Thursday, October 16, 2008
It's Game Time!
This session was presented by Angela Phillips and Rick Pinchot. Their session was about using instructional games to create an engaging and powerful forum for the development of students' strategies in addition and subtraction. A few minutes prior to the session beginning Angela and Rick went around the room to get to know the participants and find out where everyone was from and their backgrounds. This helped create an easy going atmosphere in the room. As the session began it was clear that everyone was spell bound by their presentation. The audience happily participated in the discussion and games. I believe the reason for this easy demeanor of the room is because of the dynamics of Angela and Rick. To watch them teach other teachers is a treat.
They began the session with a conversation about Dominoes. They wanted each table to add up the dominoes found in the middle of the table. This seems like an easy task with few differences. However, each table organized and counted their dominoes differently. It lead into a discussion of strategies and organization.
Next the room discussed the plus/delta's of using games in the classroom. Some of the plus': games are interactive, students are motivated, reinforces lessons already taught, multiple strategies are used. The delta's discussed: parents have misconceptions about games, missing pieces, noise level, preparation. Things to remember: recap the game to talk about what they have learned and play each game multiple times.
Rick and Angela also showed videos of students playing games from classrooms at Chets Creek. After watching a clip, the audience had the opportunity to discuss the work they saw and play the same games. It was a powerful session. I am sure all of the participants walked away with a new understanding of the importance of using games in math.
Posted by Michelle Ellis & Debby Cothern at 7:37 PM