Sunday, April 1, 2007

My Student's Favorite Games

I asked my students to tell me their favorite games that we have in the classroom for this post.

20 Q is a game based on twenty questions. This game can read your mind! The class thinks of something like "apple" or "Red Sox" or "wheelchair" and the game asks us questions. Most of the time the game does guess what we are thinking of. 20 Q comes in a table top version (shown) and a handheld version (that's what we have). You can also play 20 Q Junior Online for free. This game is a fun way to work on yes/no skills. We play by voting on something to thing of and then I read the questions aloud. The students use their voices or AAC to answer yes/no/sometimes and we discuss until we reach a consensus and enter it into the game. That way it is all of us versus the game. 20 Q costs about $20.00 and you can pick it up at Target or Kmart.

Super Duper, a great speech and language therapy product company has been branching out over the past few years. This year they came out with the Webber Functional Communication Games Set. I was lucky enough to win this game at a conference I went to early last month. Actually it is many games rolled into one. It includes bingo, tic-tac-toe, board games and card games; not to mention adaptive playing pieces and an electronic adaptive spinner. Designed for non-verbal students, the games focus on receptive and expressive communication through Mayer-Johnson PCS. At nearly $65.00 this game may seem expensive, but for all it includes it is a bargain. Just the Mayer-Johnson symbol cards would set you back nearly as much purchased alone, making this a worthy purchase.

Also from Super Duper, my students are fond of some of the fun decks. Mostly they use the various fun decks in their speech sessions, but I have a few for the classroom as well, including All About Me, All About You, a favorite. The deck includes directions for several ways to play this as a game, but the simplest is to go around the group letting each student have a turn picking a card and then letting each student answer the question. This is also a good way to see if you how well students AAC devices are programed to tell about themselves. Each fun deck costs $10.95.

Trouble with the Popomatic Bubble is a long time math game favorite of my class. With built in adaptive features that aren't even suppose to be adaptive like the game pieces holders and the popomatic bubble and the simple game concept it is a winner every time we play it. I love that it is a way to work on that elusive concept of 1:1 correspondence without feeling like I am torturing my students.

Like every other special needs classroom out there my students are also fans of Bingo. We have a variety of versions of Bingo, including PCS Bingo, picture Bingo, color and shapes Bingo, number Bingo, sight word Bingo and safety sign Bingo. You can find these games at your local teacher supply store or online at

Of course we also have a large variety of teacher made games. A favorite is Pick-a-Poll, which we play almost every day. Pick-a-poll consists of simple questions, usually yes/no or two choice, written on Popsicle sticks an placed in a magnetic cup on my white board. At the end of the day we usually Pick-a-poll, that is a student helper chooses one question from the cup and we go around the room answering it (kids and adults). I tally the results of the poll on the white board. (If I don't tally the results the kids get annoyed and point at the board, frowning.) Here are just a few of the questions:

  • which do you like better winter or summer?
  • which do you like better spring or fall?
  • which do you like better weekdays or weekends?
  • do you like field trips?
  • do you like to swim?
  • do you like parties?
  • do you like country music?
  • which is better McDonald's or Burger King?
  • should we have a dance this year?

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