Reflections on Game Day…

Arcade Game Day!

Arcade game day was awesome, everyone came up with great games that involved learning through play!  I was impressed by everyone’s level of creativity in coming up with a combination of both fun and learning.

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Was your game one of chance or skill or a combination of both?  How did people respond to the style of play?
My game, EZ as Pie Fraction Action was a game of both skill and chance.  It begins with a bit of chance by spinning the wheel.  When the wheel stopped on a fraction, then came the skill part.  The player needed to create the fraction visually with a paper representation of a pie.  When the fraction is properly displayed with the paper pie, some skill was then required to tell me the percentage of that fraction.  The final part of the game required a bit luck by being able to throw jacks into a cup that displayed the percentage equivalent of the fraction that was selected. Judging from the various player reactions, it seemed like everyone enjoyed the game.  Even though some players couldn’t tell me the percent some fractions equaled, I had to keep giving them clues 🙂

Did your game allow for players to construct knowledge (through play they learned the lesson) or was it more of a showcase of knowledge (asking players for answers to questions would be a good example)?
My game can be used to learn about fractions by seeing it visually with the pie and it can also be used for rote memorization learning methods.  Once the players have a foundation of fractions, this game can be used to memorize the various fractions facts.  For this reason, it think the appropriate grade level is 4th or 5th grade.

How did the mechanics of the game turn out?  Was it slow, fast, cumbersome, just right.  Same with the rules.  What would you change and why?
The mechanics of the game turned out well.  The electric motor and battery pack kept it interesting.  The pace of the game was quick as you move from one part to the next.  This is especially useful for kids who have shorter attention spans.  If this game was implemented in a classroom, I would modify it to include a timer for each game.  As the kids get familiar with the fractions, the next step would be to make it second nature to them.  Sort of like 2 + 2 = 4 (no one thinks about that but everyone knows the answer)

At the end of the first day, I was overwhelmed by the amount of information that I had to understand.  I had never blogged before and was not familiar with some of the concepts such as embedding a youtube video, let alone making a youtube video!   Through asking questions, researching and collaborating with my classmates, each day was more fun and interesting than the previous day.  I now have a twitter and pinterest account that I use daily.  Aside from the blogging and creating games in class, I really enjoyed reading and researching about different bloggers in my field.  This was one of the very few classes that I can say I’ll be referencing for years to come.  It will definitely play a role when I look for efficient methods of teaching as I begin my career as an elementary school teacher.

I now understand why the class was designed and constructed around the arcade.  If I had to put a theme around this winter session, it would be ‘Learning Through Fun’.  Since we are all [hopefully] future educators and former/present students.  We can see that when a topic is interesting it makes it easier to understand and learn.  For children, what better way to learn than to go to an arcade.

The assignment that I’ll never forget was the ‘make a tutorial assignment’.  Although it wasn’t as easy as it sounded, I enjoyed every minute of it.  Thank you Professor Smith for a wonderful experience!