make sure to drop a question about it in the Q&A in the store, or drop a comment on this post. Maybe we’ll be able to add your scenario to this list!