By Victoria Vypovska
Staying productive in the classroom is a challenge for both teachers and students, and it can feel nearly impossible when you have a long list of house-keeping things to get done, in addition to learning.
The best way to fix low productivity: figure out what’s causing the issue. The reasons why students don’t work effectively are numerous, and it’s important to learn about the problem before trying to solve it. For example:
- Students get exhausted from being overloaded. Multitasking doesn’t always make students productive.
- There are too many distractions in the classroom (noise, talking, mobile phones and tablets, etc.).
- Students lack motivation.
- Students are not confident in their own abilities.
- Teachers and students have an antagonistic relationship that gets in the way of working collaboratively.
- Students set too many educational goals or don’t set any at all.
- Students fail to plan their study routine, have weak organizing skills, or don’t know how to prioritize.
There are a number of solutions to the problem of low productivity in the classroom, but I’d like to focus on just one. It is rather simple and enjoyable and yet undervalued—not all teachers are willing to try this method: educational games, aka gamification.
Games are engaging and get kids excited; good educational games are the perfect combination of utility and fun. Whether the games are online or offline, both can be used to boost productivity and engagement in your classroom.
Below are eight games for students of all different levels that can help make your students more productive. Note that practically all of these games have several degrees of complexity so you can tailor them to your classroom.
Educational Games: Elementary Students
This simple game was created to develop reading and writing skills. Students must collect coins that create a word using the vowels displayed on the screen.
Math becomes fun and captivating when you play number games. Kids catch the floating sums with the bumble bee and drop them into the appropriate equation.
Memory development in students is one of the most important tasks of teachers. This task can be made easier thanks to online educational games like Buried Memories. Three items are buried, and the player needs to find the one displayed on the screen. You win by getting five matches.
Each square on the board has a question about addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, squares, cubes or square roots, depending on the degree of complexity. The user places an X on a square and answers the question. The game places an O on the board after you place an X, creating a fun cominbination of tic tac toe and math problems.
Educational Games: Middle School Students
This is a great online tool for students learning Spanish. There are four levels: 1) Students click on the correct Spanish word; 2) Spell the correct Spanish word; 3) Click on the correct English word; and 4) Spell the correct English word.
Confusing different words with each other is a common problem. Even college students find it difficult to find choose the right word sometimes. The Word Confusion game lets students choose a correct word to complete sentences and shows if they did it right or wrong. It’s simple, fun, and effective.
Students have a number of puzzles in front of them. The task is to figure out where each puzzle goes and place it in order from lowest to highest amount. To solve this task successfully, students need to know fractions.
There’s a math problem, or to be more precise, a dinner bill. Students must calculate the correct tip to leave the penguin waiter. Hard and Super Brain complexity levels also allow students calculate a percentage tip left and original bill.
Educational Games: High School Students
Sudoku is a game that develops logic, which is why people of all ages enjoy playing it. You need to find appropriate digits from 1 to 9 to fill the blank spaces on the playing board such that every number appears once in each horizontal line, vertical line, and square.
Quiz Hub is a resource that presents students with quizzes on different subjects, including Math, History, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography and a few others. Students can learn with question-and-answer style games, fill in the blank and more.
Students learn how to be strategic planners with Food Force, where the task is to stop world hunger. Students can use their own ideas on how to solve the problem, alone or as a team.
With this chemistry-based game students need to create molecules using atoms floating on the game screen. There are six types of atoms and they all have different amounts of combining power (from 1 to 6), making a challenging science topic easier to understand.
The productivity challenge of the classroom is not as tough as it might seem at first gaze. Educational games can become an integral part of your daily routine. If you don’t want to spend time on educational games in the classroom, you can ask your students to play them at home. They’ll love combining gaming with studying.