After putting my students into teams, I showed them LOTS of examples. I pulled out our Candy Land Board Game, and pulled up Google Images to show tons of examples. We discussed how there was a theme, bright colors, a designated path, etc. This helped when they planned their own games. Although the stickers were going to be used...even if they didn't match their game's theme! It was interesting to note that one of the teams really had a struggle creating a game that had a clear path. I think this reflects their lack of background playing games. It was enlightening for me to see the problem solving and struggle going on even with the simple task of planning their game.
Initially I planned for my students to spiral review several standards within one domain, as they planned, created, and played their math games. Big mistake! This is really a huge undertaking for inexperienced game creators. Even though my second graders are ready for third grade next year, developmentally they could only focus on one standard. Once I narrowed down their focus, and again provided examples of the kinds of questions they could create, they were off and running. A good rule to remember is "simple is best!"
My students planned out the theme, type of game, materials they would need, and any additional notes, prior to starting their game boards. This led to productive talk and kept them focused on the task.
They worked together to plan their game boards on paper or white boards using dry erase markers. Again, this promoted collaboration and engagement.
Finally they worked together to put their masterpieces on paper. I supplied white bulletin board paper which gave them plenty of room to think and create.
I quickly found out it was in my best interest to have individual storage containers for each team as they worked on creating their games this past week. I put out containers and teams choose what worked best for them.
I'm loving these magnetic tins I discovered at the Dollar Tree. They are perfect for holding game pieces. We just put them up on the whiteboard each time we are done!
This was a great end of the year activity for my students. They were highly engaged during the entire process. In addition to delving deeper into the standards, we learned problem solving and team building skills. I hope you found some of these tips useful!