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What games work best for large classes?
« on: April 15, 2019, 01:09:41 pm »
Hello all.

I've been teaching in Korea for a little over a year and am having issues with a change in class size.

At my last school I had classes of 14-18. This year it's more like 25-30. I've noticed through trial and error that many of the games that were a hit last year don't go over so well with my co-teachers or students. I've also noticed that smaller groups for whatever reason are grasping game directions a little quicker, while larger classes have a harder time (maybe because there is more to be distracted by).

Some examples of game flops were: Sentence/word pong, Spoons, games where they have to stand up and walk around to complete tasks, and any type of bomb game.

I realize that it's case by case, and what works for your kids might not work for mine, but I'm open to any and all suggestions.

It's really frustrating spending so much time cutting/printing/pasting/preparing elaborate games only to get to class and have the co-teacher or students not be into it (again, these are games that my students loved last year). If it helps this is mainly an issue for 6th grade (mid-level), and 3 out of 6 of my 3rd grade classes (low-beg level).

 Please and thank you.

  • CMC2668
  • Adventurer

    • 43

    • May 07, 2012, 01:08:26 pm
    • south korea
Re: What games work best for large classes?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2019, 04:06:13 pm »
I find games where you can put students into teams / pairs works well. Line bingo is one of my favorites, where you print out some word cards for your students and give a set of 6-8 cards to each pair / group. Then the pair / group puts the cards in a line in any order they choose. Then the teacher calls out the word cards and if the cards are on either end of the line, they can turn the card over. First team to turn all cards over is the winner.
Also, other games like telepathy game where students can work in pairs or small teams works well.

This youtube channel has telepathy game videos on many topics, and other videos, which include instruction videos which keeps the students attention more than simply explaining in English. They can see how to play the game.

  • SanderB
  • Super Waygook

    • 442

    • June 02, 2018, 06:25:54 pm
    • Burning Oil Be Best
Re: What games work best for large classes?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2019, 10:57:48 pm »
Jeopardy, divide class in groups and let a team captain answer the questions (requires a lot of prep).

This charades style game FtP is also a big hit. Divide them in groups of 4. Needs at least 1 Android phone per group.

(I rarely play games in class btw.)
« Last Edit: April 16, 2019, 05:29:11 am by SanderB »
Fiat voluntas tua- What you want is allowed

  • dylanhol1
  • Waygookin

    • 10

    • August 28, 2015, 11:16:56 am
    • chungju
Re: What games work best for large classes?
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2019, 12:48:45 pm »
I agree with CMC above that Line Bingo works well.  That's more of a full-class at once type of game, so I'll add this for making groups of 4-5 (four is ideal)

It's a basic Go Fish game but it's crazy versatile.  I use it all the time with grades 4-6 and they always like it.  Honestly you just need a strategy to keep the class from getting too loud.  That's up to you but since I figured that aspect out it has been a hit every time. 

I would do it like this. 
1.  First, get yourself a board game that has a bunch of cards,  or a bunch of decks of cards.  My classes have 24-26,  so I do groups of 4 or 5, 6 total groups, 24 cards per game = 150 cards + one set for Demo.  Call it 200 cards to be safe.  (I have Dominion and Clank in Space, so this part was easy.)  There are many reasons to use the cards but among them are that boys tear everything in sight within 3 seconds (like printed paper cards), and that you can see through paper usually, which ruins games when you should be hiding you cards. 

2.  Get yourself about 400 cards sleeves.  You should literally measure the cards and head over to Boardpia ->  find the right size for your cards.  . You can get 400+ of them for 5000 won at Boardpia.  Maybe need a coteacher to help navigate the buying process if you can't.

3.  Print out 6 target vocabulary on one A4 size page such that the height of each of the cards is slightly LONGER than your card sleeves/boardgame cards so that you can very easily slide the vocab cards into/out of the boardgame card sleeves. 

Voila!   When I don't have much time to make a lesson I just print out 24 pages x 6 vocab,  cut them using our little industrial cutter thing, slide them in (takes solid 15-20 minutes) and create the dialogue for the day.  Stick a timer on your TV for 15 minutes and let them go at it for 3 or 4 rounds.

Any questions about details and I'd be happy to answer.  After you do the setup it works so well and the kids enjoy it and ultimately cannot play the game without speaking English. 

  • gj148
  • Veteran

    • 126

    • August 29, 2017, 01:44:30 pm
Re: What games work best for large classes?
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2019, 12:56:26 pm »
I agree with what a previous poster said about making games and activities that involve the whole class. My classes have on average 25 students each. We've been doing alot of game board games recently which I've found have worked well. There a few templates on here that you can download and edit yourself to fit lessons. If you want to make them more "bomb style" you can make cards to go with the board games. The cards can be "challenge/quiz questions" the students have to answer correctly in order to move forward. Just like the bomb games you can also add the fun twists like changing places with another player, sending a player back to start, moving forward 10 spaces, going to jail, etc". It's all about being creative. Bingo also works well, just make sure to change it around so that students don't get tired of it. You can do line bingo, flip bingo, pass the ball bingo or human bingo. Writing telepathy games have also worked well for me and those usually help keep students quiet. The evolution game is another game that has gone down well. Battle ninjas is another activity I've been doing lately that has been working well (like battle ships except you play as a whole class. Can also be played in teams). 

You can also modify some of the activities you've been doing to allow all the students to be involved without the turn taking aspect that can be distracting. My coteacher does a version of the noonchi game where instead of eliminating students each round she gives out points instead. This way even if two students mess up and speak at the same time they can continue to participate in the next round.

You can also turn any basic task into a competition. For reading parts my coteacher gives each team sets of scrambled words to make sentences with and complete on a board. The first two teams to completely unscramble and rewrite these on their team board wins.