Room Recess - Think, Wonder, & Teach

Room Recess

I was going to share with you all Day 1 Round 2 but to tell you the truth….. I AM EXHAUSTED! So, I have an amazing guest post that I know you all are going to be as excited about as I am!

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Parents and teachers are always looking for ways to keep their children engaged, motivated and driven to learn. I know this because I am both. I’m Brian King. I have two children of my own, am a third grade teacher and the developer of RoomRecess.com, an educational website for children.

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It always bothered me when students in my class would get done with their work and spend time on the computer doing things on sites that were advertised as educational, but were far from it. So I decided to create a website just for my class that would host games they could play during their down time, that also reinforced what I wanted them to practice.

As a teacher, I know that most children don’t get the repetition they need with many of the basic skills required for a successful learning experience. What better way to reinforce these skills than to integrate them into the very games they play in their free time.

It all started with a simple game called Cheese Race. I started with two cartoon mice that had to race to a piece of cheese, except the only way to move your mouse was to get multiplication problems correct. It was a big hit in my classroom, so from that point I became very motivated, seeing my students’ joy of learning in this way, and began developing about one game per week, focusing on the skills written out in our Common Core State Standards.

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I called my website RoomRecess.com (primarily because it was something my kids started playing in the winter when they were stuck in the classroom for recess). Right now, RoomRecess.com has nearly 30 games, and I have begun developing a reading skills section (cause & effect, context clues, main idea, etc.) to be used as reading centers during our reading block this upcoming year.

When I sit down to develop a game, I first think, “What is something my class gets excited about?” (ice cream, thunderstorms, snowball fights) and from there, I insert something I feel they need to work on and try to add varying levels for other grades.

One of my personal favorites is Tic-Math-Toe, a game that children can play against a friend or the computer. Either way, they have to answer a math problem correct in order to place their X or O on the grid (difficulty ranges from kindergarten to 5th grade). Most of my games are designed to be played on an interactive, projected screen like a Smartboard, and many of the games can be played together or as teams, but all of them can be played from a desktop computer.

I designed a flash card game that could be played on the Smartboard in such  a way that allows them to play in teams. Flash Card Races (I call it) allows the children to pick team names, the winning score, and problem difficulty. It’s a great way to start off a morning or get them engaged just before a lesson.

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I’ve also recently added games that help children to count coins and tell time, both in real-world ways. In the coin counting game, Coins for Candy, students are shown a piece of candy with a price tag and are required to place the correct amount of change on the counter to successfully purchase the treat. There are also many word games that require the children to spell things correctly and reward them with greater point totals for forming larger words.

All games at RoomRecess.com are free and available for everyone to play at any time. There is no requirement to sign up or hold an account. It’s a great resource for teachers and parents to use with their children at home or at school. The only requirement to play is that the device you use has Adobe Flash Player, which most computer already have, but can also be downloaded for free. I’m simply a teacher wanting to share a resource I’ve created.

As an educator, I realize the importance of the limited time we have with the children. So I made sure that when students load up games at RoomRecess.com, they are always learning while they play!

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I really can’t say enough good things about Brian and his site! Sorry I had more to write but then I had one child say “what’s a cheese race?” Followed by another one who said “oh! zombie paintball!” and now I have 3 kids who are trying to rip away my computer so they can play the games.

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PS… if you can’t find me its cuz the boys are still playing at the site up above. Brian… HELP! How do I get them to stop playing??

Posted by on Jul 11, 2013 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

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