Tuesday, February 5, 2013

World Education Games: Registration Now Open!

What it is: Holy cow, I am SO excited! Today registration is open for World Education Games!! If your students have never participated with World Education Games (like World Math Day), this is the year. They will thank you for including them in this fun world wide contest. February 1st, that’s today, registration is open and the official warm-up training period for students begins. On March 5h students can participate in World Literacy Day, March 6 is World Math Day, and March 7 is World Science Day. March 22nd Global award presentations begin with the Official World Education Games Awards. The World Education Games is an annual global online olympics to get students from age 4 to 18 excited about learning. The fun comes in the friendly competition between countries as students compete to represent their country in the games. There are 3 days of games focused on literacy, math and science. The games are a great way to help students in speed, accuracy and general fluency in core computation, number and spelling skills. World Science Day has been designed to encourage curiosity and excitement in science while helping them answer knowledge, application and reasoning questions. Each game (a competition against other students from around the world) lasts just 1 minute. Students can go head to head as often as they would like, but only the first 50 games are counted toward the competition point tally. World Math Day was launched in 2007 and my students have taken part in this fun competition each year. Since then, Literacy and Science day has been added to the games. SO much fun!

How to integrate World Education Games into the classroom: World Education Games are such a fantastic way to encourage students to practice foundational skills. In the past, I have hosted an “opening ceremonies” at my school and done it up like the Olympics with flags, songs, etc. We go over what the World Education Games are and then make a big deal about the handing out of usernames/passwords (like lighting the torch) and then we kick off our training portion. Students get excited about participating in this fun day and we get lots of “training” in before the big day. On the actual day, we wear red, white and blue and play against kids from around the world. This is great fun in a one-to-one setting or a computer lab where all students can participate simultaneously. Don’t have that option? Because the games are 1 minute long, students can play 5 games each on classroom computers in a rotation.

Since your students are competing against students from around the world, why not use the competition to practice using a map and identifying countries? Since we have a one to one iPad program, we do this digitally with a Google Map. Each time a student competed against a country, they would come up to the board and put a “pin” in the map. Don’t have devices for each student? Use an interactive whiteboard or the paper map and actual pins on a class bulletin board, these options are just as fun!

Don’t forget closing ceremonies at the end of World Education Games. Make up fun medals and give them out to top performers, hardest trainers, etc. Think outside the box on these. Not all kids are speedy in their fact recall…find a way to honor their participation and hard work…did they see huge improvement or growth? Honor those achievements!

The World Education Games are available for free on any internet-connected computer and as a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10 app.

Check out the Resource page for teacher and student guide, a world map, a poster, and for School-in-a-box information.

Tips: Schools participating in the World Education Games can also work toward giving other children the opportunity to start school. World Education Games has partnered with UNICEF to make this happen. During the games, host a fundraiser to purchase “School-in-a-Box” Each $236 donation is enough to send 80 kids to school! What a great way to help kids understand what a privilege education is and model compassion and empathy for others.

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