As distance teaching became a necessity, I noticed that students were clamoring for interaction, engagement and connection with each other AND with their teachers.
A good portion of my distance teaching strategy wasn’t the ‘assign them work and then check if they did it’ strategy. Just like inside the classroom, relationships came first. Attending to student’s socio-emotional needs was imperative!!
To help maintain and foster classroom community with my students, I found that games helped. While on our Google Meet (or Zoom Meeting), just sharing, connecting and spending a little ‘fun’ time together went a long way to support socio-emotional connections.
If you’re looking for some ideas, here are some games that I played with my students that genuinely helped foster connections and supported a fun connection with my kiddos!
✨ Scavenger Hunt✨
In this game, students retrieved designated items. First, you spin a spinner and then have students retrieve an item starting with the correct letter or select random items. The first 3 students to show the requested item wins! Download this FREE direction sheet for suggested game play and a link to a digital spinner!
Students can create their own bingo cards or you can provide them with digital cards to fill out. I chose to play emoji bingo and created a spinner with DOZENS of Emojis on it. Check out the downloadable game here
With this game you spin a spinner and a letter is revealed, then a category is revealed. Set a timer for students to brainstorm as MANY items as they can in that category. Scoring rewards the most unique items that are brainstormed as a designated student reads their list, anyone with a matching item crosses it off. Unique items earn a point. This interactive online resource includes a letter selector, timer, category selector and more! Grab FREE game directions here
There are many fun ways to play this game! Have students all visible in grid mode and then spot an item in the background in a particular students home. First student to guess the item wins.
An alternate version is a picture/I Spy game. Try this digital BOOM Learning Card I Spy game where students compare digital images and spot the missing item.
This is a super fun game for those risk takers in your group AND it supports math skills! It’s a game of luck and a ‘little’ bit of skill. Students avoid getting “Snaked” during a 5 round challenge of dice rolls. Here are free downloadable directions!
This game is a slightly more positive spin on the age old “hangman” game. Students work as a group to see if they can identify the missing word BEFORE all of the parachute cords run out! Download this FREE game here
✨Close Up Images✨
The Close Up game is just that, students are provided a close up image of an item and they see if they can guess what the item is! Check out the downloadable game here
✨Would You Rather✨
Would you rather is a game of choice. By giving students two choices, and assigning a “1” or “2” to them, students can vote during a video conference by holding up one or two fingers. Or you can work your way through every student in attendance and provide each students with an individual question. Some questions to get you started are:
- Would you rather be invisible or be able to fly?
- Would you rather eat chips or candy?
- Would you rather never be hungry again or never be thirsty?
- Would you rather be a famous singer or a movie star?
Students love to TALK! Get them going by partnering them up with a link to this Conversation BOOM Learning deck and watch them go!
✨Nonsense Phrase Guessing Game✨
Hop on over to thinkablepuzzles.com and grab a list of nonsense phrases for students to guess. Abe Ban an appeal = A banana peel! Have students sound it out (if you’re patient with a little craziness) or of have them type their guesses in chat. Your kiddos will have a great time!
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