13 Virtual games to play in your Elementary classroom

While most educators feel burnt out this year, classroom games old and new can provide a much-needed respite for students and teachers who are exhausted from video lessons and miss social activities.

We found some easy-to-use virtual games that elementary teachers played with their students this year, and tips on how to incorporate them into their classrooms.

Gaming With Google Slides

Liz Henneberry, a third-grade teacher in Franklin, Massachusetts, turned Connect Four, Trouble, Chess, and Dames into Google Slides after noticing how much her students missed informal social events during blended learning. The latter two are adaptations of the Eric Curts templates, all of Henneberry’s templates can be used immediately in your virtual classroom. During recess, students create their copy of the game by clicking on a board game placed in the virtual lounge. Students can then share the game with their friends via Google Drive so they can play together. If students are new to sharing Google Slides, Henneberry recommends modeling the step-by-step process first.

Likewise, Robin Nahhas says her third graders love to play Multiplication Tic Tac Toe, a game she made on Google Slides so they can practice multiplication facts. Before playing, Nahhas reads instructions and a code of conduct with students, reminding them not to interfere with classmates’ games or to cancel agreements such as their gaming privileges.

She then pairs up students and places them in a Zoom breakout room. Each pair of students chooses a set of colored tiles, and when it is their turn, they roll two number dice, multiply the displayed numbers, and place the tile with the corresponding number on the virtual board. To play again, move your pieces back to the side of the board. If students need help solving a problem, they can rely on their buddies or click the Ask for Help button after their first attempt at the pencil-and-paper strategy learned in class.

Games For Boosting Creative Thinking

During the morning meeting, fifth-grade teacher Sarah Wood said she included games like scavenger hunts that the class could play together while studying at home. When it came time to play, Wood would project a word like a blanket and a matching image on a slide, and students scrambled to find the item in their house. If they find the item, they can share it on the video or type it in the chatbox.

Wood even targets the game to specific learning goals, such as B. Find objects that reinforce vocabulary or put items together with objects. At one point they were asked to find a broom, a blanket, and some heavy objects, and then they had 10 minutes to build a reading fort. During the async period, they toured their fort using Flipgrid.

She says her students also enjoy guided drawing exercises — when students are instructed to draw something without seeing it. Wood gives things like “Draw a large ellipse with a small ellipse inside; place a triangle on the left according to an image in a picture book or instructable on the Drawing YouTube channel”, “draw the major organic product of the reaction shown“. When their students finished drawing, they turned on the cameras, put their work on the screen, and guess what they were drawing. Wood then showed the actual drawings, which caused a lot of laughter, she said.

Wood’s students also enjoy games in which they take on more active roles. Using Blackboard Collaborate for Pictionary, students take turns drawing on the whiteboard, prompted by a word generator, while students present their guesses. The next time Wood plays, she’ll be using Whiteboard instead of Blackboard Collaborate, a free virtual whiteboard. When playing Taboo, their students took turns trying to describe a word, such as crack, while being barred from using related words, such as drop or glass, while other classmates guessed. And her students are obsessed with competing with their peers, such as being the first to name a Disney movie on the popular quiz platform Kahoot.

Viral Sensations

It was initially difficult for students to interact face-to-face via Zoom during distance learning, but the viral video game Among Us, a kid-friendly crime thriller, inspired engagement and conversation in Vickiela Wright’s fifth-grade class. she says.

In the game, each student is a crew member on a spaceship and is responsible for keeping the ship running. One or more of the students are imposters tasked with killing the crew without being detected. Between rounds, students used Google Meets to guess the imposter and forge alliances to find the killer.

Wright says, “Conversation, problem-solving engagement, and teamwork are all very powerful and surprising. One student said it was the best part of her life”

Similar to Among Us, Werewolf is a reasoning game where students take on the role of villagers or werewolves. The students work together to solve the problem and kill the werewolves before they become werewolves themselves. And the wildly popular Minecraft: Education Edition can serve as a meeting place for students to socialize with their pixelated avatars, and even participate in art-based station rotations.

About the article

While most educators feel burnt out this year, classroom games old and new can provide a much-needed respite for students and teachers who are exhausted from video lessons and miss social activities. In this article, we discussed the top 13 virtual games that you can play in your elementary classroom to make teaching more interesting as well as engaging in the time of online education due to the pandemic.

Jack Marque

Digital Marketer with over 15 years of experience. Certified Digital Marketer and Educator by Google, HubSpot, and many other companies. An ex-employee @uber and @zomato

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