Education is getting more complex for the teachers, yet the need for healthy lifestyle choices is constantly growing. Everyone loves a good game, whether it’s a board game, simulation game, or a gaming device. Games can also be educational tools; Ed Dieterle, a Senior Program Officer for Research, Measurement and Evaluation for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said that “for a student sitting in the median who doesn’t have a game, his or her learning achievement would have increased by 12% if he or she had that game." Shapiro’s study also found that “play is useful because it stimulates real life experience – physical, emotional and/or intellectual – in a safe, iterative and social environment, not because it has winners and losers. The achievement lies in the act of learning and understanding itself." Many teachers have already realized using beneficial game-based learning strategies can be quite effective, others are still hesitant or overwhelmed at finding good ways to engage the students in learning and games. Incorporating games into healthy lifestyle choices is a way to make eating and choosing healthier options less intimidating, including games in school curriculum is also a good way to make learning fun and memorable. A few tips for including games in the classroom are listed below,
You can also find games explained in greater detail here.
The use of tablets is also quite popular in some school districts, using educational based games on forms of technology allows students to learn through technology. Check with local Extension Offices or school boards to find education based nutrition aps and games that can be used to teach in the classrooms.
Many games are already employed in the classrooms, adapting them to have healthy rewards or adding some nutritious information is often quite simple. Many times, having subtle changes will bring healthy choices to the forefront of a student's mind. Making small adaptations to the current curriculum is easy. Below are some simple ways to include healthy food into discussions:
Incorporating games in the classroom can enhance learning, increase fun, and get the students interacting on a positive level with their fellow classmates.
Sarah Ransom, University of Tennessee Extension
Marzano, R. (2010, February 1). The Art and Science of Teaching / Using Games to Enhance Student Achievement. Retrieved December 1, 2014, from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb10/vol67/num05/Using-Games-to-Enhance-Student-Achievement.aspx
Shapiro, J. (2014, June 27). Games In The Classroom: What the Research Says. Retrieved December 1, 2014, from http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/06/games-in-the-classroom-what-the-research-says/