Everyone loves to play games. They’re engaging, motivating, and fun. And from an educational perspective, they can be a powerful learning tool. Here’s what games can do:
- reinforce skills learned in the classroom
- develop mental math skills
- encourage strategic thinking
- foster mathematical communication
- build confidence
- engage parents
But one of the best things about games is that they offer meaningful practice in a way where kids actually want to do math. That’s because games, by their very nature, are fun. It’s not too hard to entice a child to play a game. And because of that, games offer important practice in a way that worksheets can’t.
When it comes to homework, we need to tap into the innate interest and motivation that games provide so that we can help parents sneak in some important math reinforcement. It’s no secret that the more engaged parents are in their child’s education, the better their children do in school. And current research says that homework can be effective when it piques students’ interests, doesn’t take too long, and allows repeated exposure to master new skills. Games fit the bill on each of these.
So let’s make it easy to engage ALL parents in their child’s learning by periodically sending home games for homework instead of worksheets.
This is where our Power Packs come in. These Power Packs are filled with engaging dice games created specifically for parents to play with their children. Not only are the games fun but we took great care to design them around the skills students are learning in the classroom.
Each Pack comes with the games and game pieces needed so all you have to do is pop the Pack in students’ backpacks. It’s as simple as that. Soon, parents and kids will be enjoying the games together – not to mention each other’s company!
To give you an idea how this might work as a part of your classroom routine, we put together an introductory letter and weekly game take-home slip (2 pages) that you can send home to families. And with conferences coming up, it’s the perfect opportunity to introduce the game packs to parents. In fact, you may also want to share this fabulous TED Talk that underscores the importance of practice – or what the speaker calls the learning zone.
Of course, the Power Packs are also perfect for your Family Math Night event. Here’s how we use them at our events.