Posted in Cell Phone Apps, Getting Organized, Getting Started, High School, Teaching

8 “Educational” Game Apps for High Schoolers

Part III:
See here for the Intro
See here for the Serious Apps

So here is a list of the Games we played this year
The basic philosophy of playing Games was this:
1. They are going to play SOMETHING
Why not have them playing something educational?
2. Going along with this “training for adulthood” idea that I talked about before, kids need to be introduced to games that are both educational and popular and even beneficial.
I mean just because we are adults doesn’t mean we have to be serious all the time right???
Making them play games gives them some exposure into Other games out there besides the kill-zombies and battle/homesteading games or race car games that I see them play so often.
Not that those aren’t fun but… exposure here is the idea.
Give them an introduction to other things out there

So here is a list of games we played and how they went:
words with friends
#1: Words With Friends

Excellent connection to English, don’t you think?
This game went fantastic
and overall I think this was the favorite for the year
Only a few kids had actually played this game
But most had heard of it?
The rule was they HAD to play someone from class
(That way everyone got to play)
I required them to play 10 games TOTAL
Over a 3 week period

Problems we had:
1.  games can go on for days and days and days…
So don’t expect them to do “a game a day”
But rather be finished by the time the 3 weeks were up
2. I think the 3 week time period was too long.
By the end of week 2 everyone was sick of it
I think they really enjoyed playing it for the two weeks

alphabetty saga
#2: Alphabetty Saga
This game is like Candy Crush and Boggle put together
The goal is to get a certain number of candies to the bottom
And you spell words to eliminate tiles
Again, good English game I thought
And there are an infinite number of levels
And it’s super cute and actually pretty difficult
I had them set a goal to get to level 15 or 20 I think
For the most part everyone did, a few got stuck
Overall good game

Problems we had:
1. Overall it was enjoyable, but overall it wasn’t as “educational” as I would have liked. You don’t really have to come up with big words, you can spell “can” and “be” and “me” and still win. But still, at least it got them thinking a bit?
2. I wasn’t really sure what a realistic goal was.  In the end I said 15 figuring that would be one level a day if we played every weekday for three weeks? Some people had a hard time but overall, it was a low goal. I think next time I will have more of a competition or something so that they try harder to get to higher levels?
3. Same problem as Words with Friends, I think next time two weeks would be fine, the third week everyone is sick of it

.4_Pics_1_Word
#3: 4 Pics, 1 Word
Another favorite of the year!
I think it would be a tie between this one and Words with Friends
This was both challenging and educational
I was very pleased at the new words that kids learned
(like I helped a kid with the word “sliver” and he couldn’t get it because he only knew that word in Spanish! ha! Funny what we learn and don’t learn, huh?)
Basic idea in case you don’t know:
You get 4 pictures and you have to guess what word they ALL show
Seems simple enough but actually kinda hard because they can be tricky
Advice I gave my classes was this: Stop overthinking it!
These are not obscure vocab words, there are common words!
Relax and don’t complicate it!
It was super fun

Problems we had:
1. I set a goal for them to reach 100 or 200, I can’t remember and they BLASTED past it like in a second. I had a kid at like level 300 on the first day we played it! Finally just did a competition for who could get the highest and that went a lot better. The kid who won got to level 900!!
2. Many kids were already playing this: which is fine, but it made it hard to tell them “Get to level 200” when they were already there 🙂

trivia crack#4: Trivia Crack
Another favorite!
This was the first “Trivia” game we played
This game has four categories and it asks you questions from each
So it applies to English
But also History, Geography, Sports and Science
You can play a Random person
Or you can play friends
And most kids had a good time playing each other
And I got to play a few students as well
Questions are kinda random but some are actually hard
To win you have to win all the little icons
Very entertaining to spin the dial and answer questions
I quite enjoyed this one

Problems we had:
1. It is possible to only have one person and then lose.  (this happened to me several times lol) You keep playing until you miss a question so if you miss a question, there is no guarantee that you will ever get another one. haha When it is finally our turn again, your partner might have already gotten all their icons or close to it. You can challenge them and upset them but really you don’t play AGAINST them so much as WITH them.

mindgameslumosity#5: Mind War and Lumonosity
I started out with Mind Wars thinking this would give them a wide variety to choose from
But it didn’t really work at all
Most of the kids were too overwhelmed at the beginning
There are a list of games
And many of them are free
But then of course they want you to buy it to play the rest
I just think this is a game they would have liked later
For the most part, they didn’t play these

th (4)#6: Are you Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
This is another trivia game
Very similar to Trivia Crack
Modeled after the show if you’ve seen that
They enjoyed this one also
But I think that we played this one a little too soon after Trivia Crack
Everyone loved that one
And this one was just okay
Not quite as cute
And not quite as entertaining
Mostly an ordering problem I think?

Ideas for MORE:
unnamed (1)7. Fish Grammar!
I thought this was the CUTEST game ever
You are the scuba diver
And the fish/sharks/whales swimming by are parts of speech 🙂
To get points you have to “catch” the right words
And if you catch the wrong ones, you get docked points
Super cute, actually very fun to play
I thought this would be a good starter game at the beginning of the year?
Good review on Parts of Speech, easy to play
But we never got to play it
But biggest problem:
It’s only made for Androids 😦
So if they ever make an iPhone version
We will totally be playing this game!

th (1)
8. Word Ox
I found this game towards the end of the year
And it looks pretty good
It is very similar to Words With Friends
Only you can move and use any tiles on the board
Seems a little more cutesy and geared to younger age
But it could still work 🙂
word ox screenshot
It might be one we will play this next year?

I would love to hear any suggestions for more!!

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