INVENTING NEW GAMES – 1 hour activity, either standalone or as part of a broader scheme.
CONTENT -The class was split into groups. Each team devised a game which had to be be both collaborative and competitive, using only the resources they were given (we used velcro floor markers, £10 for a pack of 20). Students worked together to develop their game goals, rules and strategies. They presented their game to the other groups, invited others to play the game, then gave critical feedback on each others work.
OUTCOMES – This activity promotes positive group dynamics and joy of learning. It provides opportunities for communication, application of number, teamwork, negotiation, project planning, problem solving, decision-making, coping with stress and tension, conflict resolution and performance evaluation.
RESEARCH – A common theme in brain research is that effective learning is more likely when enjoyment is high, stress is low and learning experiences are relevant to students.
Novelty promotes information transmission and retention. Joyful, stress-free activities bypass the amygdala’s affective filter, making students more responsive to processing, learning, and remembering. Pleasurable associations linked with learning release dopamine; most associated with attention, decision making, executive function, and reward-stimulated learning.
Furthermore, there are no studies showing that fun, joy, laughter and exuberance in the classroom have a negative impact on learning.
Get playing in your classroom!